The German Catholic Church amended its labor laws to give way for LGBTQ+ employees to join the office of the church. DW reported that before the amendments, the Church could fire people on the basis of being in a same-sex relationship or marrying after divorce.
The report added that the amendment came a year after more than 100 employees of the Catholic Church held a protest where they came out in terms of their sexuality to end discrimination based on the aforementioned rules.
Message of German Bishops’ Conference
The German Bishops’ Conference said that it recognizes diversity in church institutions as a means to enrich the church. As such, the amendments are aimed to let people regardless of their duties, origin, religion, age, disability, sex, or sexual identity be a part of the church as it serves people.
It added that what’s important for the employees is for them to have a ‘positive attitude and openness toward the message of the gospel.’ Additionally, it is important for them to respect the Christian character of the church.
Even though the message was met positively by other institutions such as the German Catholic Women’s Community, there are others in the opinion that it was an action caused by the state labor courts. Others commented that it could have been caused by alleged staff shortage for churches.
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Modern Reforms within the German Catholic Church
DW reported earlier this month that the bishops of the German Catholic Church expressed their commitment to reforms. It said that the church is seeking to push for same-sex marriages, married priests, and women deacons.
It reported that the German Bishops’ Conference held meetings with the Vatican about the German Catholic church wanting to be ‘Catholic in a different way.’ This was the sentiment shared by Bishop Georg Bätzing, the head of the conference, in one of his press releases.
German Bishops’ Conference and Vatican Communique
Aciafrica reported on the meeting that Pope Francis and the German Bishops’ Conference had in the Vatican. The report said that it was a two-hour meeting of ‘open round of talks’ where the German Catholic bishops raised questions and issues that the bishop answered.
The report said that one of the topics raised was the ‘aspects of the Synodal Way of the Church in Germany’ as well as the worldwide synodal process. It also included reports of the bishops when it comes to their experiences in their respective dioceses.
Further, it included questions on political responsibility, social cohesion, as well as peace for global and regional conflicts.
German Bishops’ Conference and Bishop Georg Bätzing
The German Bishops’ Conference or the Deutsche Bischofskonferenze says that it is the ‘plenary assembly of all Catholic bishops in Germany, where the bishops meet regularly in spring and autumn for four days.’
According to Peoplepill, the Bishop Georg Bätzing of the Diocese of Limburg is a German Catholic theologian. The bishop has been serving the church since childhood, working as an altar boy before he joined the major seminary of the Diocese of Trier for the priesthood.
In 2016, he succeeded Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst as bishop of Limburg. In the same year, he was consecrated by the Archbishop of Cologne Rainer Woelki.
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