Revisionist Understanding of Sexuality Causing Row in Roman Catholic Church in Germany
Those that think that there are no disputes within Roman Catholicism and that it is a safe place should pay closer attention. The Roman Catholic Church in Germany is in turmoil over human sexuality.
The Catholic News Agency reports that the Chairman of the German Catholic Bishop’s Conference has “called for changes to Church teaching on sex outside of marriage and homosexuality.”
In an interview published on 4 March, Bishop of Limburg, Georg Batzing, told an interviewer from Bunte magazine that he agreed with the journalist’s statement that “no one followed the Church’s teaching that sexuality should only be practiced within marriage.” He continued, “…we have to somewhat change the Catechism on this matter. Sexuality is a gift from God and not a sin.”
German Roman Catholic theologian Martin Bruske disagreed strongly with Batzing’s statement.
“Bishop Georg Bätzing’s argument here is tricky,” he said. “He is implying that the Catechism and thus the tradition of the Church are somehow saying that sexuality is sin. What I would like to know from him is this: Where does he find such a statement in the Catechism or in Church tradition?”
In fact, the theologian added, the Church had always rejected such a view as erroneous.
“By contrasting this false assertion with his second assertion — that sexuality is without restriction a gift of God, the entire area is removed from ethical reflection. According to this logic, there is no longer any need to clarify or distinguish how sexuality is practiced. There is no longer any distinction made as to which sexual behavior is self-serving or expresses mutual appropriation.”
Brüske emphasised that the Church’s moral teaching had ordered sexuality toward the conjugal love of a man and a woman. The Catechism affirms: “Consequently, sexuality, in which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts proper and reserved to the spouses, is by no means something purely biological, but concerns the innermost core of the human person as such.” In it, they would “make each other rich in joy and gratitude.”