Founder of #OutInChurch in Germany calls statements from the Vatican "a humiliation"

#OutInChurch initiator: Explanations of blessings reveal remoteness from people

Father Bernd Mönkebüscher blesses homosexual and remarried couples, and he also helped set up the #OutInChurch campaign. He sharply criticizes the statements from the Vatican regarding the blessing declaration.

The co-initiator of the #OutInChurch campaign, Father Bernd Mönkebüscher, sharply criticized the recent statement by Prefect of the Faith Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández on blessings for homosexual couples. “The statements from the Vatican regarding the declaration of blessing reveal an absolute distance from people and therefore from God,” said Mönkebüscher when asked by on Friday. According to the priest of the Archdiocese of Paderborn, people would be injured as a result. The statements are the result of teaching that discriminates against homosexual people. "Church representatives do not believe it is necessary to even take theological and human scientific findings into account." Blessings of couples in church services and their own liturgical celebrations often reflect more of faith and love "than many routine weddings."

Mönkebüscher also announced that he would continue to offer blessing ceremonies for homosexual couples and remarried divorcees in his parish in Hamm. “We are open about this in the parish and have also announced this on our website.” In view of the creation of official blessing rituals decided upon during the Synodal Path, Mönkebüscher called for people not to fall behind the decisions of the reform process: "It is better not to have any liturgical guidelines than to have a softened service process," said the pastor. The question is much more about which couple, who according to the Vatican live in an "irregular situation", would now want to receive such a blessing. “The statements from the Vatican are a humiliation,” said Mönkebüscher.

Mönkebüscher was one of the first 125 people in church service who came out as homosexual, bisexual or transsexual people in January 2022 as part of the #OutInChurch campaign. The priest, who had already confessed to his homosexuality a few years earlier, was one of the initiators of the initiative. In mid-December, the Vatican Dicastery for the Faith issued a statement granting permission to give blessings to homosexual and remarried couples. However, the paper that Fernández was responsible for as prefect of the dicastery pointed out that the blessings should not be given in a liturgical setting, but rather spontaneously. In this way they should not be confused with the sacrament of marriage. After criticism from numerous bishops' conferences from all over the world, the Argentine cardinal published a statement yesterday in which he rejected points of criticism such as an alleged change in church teaching. At the same time, he specified that the spontaneous blessings would only last a few seconds.