A formal research investigation by a Münster University research group in 42 countries worldwide, has shown that an overwhelming majority of German Catholics disagree fundamentally with Vatican doctrines on sexuality. This will not surprise anyone: the German bishops are far ahead of their international colleagues on many of these issues, professional German theologians have taken the lead in calling for a fundamental rethink on all issues of sexual teaching, and the culture of clericalism in the Church, and the largest lay organisation recently called for the Church to begin offering formal church blessings for same – sex couples in committed, permanent relationships (such as civil unions).
What is interesting, is the sheer scale of the disconnect between German Catholic belief on the ground, and formal Vatican doctrine.
- Over two-thirds – 70 percent – of Catholics surveyed in Germany wanted same-sex marriages to be recognized and blessed by the church.
- Eighty-five per cent of those surveyed thought priests should choose whether or not to remain celibate.
- The vast majority of Catholics in Germany were also in favour of female deacons, with 87 per cent stating that women should be allowed to take on this role.
- Only around 10 percent of the 7,900 Catholics surveyed in Germany thought divorcees who remarried should be excluded from communion
At first glance, one might assume that these German hopes are completely unrealistic. Vatican doctrine is so very clear on these matters, that it may seem impossible for these to come about- except perhaps optional celibacy: it has now been widely acknowledged that this is “up for discussion.”
I’m not so sure though, that the other three are unattainable, either. Pope Francis has made clear his hope that in future, decision taking on pastoral (and even some doctrinal) issues will be done at a local level, by national Catholic Bishops’ Conferences. In that case, the German bishops may well be encouraged to support some of these proposals. If they do, then in time, others could follow.
Most Catholics support gay marriage: study
A survey of Catholics in Germany has revealed that most don’t stick to traditional religious teachings when it comes to views on marriage and sexuality.Berlin conservatives say ‘no’ to gay marriage (24 Jul 15)’Angela Merkel’ stars in lesbian magazine ad (22 Jul 15)Upper house calls for ‘marriage for all’ (12 Jun 15)A study carried out by a Münster University research group questioned around 12,400 Catholics in 42 different countries.The questions ranged from views on divorce, same-sex marriage and celibacy to whether women should be allowed to become deacons. The results could come as a surprise for some.Same-sex marriage: Germany in favourOver two-thirds – 70 percent – of Catholics surveyed in Germany wanted same-sex marriages to be recognized and blessed by the church.The poll comes after a push just a few months ago from a laypeople’s organization calling on bishops to bless same-sex couples.This puts Germany in stark contrast with Poland, southern Europe and Brazil, where the majority of those surveyed were against homosexual marriage.