Rainbow pastoral care: Freising is pilot location for "queer church" project of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising

The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising has launched a new project: rainbow pastoral care. The pilot location is the KBW Freising.

Freising - "Yes, something is happening in the Catholic Church," confirmed Michael Brinkschröder, project manager for rainbow pastoral ministry in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, referring to the blessing of same-sex couples initiated by the Synodal Path, which should soon be possible.

In order to take better account of the concerns of queer Catholics and to offer exchange and counselling for people from the LGBTI community, the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising has now launched a new project: the Rainbow Pastoral. One of the goals: To bring the topic of "queer church" into the parishes and church institutions. The District Educational Centre (KBW) Freising was chosen as a pilot location with a few events to find out where the need might be.

Gender diversity discovered

"The church has discovered gender diversity and now wants to bring this to the area," explained KBW Managing Director Marina Freudenstein at a press conference. Although the KBW programme is strongly demand-oriented, it is not always possible to "run after the mainstream", said Freudenstein: "There are topics that are simply important. And one has to put one's finger in the wound. What she hopes for: "I hope for an opening of the topic through this series of events. I am very excited."

According to Michael Brinkschröder, the project manager for rainbow ministry in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, the topic of homosexuality and queer has been in the focus of the Archdiocese for a long time. However, Corona had brought many things to a standstill here as well. Now, however, things are picking up again.

According to Brinkschröder, the tasks of rainbow pastoral work are complex and diverse: for example, influencing the church itself or bringing the issues to the public. And this is where the educational institutions such as the Freisinger KBW come into play, which can then help themselves to an extensive pool of suggestions for topics. Topics such as: "All gender or what? Did God create more than two genders?" or "Get me right - criminalisation of LGBT people and the Catholic Church".

The big step

With three lectures, KBW is taking a big step in terms of LGBTI in Catholic adult education - as the first pilot location in the diocese. From here, the topic is to be brought into the area, also to sensitise the local church as well as the individual parishes.

Brinkschröder made it quite clear: "People with totally different opinions will not come, but there is a huge need for information, for example among parents". For whom the KBW events could still be interesting: pastors, teachers and the LGBTI community. Here Brinkschröder reassured KBW: "If the events don't pay off for now, the funds are there to finance a shortfall."

The driving force

Besides Brinkschröder, a strong driving force for the pilot project was also the theological advisor of the KBW, Florian Heinritzi, who, together with the project leader for rainbow pastoral ministry, tinkered with the finer points for Freising. Brinkschröder described why it was necessary to move quickly in this direction: "At some point, the parishes will have to deal with these issues, so it is good if they find out about them now.