The task force for Catholic family education has published a document formulating liturgical proposals for the celebrations to bless same-sex couples or remarried divorcees.
Martina Kreidler-Kos, head of the Osnabrück pastoral department, contributed to the draft of the document. In an interview, she talks about the prospects of a blessing ceremony for these couples.
“The consultations started about three years ago. This was not yet in the context of the synodal process but following the pastoral experience of couples unable to marry in the Church and seeking a blessing. Those responsible for pastoral care in different dioceses, confronted with this experience, have reflected on how to respond to this request.”
“There are couples who wish to receive a blessing, but there is no established way to do so. This desire exists in all the dioceses. In 2018, the dean of Frankfurt published a document with proposals setting up conditions for a blessing to be possible in the future.”
“Two forms have been prepared: a larger one for a religious ceremony or a Mass, and a smaller and simpler one. Why two forms? Some couples and their families, friends, or guests feel uncomfortable in a Eucharistic celebration. For many, this framework is foreign to them. In this case, a smaller form is more appropriate.”
Therefore it is necessary to prepare a blessing for couples having difficulties with the very center of Christian life, and from which the blessing draws its power. So what does this ceremony represent?
“The type and form of these celebrations is a delicate point that leads to many deviations, depending on whether or not one moves away from a similar ritual. This is why we fought so that the wedding ceremony and the blessing do not compete with each other: where people love each other, God is present.”
This statement makes no sense. Love in disorder – adultery or against nature – is not a sign of the presence of God because it goes against His law, a law that was given to us to save us.
“There are still people in the Church who believe the blessing has less value. This is a mistake: the sacrament of marriage is clearly set in an ecclesiastical context, while a blessing ceremony is above all a celebration of the empowerment of a couple.”
On the contrary, the blessing celebrates the fact of submitting to the divine law.
“Since March, we have had the resolution of the Synodal Path, which says “yes” in principle to blessing ceremonies for all couples. A working group of the German Bishops' Conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics is to draw up a binding form.”
“It is quite appropriate because this compromise was also achieved with our help. This means that we can offer our text as a working basis for this group, which then does not have to start from scratch.”
“The hierarchy in Rome has a clear position on these celebrations: they should not exist. But we must accept being in tension: here is the pastoral reality and our theological conviction, there are the directives of Rome. We may not be able to resolve this issue, but we always strive to maintain a good relationship in all things.”