At the Bishops’ Rome assembly on marriage and family, the German Archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, was the “relator” for the German language small discussion group. He has always been a notable supporter of LGBT inclusion, and serves on the German bishops conference as chairman of the Commission for Marriage and the Family.
Back in Berlin, he had some important words about the synod assembly, which should offer some assurance to those worried that there was insufficient attention paid to our concerns. Pointing out that some cultural and political reasons for the resistance, especially from African and Eastern bishops, he insisted that Catholic discussions about homosexuality must continue (and implied that the German bishops will certainly take this forward).
The original report at the Austrian source Kathpress is in German. This is my own free translation, assisted by Google translate and the people of the Duolingo crowdsourcing language community.
(Note: this translation will be updated, as and when the Duolingo text is improved )
Archbishop Koch: Still a great need for discussion of homosexuality
Berlin, 10.27.2015 (KAP / KNA) The Berlin Archbishop Heiner Koch sees a great need for discussion of the issue of homosexuality still remaining in the Catholic Church. It is therefore important to remain in conversation together on this issue,
African and Eastern bishops especially have expressed very restrictive views about homosexuality at the Synod. Some put forward positions for which there had been vigorous opposition. “Our German representatives said clearly that we do not share this judgement and cannot abandon our ideas on human dignity”, stated Koch, who is also family bishop of the German Bishops Conference..
At the same time Koch pointed out that in addition to cultural differences, political constraints sometimes make dialogue more difficult: “In many totalitarian states there are far-reaching consequences if you speak out in public about, for example, treating homosexuals as human beings.
The German representatives at the Synod had clearly stated that dealings with homosexuals was a relevant subject to the Church, according to Koch, The concern was on homosexuals who live in committed partnerships. “This is a reality that has to be evaluated much positive for us,” said the archbishop. Also brought up, were pastoral issues about how parents should deal with the homosexuality of their children.