Monday, August 08, 2011

A Cardinal Breaks Ranks

Over at the blogsite of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Miriam Lazewatsky has an interesting piece about a Roman Catholic cardinal in Germany critiquing the church hierarchy's rhetoric against LGBT people.

I find the GLAAD blog to be an excellent resource, so much so that I recently added it to this site's list of "Recommended Blogsites," listed in sidebar at right.

Following is Lazewatsky's piece in its entirety.


German Cardinal Criticizes Roman Catholic Church
for Negative Tone Toward LGBT People

By Miriam Lazewatsky

August 8, 2011

It seems that the United States is not the only country in which Roman Catholic clergy are speaking out against the church hierarchy’s rhetoric against LGBT people. On the heels of polls indicating that US Roman Catholics are highly supportive of LGBT equality and a prayer service held in support of LGBT Roman Catholics at St. Cecilia’s in Boston, Mass., a German priest has critical words for the Catholic Church. Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich says that the Catholic Church has “has not always adopted the right tone” toward LGBT people. The Cardinal further states that, while he cannot officially bless a union between two people of the same sex, he can (and implicitly will) pray for their relationship if asked.

Nothing in Cardinal Marx’s statement overtly contradicts Catholic teaching on LGBT people, but his contention that the church has historically addressed LGBT people poorly is a departure from many others in the Catholic hierarchy. Interestingly, the Cardinal is trained in Catholic social doctrine and has been called both “left of center” and a “moderate conservative,” so perhaps his recent statements are not as surprising as they would first seem. He has also spoken out against poverty and in support of both job creation and expanded acceptance for refugees in Germany. Cardinal Marx is the youngest voting member of the College of Cardinals, the highly ranked Roman Catholic body that, as one of its many duties, elects the Pope.

Any step by socially conservative religious figures toward acceptance and understanding of LGBT people is important. Though the Catholic Church as a whole has a long way to go, GLAAD is pleased to see the rhetoric changing and commends Cardinal Marx for speaking out against the defamatory language that has so often been used in Catholic teaching about the LGBT community.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – May 8, 2011
Italian Cardinal Calls for a "New Vision" for Sexuality
An Australian Bishop's "Radical" Call for Reform
Signs of Hope and Creativity
A Priest's Courageous Act
Update on Fr. Geoff Farrow
Fr. Geoff Farrow on Proposition 8
Pastor Mike Tegeder Challenges Archbishop Nienstedt's "Bullying Behavior"
Francis DeBarnardo: "The Church is Better Because of the Presence of LGBT People"
The Pope's "Scandalous" Stance on Homosexuality
Just Imagine . . .
Re-Forming "the Vatican" Doesn't Mean Destroying the Church
Catholic Church Can Overcome Fear of LGBT People


colkoch said...

WOW!! Has there been a shift in the Force? I am speechless but very very encouraged.

Phillip Clark said...

This is extremely hopeful to see another prelate from Europe - where the institutional leaders of the church are much more prone to speak their minds when it comes to certain issues than here in the States - see that the way the Catholic church has insisted on doing things cannot be the continued path forward into the future.

Cardinal Marx's comments were made in the same spirit of Cardinal Schonborn's when he stated that a homosexual relationship should cetainly be considered better than engaging in rampant promiscuity.

While so much more could be said, it is certainly an encouraging step in the right direction! Especially coming from a younger prelate, who usually would be considered a clone of the late JP2 on arrival.

It bothers and discourages me though that prelates here in the States are so deeply intertwined with the far-right fringes of the Republican Party that they could never bring themselves to issue such a statement...