Catholic scouting group participates in largest homosexual rally in Europe

Catholic scouting group St. Georg participates in the Cologne CSD

"A Slow Process"

On Sunday is Christopher Street Day in Cologne, the largest demonstration in Europe for queer people. Some of the churches go along with it. The German Scout Association St. Georg is also involved and explains why the commitment is important.

DOMRADIO.DE: The youth are now literally flying the flag. Why are you going to the CSD in Cologne?

Pascal Schockert (German Scout Association Sankt Georg, DPSG, in the diocesan association of Cologne): First and foremost, it is important to us as a youth association to take a stand against discrimination together with the Outinchurch Initiative. Sexual and gender diversity should have their place in our society, in our associations and especially in the church.

It is also important for us to make visible the diversity that exists in our associations and in the church. "OutInChurch" showed how many people are active in the church who are themselves queer. At the same time, it is of course also a great opportunity for us to network.

Many queer people in the church who are active in different cities come together and can share their experiences. Precisely because in some communities, in some places, you are still marginalized, pushed to the edge, excluded, you can exchange experiences through such an experience, also empower yourself so that you get the courage to stand up and fight on .

DOMRADIO.DE: Will you be visible as a Christian youth? How do you perform?

Schockert: The first thing you will notice is that we also have a large car with us. A 40-ton trailer, which I think makes us special because mostly only the big companies have them. There are banners on it, banners, it will say big and bold: "queer and catholic".

We also all have uniform t-shirts in green, which is what it says on it. It's a demonstration. We will have posters with us with demands, also explicitly to the church, within the church or the statement "we are here, we are also part of the church, we want that to be a matter of course".

DOMRADIO.DE: In your eyes, is it "only the Christian youth" who want to set this sign? Or do you see a real awakening in connection with queer, homosexual, transgender people, also in other associations or in the Catholic Church as a whole? How are you perceiving this?

Schockert: Quite mixed. In our associations there is broad support that supports this. In other parts of the church I'm also experiencing a beginning that the understanding is there in many congregations because one is much further along.

It is usually more problematic when you look up at officials who do not always show understanding, who are actively taking action against it. But there are signs of the first awakenings. It is a slow process that we want to advance with our protests.

DOMRADIO.DE: You should be happy about the current reports. Something is actually happening in the Vatican. Argentine Archbishop Victor Fernandez will be the Vatican's new supreme guardian of faith from September. And he at least says: It's okay to bless gay couples. Or now on the edge of the CSD there is a service, especially for people of all gender identities. Is that enough, or what has to happen?

Schockert: That's a first step, of course, that there's more recognition here. It is shown that you can also receive the blessing as a couple or you can also receive services, just as there are services for pilgrimages, for example. But it's just a start.

In the end it is important that queer people can be a part of all groups, in communities, in associations, and are not perceived as something special that somehow also belongs to it. Of course we are also part of the community, the church.

DOMRADIO.DE: What do you say to those who are still critical and who might even say: The Bible says that somehow differently, or that doesn't work theologically. Do you have any arguments?

Schockert: The first thing I say is simply Jesus' message that we accept other people as they are and enable their lives and can develop. What for me is the real Christian charity.

The passages in the Bible to which these critics refer must be placed in the historical context. They were written 2000 and 3000 years ago.



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