Germany: Cardinal Woelki Cracks Down on Priest Who Blessed Homosexual Couples

Source: FSSPX News

Interior of St. Lambert's Church in Mettmann

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, Archbishop of Cologne, cracked down on a priest from his diocese who proceeded to bless gay couples during a ceremony organized by the group Rainbow Church for All, in the parish of Saint Lambert in Mettmann.

During the ceremony, according to the Kirche und Leben website of the Diocese of Münster, a blessing was given by parish leader Ulrike Platzhoff and Fr. Herbert Ullmann to homosexual couples. (It should be remembered that in Germany, the responsibility of the parish is often entrusted to a lay person, man or woman.)

The group reported that Fr. Ullmann received a warning from his bishop, after he was “reported by an unknown person in Rome,” according to the source.

Cardinal Woelki also forbade the guilty priest from organizing other blessings of this kind, and in particular in favor of homosexual couples, divorced-remarried, or unmarried couples.

The canonist Norbert Lüdecke, emeritus professor of canon law at the University of Bonn, makes some welcome reminders in an article published in Kirche und Leben.

“Before taking office,” he recalls, “a parish priest must profess that he accepts all the binding teachings of the Church, including the moral condemnation of non-heterosexual acts without exception. He also swore to uphold all Church standards. Among them, that of not blessing non-heterosexual relationships.”

According to him, the Cardinal of Cologne, like all bishops, is bound “to insist on respect for all the laws of the Church and to prevent abuses, including with regard to the sacramentals, which include blessings.” Lüdecke then commented that the case illustrates the fundamental dilemma of the Synodal Path.

According to canon law, after a first warning, if the priest repeats the offense and again blesses homosexual couples, he would be liable to a more serious sanction, which could go as far as the suspension of his office.

Cardinal Woelki has shown courage in this affair, because he exposes himself to the contempt of a large part of the German episcopate and to the vindictiveness of the entire German progressive fringe. But it is appalling and aberrant to have to make such a statement.

It is also likely that this ceremony was organized in the diocese of Cologne to test the resistance and determination of its archbishop. Hopefully this will help open the eyes of some people to the excesses of the Synodal Path.