“I will not take away the possibility of blessing those homosexual couples who believe and ask for God’s blessing”. This was stated by the President of the German Episcopal Church, George Baetzingin a meeting with the press following the visit to Rome where he discussed the Dad and with the Dicastery heads of the Roman Curia. Archbishop Baetzing he explained that he will allow the German Church to continue blessing the homosexual couplesdespite the prohibitions of the Vatican, recalling that the last Popes have already expressed themselves on the subject: “They have been very clear on the matter, they have made an attempt to say that the question is closed, but we say that the question exists”.
Baetzingfurthermore, he intervened on the possibility of a schism in the German church: “For none of the German bishops, for none of the lay Catholics, this has ever been an option. Never”. The President of the German Episcopal Church reaffirmed the positions of the Church he represents: “We are Catholics and remain so but we want to be Catholics in a different way and we feel this responsibility”.
The President of the German Episcopal Church was joined at the press conference by Blessed Gilles, the first woman elected as secretary general of an episcopal conference. And he spoke on the role of women in the Church, another theme that divides the German bishops from the Vatican. “God’s people are not patient, they put pressure”, Baetzing said, explaining that it is precisely women who are “impatient”. “The role of women is the most urgent thing, which separates us the most”, added the President of the German Episcopal Church. In Germany, for some time now, women involved in the Church have been asking what the prospects will be and whether they will be able to fill certain roles which today are limited to the male gender. But on the subject, in Rome, there does not seem to be any openings on the female priesthood.
The intervention of Baetzing he outlined the profound differences between the positions, but clarified that – at the moment – there is no risk schism, emphasizing that there is talk of separation “from the outside, to frighten and intimidate”. Furthermore, the President of the German Episcopal Church explained that a strong change of pace is needed to recover the confidence of the faithful: “Trust has been lost in the clergy, in the bishops, in the leadership of the government of the Church. It must be the people of God who give us back our hierarchical authority – and he added – The Church is shaken, new paths are needed to face the crisis. Repeating the past is not a way out of the crisis”.