The Archbishop of Berlin, Heiner Koch, recently authorized priests in his archdiocese to confer ceremonial blessings upon homosexual couples. Strangely, he also announced that he himself would not impart such blessings until he receives explicit permission from Pope Francis. He seems to be confident that such permission will someday be given, yet he’s certainly not unaware that Pope Francis personally approved in 2021 the publication of a teaching document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith forbidding such blessings.
That document states:
It is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord. . . .it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex… .there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. [citing Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia]
Koch knows this practice plainly contradicts Church doctrine and has thus never been authorized, yet he thinks that pastoral governance includes the right to disregard his sworn obligation to uphold the teachings of the Faith and to obey the law of the Church. Instead, he wants his priests to engage in the blasphemous practice of conducting a religious ceremony in which they ask God to pour out his grace upon gravely sinful unions publicly entered into for the purpose of engaging in unnatural sexual acts that are unequivocally condemned in the revealed word of God.
How did we arrive at such a point in the Church? Koch and those who applaud his infidelity clearly no longer believe in Church teaching on the right use of the sexual faculty, but also the Church’s claim to teach God’s saving truth without error. They assert that the Church has, in fact, been mistaken all along, and that 180-degree changes in doctrine are normal and nothing to worry about.
Continue reading at The Catholic Thing