Munich Archbishop Cardinal Reinhard Marx speaks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, southern Germany, on Feb. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Top German cardinal signals cautious support for blessing same-sex couples

(RNS) — One of Roman Catholicism’s most influential cardinals has signaled cautious support for Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples, indicating movement on the issue after he and other German Catholic leaders opposed the legalization of “marriage for all” last year.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the archbishop of Munich, said in a radio interview Saturday (Feb. 3) that the Catholic Church must find pastoral ways to respond to the challenges of changing societal views and should be welcoming to gay people who seek its spiritual guidance.

Marx stopped short of a full endorsement of blessings for same-sex couples, which would be difficult in a church that opposes gay marriage as unnatural and does not now officially bless these couples. But his positive comments made it clear he was open to approving such benedictions in private ceremonies.

Two German bishops have recently come out in favor of blessing same-sex couples and urged the church to consider allowing the practice. Marx, as head of the national bishops' conference, is the top Catholic prelate in Germany.


READ: In Germany, Catholic Church grapples with blessings for gay marriage


“The issue is how the church can do justice to the challenges that new living conditions and new insights bring,” Marx said in the interview broadcast on Bavarian Radio.

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, blesses Catholics before a Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hanoi during his weeklong week visit to Vietnam, on January 10, 2016. Photo by Kham/Reuters


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Noting that his interviewer mentioned same-sex blessings, he said: “Concerning homosexuals, we must be pastorally closer to those who need or want pastoral care. Here, I think, we should also encourage priests and pastoral workers to give people in concrete situations some encouragement. I don’t see any problems there.”

When the interviewer directly asked if that meant blessings, he gave an answer that was vague but pointed towards reform. “Yes, there is no general solution,” he said. “I have to leave it up to the pastoral worker on the spot who is accompanying the person there.”

He said the church should be careful about the nature of the ceremony — public or private, in a church or elsewhere — but “think about this in a good way.”

The ambiguity of Marx’s answers echoed the style of Pope Francis, who has signaled support for proposed reforms — such as giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics in individual cases — while not expressly endorsing them.

Instead, like the pope, he focused on providing pastoral care: “This seems to me to be a fundamental orientation that has been stressed once again by the pope.”

Marx is a member of the Council of Cardinals, a “kitchen cabinet” the pope set up shortly after his election in 2013 to advise him on possible reforms. He is also president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, which represents European Catholics at European Union institutions.

“We cannot simply change people’s living conditions or the world in which we live,” Marx told Bavarian Radio. “We can complain about them, but what good is that? But there can be more verve and joy in our work and the way we deal with people.”

(Tom Heneghan reports for Religion News Service from Paris.)

Comments

  1. Either their basic human decency, or their business sense, is getting the better of them.

  2. “When the interviewer directly asked if that meant blessings, he gave an answer that was vague but pointed towards reform. ‘Yes, there is no general solution,’ he said.”

    By contrast, the Catholic News Agency’s report on what Cardinal Marx said, which is headlined “Cardinal Marx endorses blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples.,” states,

    “Our headline is intended to reflect that Cardinal Marx directly answered in the affirmative (‘yes’) to the question of “bless[ing] homosexual couples in the Church,’ saying that such a decision must be made by ‘the pastor on the ground,’ in each ‘particular, individual case.'”

    Quite a difference between the two headlines and two reports here, and what two different journals make of the word, Yes. “When the interviewer directly asked if that meant blessings, he gave an answer: . . . Yes.”

    Why the evasion — the mendacity — in the RNS report about what Cardinal Marx said? Yes, he followed the word “yes” with a statement about the need for pastors to use pastoral discernment as they implement this “yes.”

    The word “yes” is not, however, as your reporter claims, “vague.”

    Kudos to CNA for having the courage to report directly and honestly what Cardinal Marx said — and the courage to deal with the bullying tactics of right-wing homophobes who are now out in droves attacking CNA for even reporting about this matter, and Cardinal Marx for saying what he said.

    People unwilling to stand up to bullies are tacitly encouraging their bullying behavior.

  3. But if you claim to be a bully for god, it’s not really bullying, is it? It’s closer to plain old bull. No “y” need be added– or asked.

  4. Interesting…..an apostate priest wants to bless that which the Lord has condemned – homosexuality, idolatry and fornication and still call himself a Christian……sad. Sadder yet, people will buy into his lies because of itching ears, rather than a desire for the truth and end up in Hell.
    If homosexuals would turn to Christ, renounce their sin, and follow Christ, they could teach people like this heretic – Marx – a few things.
    Sad.
    “..But there can be more verve and joy in our work and the way we deal with people.” There is nothing more satisfying than helping a lost sinner to come a relationship with Christ.

  5. William D. Lindsey, you use the words “mendacity” and “courage” quite lightly and apparently have not listened to the interview in the original German. Fluent German speakers (like myself) will recognize that Marx started that sentence with “Ja …” in the vague way Germans sometimes answer questions that can actually mean “Well …” The word he used was “Ja”, so it was translated as such, but the intonation hinted that he was actually qualifying his response, which is why I added that it was vague. As someone who has lived for over a dozen years in three German-speaking countries, I’m very aware of these nuances. I listened several times to the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio) audio file before writing this article, and saw the CNA report before sending this story to RNS. What you praise as CNA’s “courage to report directly and honestly what Cardinal Marx said”, I found to be too simplistic a translation. Marx is treading on very sensitive territory here and it is no surprise that he gave quite a nuanced — and yet still audacious — response. In his answers, Marx pointedly never used the word Segnung (blessing) but Zuspruch (encouragement), which careful listeners would recognize as a bit unusual in this context but meaning the same thing without saying it. FYI the German Catholic news agency KNA was also not as definitive as CNA, headlining its story “Gewisser Spielraum” (A Certain Latitude) rather than saying flatly that he supported it, and using the “Zuspruch” quote to show readers how he was tiptoeing around this hot potato. If you still think you know better, please quote chapter and verse in the original German in all its nuances to explain what you think is wrong with this reporting of what Cardinal Marx said and how he said it.

  6. William D. Lindsey, you use the words “mendacity” and “courage” quite lightly and apparently have not listened to the interview in the original German. Fluent German speakers (like myself) will recognize that Marx started that sentence with “Ja …” in the vague way Germans sometimes answer questions that can actually mean “Well …” The word he used was “Ja”, so it was translated as such, but the intonation hinted that he was actually qualifying his response, which is why I added that it was vague. As someone who has lived for over a dozen years in three German-speaking countries, I’m very aware of these nuances. I listened several times to the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio) audio file before writing this article, and saw the CNA report before sending this story to RNS. What you praise as CNA’s “courage to report directly and honestly what Cardinal Marx said”, I found to be too simplistic a translation. Marx is treading on very sensitive territory here and it is no surprise that he gave quite a nuanced — and yet still audacious — response. In his answers, Marx pointedly never used the word Segnung (blessing) but Zuspruch (encouragement), which careful listeners would recognize as a bit unusual in this context but meaning the same thing without saying it. FYI the German Catholic news agency KNA was also not as definitive as CNA, headlining its story “Gewisser Spielraum” (A Certain Latitude) rather than saying flatly that he supported it, and using the “Zuspruch” quote to show readers how he was tiptoeing around this hot potato. If you still think you know better, please quote chapter and verse in the original German in all its nuances to explain what you think is wrong with this reporting of what Cardinal Marx said and how he said it.

  7. William D. Lindsey, you use the words “mendacity” and “courage” quite lightly and apparently have not listened to the interview in the original German. Fluent German speakers (like myself) will recognize that Marx started that sentence with “Ja …” in the vague way Germans sometimes answer questions that can actually mean “Well …” The word he used was “Ja”, so it was translated as such, but the intonation hinted that he was actually qualifying his response, which is why I added that it was vague. As someone who has lived for over a dozen years in three German-speaking countries, I’m very aware of these nuances. I listened several times to the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Radio) audio file before writing this article, and saw the CNA report before sending this story to RNS. What you praise as CNA’s “courage to report directly and honestly what Cardinal Marx said”, I found to be too simplistic a translation. Marx is treading on very sensitive territory here and it is no surprise that he gave quite a nuanced — and yet still audacious — response. In his answers, Marx pointedly never used the word Segnung (blessing) but Zuspruch (encouragement), which careful listeners would recognize as a bit unusual in this context but meaning the same thing without saying it. FYI the German Catholic news agency KNA was also not as definitive as CNA, headlining its story “Gewisser Spielraum” (A Certain Latitude) rather than saying flatly that he supported it, and using the “Zuspruch” quote to show readers how he was tiptoeing around this hot potato. If you still think you know better, please quote chapter and verse in the original German in all its nuances to explain what you think is wrong with this reporting of what Cardinal Marx said and how he said it.

  8. The word ja and the word yes, whether in German or English, is not vague — the word you use to describe it — Mr. Heneghan.

    What is vague about “directly answer[ing] in the affirmative (‘yes’),” as CNA reports that Cardinal Marx did?

    As to the “vagueness” and “nuance” of the German ja, in my experience speaking with German-speaking people in Germany and Austria, I haven’t noticed that vagueness and nuance you hear when German-speaking people use the word ja. I find that when German speakers say the word ja, they usually mean precisely what they say.

    I gather that you are also maintaining that the following German-language newspapers and news sites got what Cardinal Marx said entirely wrong, as CNA did?

    1. Frankfurter Alllgemeine, “Kardinal Marx stellt Segnung homosexueller Paare in Aussicht”

    2. Die Presse (Wien), “Kardinal Marx: Segnung homosexueller Paare in Einzelfällen möglich”

    3. Westdeutsche Zeitung, “Kardinal Marx hält Segnung homosexueller Paare für möglich”

    4. Bayerischer Rundfunk, “Segnung homosexueller Paare ist möglich”

    5. ORF, “Segnung homosexueller Paare in Einzelfällen möglich”

    I had assumed the folks working for those news venues in German-speaking countries understood the nuances of German.

    Yes, I will listen to the Bayerischer Rundfunk clip, if I can find it online. But from what I can see reported in the German press, CNA does not deserve your slighting appraisal of its translation skills and its reporting.

    P.S. Yes, I’ve now listened to the interview at the Bayerischer Rundfunk site. I hear no ambiguity at all in the ja with which Cardinal Marx replies when the interviewer asks him if there’s a way that same-sex couples might be blessed by the church. To the contrary, what I hear is an unambiguous, clear “yes” to that question — just as CNA reported.

  9. Well-stated, Ben. Yes, it’s akin to that other thing they like to do called lying for the Lord, which is in full evidence already right here in this comment thread, as one of the commentators most obsessed with setting “homosexuals” straight logs in to inform us that “the Lord” has condemned homosexuality — a word never used in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, which was not even coined until the latter part of the 19th century.

    And, as many people have repeatedly told this person in threads here, Jesus never said a single word about “homosexuality,” though she’s obsessed with this topic and with pretending that it was central to everything Jesus proclaimed.

    Plain old bull, indeed!

  10. It’s money.

    Take a look at the way Germans fund churches.

  11. Jesus did not say a single word about fornication, genocide, incest, bestiality, and a host of other things.

    It might have something to do with the fact that the Jews had already received the moral law, and Jesus’ words: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

  12. It must be nice to imagine that you have Jesus on your side when you’re determined to attack and hate folks different from yourself — justifying the attacks and hatred by claiming that Jesus’ silence about your obsession speaks eloquently about his real interest in what obsesses you.

    Even when what obsesses you is nowhere in evidence in the Jewish law Jesus followed — and which he summed up (inconveniently for you) in the command to love.

    Not to hate.

  13. First of all, I would advise you to learn who Jesus is.
    Secondly, it isn’t hatred or attack. It’s helping them to understand how much they are hurting themselves. After that, it’s their choice.

  14. I’m well aware of the church tax in Germany. My family pays it. They have the option not to, of course.

    I do find it funny that you think it’s the money, even though I agree with you it is the more likely possibility. It couldn’t possibly be because he decided to discover his compassion, humanity, and intelligence, which was my other suggestion.

  15. “They [LGBT folks] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”………..The Catechism of the Catholic Church, part of number 2358

    That’s one of the best attitude-comments that has ever been created about the LGBT community. It’s excellent advice. It should be posted up on every billboard. But why does the Catholic church not make it more widely known or even regularly preached?

  16. It’s very telling that all the German headlines listed here are less definitive than CNA’s blunt headline “Cardinal Marx endorses blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples”. Most have him saying such a blessing is possible (möglich) while one says he held out the prospect of such blessings (in Aussicht gestellt). So even the local media were more circumspect than CNA.

    The Bayerischer Rundfunk headline “Segnung homosexueller Paare ist möglich” (Blessing of homosexual couples is possible) looks like a quote from Marx himself, but he never said that literally in the interview. German media can be sloppy with quotes in headlines and a journalist has to check the original to see what the interviewee actually said.

    German has several words Marx could have used to clearly say “endorse” — befürworten, billigen, gutheissen, unterstützen, etc — but he didn’t. He could have openly referred to a Segnung (blessing), but he didn’t. Instead, he avoided those words and said only that the church should be “pastorally nearer” to gay couples and “einen Zuspruch geben” (give encouragement). Exactly what kind of encouragement? He didn’t specify it, but said the church had to be cautious and “think about this in a good way”.

    Marx’s actual words suggest a man walking through a verbal minefield trying to promote discussion of a possible liberalizing reform without provoking such a backlash that the conversation could be cut off.

    In such a context, hardening this interview up into a clear and unqualified endorsement based on a fleeting “ja” is journalistically irresponsible. The word “ja” is used in other ways besides a flat “yes” — to mean “well…” or “surely” — and that’s what it sounds like here. Reporters have to boil issues down to the essential message, but not simplify it so much that they misrepresent what was actually said.

  17. ” There is nothing more satisfying than helping a lost sinner to come to a relationship with Christ. ”

    I’ve known folks whose lives would be better and happier if they were a believer. But what kind of believer will they turn out to be?

    Will they turn out to be like some of those depicted here —
    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/ , who can easily be described as —
    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men……..Matthew 5:13

    Or will they turn out to be this type of believer, those that will do all they can to implement the following into their lives every day —

    – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
    – It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
    – It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    – Love never fails…

    Excerpts from 1 Corinthians 13

    And we can throw this one in for good measure —

    Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins……1 Peter 4:8

  18. Isn’t it interesting that Mr. Carioca also seems oblivious to the fact that U.S. churches are not taxed. And that they rake in tax dollars at an amazing rate via “faith-based” programs.

  19. I am merely commented. You’re the individual who obsesses, e.g.:

    “one of the commentators most obsessed with setting ‘homosexuals’ straight logs in to inform us that ‘the Lord’ has condemned homosexuality — a word never used in the Jewish and Christian scriptures, which was not even coined until the latter part of the 19th century.”

    Nor do I attack and hate folks different from myself, and I write in response to someone who engaged in very personal attack on me just days ago. For that consider:

    “Frank Bruni’s Column on How Father James Martin Is Being Attacked Reads Like Commentary on RNS Discussion Thread About Martin”

    “For Religion News Service, Jacob Lupfer Reports on Georgetown Lecture by Father James Martin: Queer-Bashing Trolls Go Wild“

    and the comments under them

    “It must be nice to imagine that you have Jesus on your side when you’re determined to attack and hate folks different from yourself.”

    If you wrote that Jesus never said a single word about genocide, I would have written a similar comment.

    We both understand what the Talmud taught, what the rabbis believed, how the Fathers received all of this.

    Same sex relations in the Christian church has always been considered sinful. The communion you purport to belong to has taught extensively on the topic.

    To pop “Jesus never said a single word about ‘homosexuality’ “ in the face of all that and not expect to have it pointed out it means nothing theologically is silly.

    Yes, Jesus summed up the Law as a command to love, but first (inconveniently for you) to love God by keeping his commandments.

    The comments on RNS are not those on Bilgrimage or JoeMyGod. If you are too thin-skinned to deal with views other than your own, you should consider not participating.

    Harry Truman famously used the phrase “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Since your views are in a minority and not well-grounded in Christian theology, if you wade into a public forum with them you can hardly expect not to have to defend them.

    Of course if you did not obsess on the topic, we wouldn’t be reading the completely meaningless “Jesus never said a single word about ‘homosexuality’ “ for the 200th time in the first place.

    If you do wish to participate, defending and explaining that aphorism might be a worthwhile use of time.

    Have a nice day.

  20. That probably results from my being familiar with the previous positions and activities of Reinhard Cardinal Marx and you being an advocate for a position; reality versus wishful thinking.

    Marx was also in favor of denying sacraments to those who opted out of the German church tax, a direct violation of both Canon Law and the Gospel.

    “Follow the money” was never more relevant than when dealing with His Eminence.

  21. You hear tomahto and I hear tomato, Mr. Heneghan. You hear someone saying “yes” and expressing ambivalence and “vagueness.”

    I hear someone saying “yes” and saying “yes” — unambiguously so.

    I had thought it was the height of silliness when I saw the discussions going on at fringe-right Catholic blog sites about whether Cardinal Marx really said yes.

    What I did not expect was for those discussions to be imported covertly to a mainstream religious news site under the guise of accurate reporting about this story.

    I find it beyond silly that people would want to build an argument about what a church official means when he says yes in response to a direct question around what they imagine his intonations meant. Why the need to downplay what is not being downplayed in the headlines of many other religious news sites and many journalistic sites, including in Germany itself?

    You said to me in your previous response, “In his answers, Marx pointedly never used the word Segnung (blessing) but Zuspruch (encouragement), which careful listeners would recognize as a bit unusual in this context but meaning the same thing without saying it.”

    And while it’s true that he did not use the word Segnung (no need to translate it for me: I read German and speak it, if imperfectly), as you say, he was asked directly by his interviewer if he thought blessings for same-sex couples are possible, and he responded to that question by saying “yes.” Directly so.

    This has been reported by headline after headline in the German and Austrian media — a smattering of which I cite above. None that I can spot speak of anything like “cautious support” for blessing same-sex couples.

  22. Does it ever cross your mind (or enter your heart) that you may be hurting yourself, Sandi? Hate, the obsessive need to attack a group one chooses to single out for hostile scrutiny: that withers up the human mind and heart.

    Hate inflicts a lot of injury on the hater.

    This is why Jesus and the entire scriptural testimony tell us to stop doing it and to learn to love.

    I invite you to do that.

  23. Thanks for your advice, Mr. Carioca. If I understand it correctily, it’s 1) not to come into your kitchen, since it’s your kitchen and only you are allowed to obsess over these issues; and 2) to endure the heat you choose to turn up in your kitchen.

    Those two options sound rather mutually exclusive, don’t they?

    And you don’t own the kitchen, no matter how much you may wish to pretend you do.

  24. Possibly because there’s a catch: many bishops and priests seem of the belief that it is not *unjust* to fire LGBT Catholic schoolteachers, choirmasters, etc.. or to forbid entry into Catholic schools to children of same-sex couples.

  25. Exactly what God sid in the Bible: I leave this world up to the Pastors. What works for God, should be OK for the Church.

  26. This is where I always fail to understand. Has “all” been “accomplished” yet? If it hasn’t, then why aren’t Christians following the entirety of “the law”? If it has been accomplished, then why are you still following any of it? And if it only applies to Jewish believers, then why does it get quoted so constantly?

  27. Always great and historically ironic when Christians have to defend the authority of the Talmud.

  28. Possibly the only time I’ll ever say this: This is Cultural Marxism in action…

  29. The cultic law and the moral law are separate and were separate in Judaism, the Noahide Laws being moral laws for all humanity, the cultic laws being conditions of the Covenant between Yahweh and his people.

    Christians are not part of that Covenant between Yahweh and his people, but operate under a new Covenant established by Jesus. Therefore the cultic laws are disregarded.

    The Council of Jerusalem or Apostolic Council held in Jerusalem around 50 CE is the first record of the consideration of the cultic laws, deciding that Gentile converts to Christianity were not obligated to keep most of the Law of Moses, including the rules concerning circumcision of males. The Council retained the prohibitions on fornication and idolatry.

    The scriptural reference I provided, which in context follows the Beatitudes, makes it clear that Jesus had no intention of voiding the moral law, which included a prohibition against same sex relations.

  30. If the catholic church is going to be faithful to its teachings then it must call homosexuals to repentance.

  31. I’m very sorry that you’re angry that Cardinal Marx responded with a yes to a question whether the Catholic church can bless same-sex couples, “José.”

    If these questions absorb you so much, how about joining that church and advocating for your position of total exclusion and denigration of gay folks, in the name of Jesus?

    Good luck with that mission.

  32. The idea that there’s a difference between cultic or ritual laws and moral laws in Judaism is not one shared by Judaism. [It’s actually something that Reform Judaism at its outset in the late 19th century advocated, but toward the end of the 20th century they realized that approach was unworkable]. There are many commandments that can be considered “moral” that do not fall under Noahide restrictions.

  33. Reinhard Cardinal Marx is in Germany and the discussion is about the German Catholic church, speaking of oblivious.

  34. I reread my “advice”. You appear to need some help with English comprehension.

    1) It is a public kitchen. You are the one who seems to “ obsess over these issues”. Since it is a public kitchen, and since there a variety views on the subject, of which yours is a minority in the church being discussed, and the Christian church in general, you enter expecting debate and disagreement. If you cannot handle that, you shouldn’t enter it.

    2) For an example of turning up the heat, consider “one of the commentators most obsessed with setting ‘homosexuals’ straight logs in to inform us that ‘the Lord’ has condemned homosexuality”. There is a real example of calm, rational, productive discussion. Or “you’re determined to attack and hate folks different from yourself “ in response to pointing out that your “point” is not well taken and a quotation from Matthew.

    What is mutually exclusive is you and an actual conversation.

    You don’t own the kitchen, no matter how much you may wish to pretend you do.

  35. You’re apparently unaware of the Jewish understanding of the Noahide laws.

    The Seven Laws of Noah (Sheva Mitzvot B’nei Noach) according to the Talmud, were given by God as a binding set of laws for the “children of Noah” – that is, all of humanity, not just Jews.

    Accordingly, any non-Jew who adheres to these laws is regarded as a righteous gentile, and is assured of the final reward of the righteous without observing the cultic laws.

    The seven Noahide laws as traditionally enumerated are the following:

    Not to worship idols.

    Not to curse God.

    To establish courts of justice.

    Not to commit murder.

    Not to commit adultery or sexual immorality.

    Not to steal.

    Not to eat flesh torn from a living animal.

    You will notice the overlap with the Decalogue.

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/11570-noachian-laws

    The Christian fathers expanded this understanding to the Decalogue in its entirety.

  36. I am not angry. I AM growing a bit weary of your accusing others of anger, hate, and so on when they disagree with you, but as another poster pointed out that appears to be your “shtick” and it is growing worse rapidly, “Theologian”.

    You add nothing to discussion of value.

    For an example, I read “advocating for your position of total exclusion and denigration of gay folks” when I in fact within the last week cited:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html

    which condemns “total exclusion and denigration of gay folks”.

    The bone in your throat appears to be that it also states that “Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.”

    Apparently you think that a “theologian” in Podunk with a half-baked porridge of mistranslations and nonsense is going to overcome that conclusion.

    Good luck with that mission.

  37. I am very aware of the Noahide laws, thanks. My point — which is really not all that related to Christianity and this discussion — is that many of the mitzvot (commandments) which are termed cultic, ritual, ceremonial, etc., really have an ethical or moral underpinning that is part and parcel of the mitzvah. And that there are many mitzvot that can be termed moral or ethical that do not appear in the Noahide list.

  38. Retired archbishop Jan Paul Lenga of Karaganda, Kazakhstan said of Cardinal Marx “There was Marx, Karl Marx. And if present Marx says similar things, then there is no real difference.”

    Marx faced opposition from other bishops during the Synod on the family for supporting Cardinal Kasper’s proposal that the rules be relaxed to allow divorced and remarried couples to receive Holy Communion.

    The German episcopate appears to be sliding into the same hole the Dutch episcopate did a half century ago.

  39. That basic position is true of most Christian denominations. And it is completely legal in the USA.

  40. I read his post, and then yours.

    “Jesus did not say a single word about fornication, genocide, incest, bestiality, and a host of other things.”

    Completely true and no attack or hate. Everyone knows that the moral law precedes Christ, and was received by the Jews. With the particular exception of clarifying Genesis 1:27, Jesus added or subtracted nothing from the received moral law. And this has been pointed out to you repeatedly.

    Then a relevant quotation from Matthew saying that.

    Then yours.

    “you’re determined to attack and hate folks different from yourself”

    “ what obsesses you is nowhere in evidence in the Jewish law Jesus followed”

    “one of the commentators most obsessed with setting ‘homosexuals’ straight logs in to inform us that ‘the Lord’ has condemned homosexuality”

    Overlooking the fact that a position contrary to the one you hold is evident in the Jewish law, the first “hate” and “obsession” I see in the exchange is yours.

    I was under the impression you set up your blog a few years ago so you did not have get upset that a large of people don’t agree with you.

    What happened?

  41. No hatred whatsoever. Just a desire to see you not lead people to Hell, nor yourself. Christ taught that homosexuality is a sin.

  42. They would be the type of believer that God wants them to be.

  43. You’re just playing “gotcha” with this ambiguous “ja”, making more out of it than it deserves because your interpretation fits what you want to hear, regardless of the rest of the interview. You even “knew” what Marx meant — and were ready to accuse others of mendacity about it if they didn’t agree with you — before you had even heard the interview. Then in your defense, you quoted German headlines that actually did not back up your position. Those reports didn’t have to spell out that this was cautious support because they could simply quote Marx and German readers would see he was tiptoeing around a hot potato. This is really not serious. I agree with another commenter above: You add nothing of value to the discussion.

  44. The relationship of the mitzvot to the moral laws is not – as you note – at issue here.

  45. JP I give them 5 years and they’ll be sending homosexuals to Hell with the others. Sad. Nothing that Christ didn’t know about though.

  46. You are mistaken. It is obvious that Mr Lindsey has added very significantly to the discussion.

  47. Because the bishop’s name is Marx..so…
    Well, I guess if I have to explain my jokes…tough crowd, tough crowd.

  48. Jose’ here I am again, showing up like a bad penny! I’ve been following these lengthy and tortuous ruminations on the Moral Law! As I mentioned earlier, we are continually discovering how to apply the Moral Law in our contemporary world ! The Spirit, promised by Jesus, is our sure guide!
    But let’s simplify and distill all the above conversations about the Moral Law as well as Cultic (worship) rules in both the OT & NT!
    When asked by the rich young man, “What is the Greatest Commandment “? He replied there are 2 Commandments we need to obey: #1 Love the Lord your God with all………. and #2 Love your neighbor ……..
    In other words , He synthesizes Love of God and Neighbor into one ! This GREAT COMMANDMENT is the fulfillment of the LAW & THE PROPHETS ! This is COVENANT LOVE TO THE MAX!
    Now, apply this to our previous conversation on homosexuality , NATURAL & DIVINE LAW! My opinion is that the Spirit is continually Revealing the demands of the NATURAL, DIVINE, AND MORAL LAW, when we exemplify JESUS’S COVENANT LOVE in our lives ! In other words, it is COVENANT LOVE THAT defines what is MORAL AND NATURAL IN GOD’S EYES !
    Shalom !

  49. Wow your gullibility is uncharacteristically on full display. Not denying their decency, clearly their depleting bank accounts usher such change.

  50. Tutti fruiti’s should be as free to marry as anyone, and should get equal rights and work benefits, but ideally children are raised in homes with a mom and a dad.

  51. Nobody is enraged here except you, and nobody is screaming for anyone’s “eradication” except for you wanting to ban people. Go take a tranquilizer.

  52. I think your partly right. They can be easily saved but that doesn’t mean they’re going to do good things using their saved status.

    I think there are basically 2 options that believers can pursue. They can be the judgemental kind of person or the loving attitude kind of person.

    So, considering —
    1. Be full of loving attitudes, just as your Father is……..Luke 6:36 (my simple paraphrase)
    2. Loving attitudes are better and greater than judgemental attitudes……James 2:13 (my simple paraphrase again)
    3. Therefore —
    Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven…..Luke 6:37

    Can we use scripture to be judgemental? Yes. Can we use scripture to express loving attitudes? Yes.

    My choice of what I want to do with my saved status is pretty clear. Others can do as they wish.

    I don’t like certain believers, especially the ones in that website mentioned above, because they abuse their saved status by being super-political. You’ll recall that we can’t serve God and mammon at the same time — Matthew 6:24. Just easily change that to read — You can’t serve strong political views and God at the same time.

    Man’s ways are of the Lord [whether we like it or not], so how can we deeply understand not only our own ways, but the ways of others also…..Proverbs 20:24 (my paraphrase)

  53. St. Paul (1 Corinthians 13:13) describes love, usually called charity, as the greatest of the virtues. It inclines the human will to cherish God for his own sake above all things, and Man for the sake of God. God loves Man, Man loves God, and therefore Man loves Man.

    God pours love into our hearts (Romans 5:5).

    Although only God is all lovable, all men share or at least are capable of sharing in the Divine goodness, so love includes them (Matthew 22:39), (Luke 10:27). The primary object is God, however (Deuteronomy 6:5), (Matthew 22:37). God should stand above all the rest, above father or mother, son or daughter (Matthew 10:37).

    When Paul writes that”charity never falls away” (1 Corinthians 13:8), he is telling us there is no difference of kind, but only of degree, between love here below and glory above; Divine love becomes the necessary ingredient of that God-like life which reaches its fullness in heaven only.

    Aquinas describes the journey as three steps: freedom from mortal sin by strenuous resistance to temptation, avoidance of deliberate venial sins by the assiduous practice of virtue, union with God through the frequent recurrence of acts of love.

    The connection between love of God and of neighbor had been made by rabbis preceding Jesus. The distinctive feature is the emphasis of the motive, carrying out of the “new commandment” called the criterion of true Christian discipleship (John xiii, 34 sq.), the standard by which we shall be judged (Matthew 25:34 sqq.), the best proof that we love God Himself (1 John 3:10), and the fulfillment of the whole law (Galatians 5:14), because viewing the neighbor in God and through God, has the same value as the love of God.

    If you see in your fellow men not human peculiarities, but God-given and God-like privileges, you no longer restrict love to members of the family, or co-coreligionists, or fellow-citizens, or strangers within the borders (Leviticus 19:34), but extend it, without distinction of Jew or Gentile (Romans 10:12), to all the units of the human kind, to social outcasts (Luke 10:33 sqq.), and even to enemies (Matthew 5:23 sq.). The truly new is not the synthesis of love of God and man, but the commandment urging us to forgive our enemies, to be reconciled with them, to assist and love them.

    So, how does this fit into the discussion?

    If the German bishops truly love those in same sex marriages, they want them to attain salvation. Blessing same sex marriages will NEVER communicate to these individuals that they are engaged in intrinsically immoral behavior. Admonishing the sinner is one of the spiritual works of mercy.

    There is NO application of the moral law, the content of which was given to the Jews, that would render same sex relations “moral”.

    “Jesus said, ‘If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’” (Mathew 18:15-18).

    “If any one refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not look on him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother” (2 Thessalonians 3:14).

    The German bishops are required to admonish as a “brother” and not as the “enemy” with a mission to “correct” them. They can smile, they can eat dinner together, but they cannot bless.

    Returning to “(t)he Spirit, promised by Jesus, is our sure guide”, we can discern whether our motivation is prompted by our love of God, or something darker, by comparing the action considered with the objective moral law. On that there is no question – same sex relations, in fact every sexual act outside of a valid marriage, is objectively immoral.

    “Blessing” a sinful act is simply not consistent with Christian love.

    The German bishops may be accused of “total exclusion and denigration of gay folks, in the name of Jesus”.

    The German bishops may be told that “Jesus and the entire scriptural testimony tell you to stop ‘hating’ and learn to love”.

    Within the Christian concept of love, which has as its center God and doing his will, those messages are ephemera at best and something darker at worst.

  54. Yes, there is the catch you mention. So, at least then, the very good comment from the catechism is good instruction for everybody who wants to be guided by a sound Christian teaching.

  55. I prefer to believe better of people unless I have reason to believe otherwise. But in any case, I offered a choice, not an opinion.

  56. calling homosexuality sin is not denigrating anyone. Its the truth.

  57. Very true but Christ has been very clear that homosexuals will not see the Kingdom of Heaven. The homosexuals refer to them as the “clobber verses”. I see them as six times the Lord loved them enough to give them a special invitation because He understood they would be so hoodwinked by the world.

  58. oh my…..yes, I should have caught that…….:)

  59. It had to go somewhere, so right here seems like a good spot.

    From West Australia News: “He’s the man who strongly opposed gay marriage, arguing it was against traditional family values. Now it’s been revealed Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is expecting a baby with his former staff member, after leaving his wife of 24 years.’

    This was the man who led the fight against gay marriage in Australia. Turns out he has been having an affair with his girl friend for quite some time while married to someone else, with whom he has children. His adulterous, fornicating girlfriend is now pregnant due to this adulterous, fornicating hypocritical SOB.

    It turns out a traditional family value is a man, his wife, his children, his fornication and adultery with his fornicating adulterous girlfriend, followed by a divorce from said wife and the breakup of said family because of his fornication, adultery, and hypocrisy.

    Traditional family values: yet another euphemism that evangelicals and catholics of a certain sort (I want to stay relevant to the story, after all) employ to imply that they have morals, when all it really means is not a set of standards for heterosexual couples to live up to, but a stand-in for prejudice against LGBT people and our exclusion from the core institutions of society.

  60. And yet, you were just claiming that not only do you own the kitchen, but you own the whole damned house, the lot, and possibly, the whole subdivision.

  61. I’m asking you, since you seem to be an authority on the subject.

  62. Even worse, so is eating meat on Friday’s in Lent. Ex-Catholic here…I’m going to Hell for that sin!

    No crowds at the steakhouse, back then, in my old neighborhood near St Rose of Lima — on Friday night’s in Lent…that’s worth the time in Hell… You Protestants out there are going to be with me and the gays !!

  63. What, particularly?

    “I’m very sorry that you’re angry that Cardinal Marx responded with a yes to a question whether the Catholic church can bless same-sex couples, ‘José.’”?

  64. Obviously you can’t read.

    Since you dislike “religionists”, aren’t a Christian, I am not sure you even understand what the conversation is about.

    Do you?

  65. “. . . this adulterous, fornicating hypocritical SOB.”
    Sanctimonious Odious Bigot?

  66. I changed my reply to your comment above to better reflect what I wanted to say. So, re-read.

    ” … homosexuals will not see the Kingdom of Heaven. ”
    But if they’re saved, they’ll be able to see and understand more than that.

    ” The homosexuals refer to them as the “clobber verses”. ”

    Here again I’m inclined to mention what I’ve mentioned many times before and you’ve seen them before —
    They’re really not clobber passages but rather a product of the following —
    Paul, who authored most of the NT and most of the negativity about homosexuality, describes here the nature of his own knowledge and understanding —
    1. …our (my) knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we (I) see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    The LGBT community should realize the above and work out their own salvation as they’re able.

  67. Jose’ , I agreed with almost everything you elaborated on in the previous expose!My point of divergence with you came when you labeled homosexuality as intrinsically disordered or even evil ! That goes to the point I was making previously when I said the Church needs to see TRUTH as embodied in what we call the NATURAL LAW as something DYNAMIC , open to new and deeper understanding and clarity under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and using the resources God has gifted us with, namely, our reason reflecting on NEW INSIGHTS provided by Theology, Philosophy, & Science, all God given avenues to discerning the Spirit’s voice & THE TRUTH !
    Thus, in my opinion, the Spirit is continually Revealing to us a new way of looking at the realities we encounter every day, including human sexuality,! This is not something to become disturbed about, but something to rejoice in ! In other words, what I am postulating, is that The TRUTH ,(IN JESUS PERSON) , is not RELATIVE, but an OBJECTIVE REALITY, ALTHOUGH A MYSTERY to be explored and delved into ! Clarity of this TRUTH, comes when we use our rationality with an attitude of Jesus’s UNCONDITIONAL COVENANT LOVE ! Now, let’s apply this to the MYSTERY OF HUMAN SEXUALITY without presuming we as individuals, society, or even the Church, have a full, complete understanding of the MYSTERY OF HUMAN SEXUALITY ! Much more dialogue to be done ! Hopefully, Francis keeps prodding to discern the Spirit’s voice in collegial fashion !
    Shalom !

  68. Evil is equivocal.

    I am sure we all agree that perpetrating the Holocaust was an evil act, contrary to the natural law, immoral.

    Attempting to try the perpetrators after WWII without citing the natural law, which the Soviets required for obvious reasons, took some real gymnastics.

    I am sure everyone acknowledges that Thalidomide tragedy a half century ago was also an evil, in this case children born with truncated limbs due to an undetected side effect of a medication.

    “Evil” here meant “an undesirable outcome”, a misfortune, the evil we encounter living in a damaged creation.

    Your church calls a homosexual inclination “intrinsically disordered”, and acting on it a “moral evil” because it inconsistent with the nature of man, which is to seek God the ultimate good, and to be fruitful and multiply.

    The inclination, like the Thalidomide births, is an evil encountered living in a damaged creation. It is not a moral evil, which is why your denomination counsels that those with it should be treated with respect.

    I completely concur with both assessments.

    There is no scenario in which the inclination will be considered as not being intrinsically disordered, nor acting on it a moral good, because the nature of Man is not changing, and because the Jewish faith and Christian church received revelation which confirmed the very conclusions right reason reaches from the natural law.

    Evil always masquerades as good, and both the books you suggested headed right down the wrong paths, rife with equivocating and errors about the natural law (not to mention rejection of the authors’ church’s teaching), leading to erroneous suggestions.

    That would lead to eros replacing charity and lust replacing God as the object of love.

    Enjoy your retirement.

  69. I will, thank you! Just am sorry that you are trapped, like so many, in a prison where TRUTH can never grow in our understanding of both the Divine, Eternal Law and the NATURAL LAW ! You’re missing the excitement of plunging into the depths of both and the joy experienced with a growing understanding of these eternal ,COSMIC mysteries of God’s creation !

    Shalom & a Happy Life!

  70. Christ’s all cool with LGBTIQ folks.

    He would , however, like to know what is your problem with LGBTIQ folks?

  71. It is a bit of a trap.

    Once I sever myself from the revelation and the natural law I can be anything I wish.

    I can eat the apple. I can redefine my relationship to my creator, my fellow man, society, scrap duties, you name it by citing “the growing wealth of knowledge provided by the human sciences” in lieu of what has been revealed.

    The downside is that it will damage, perhaps destroy, my relationship with my creator.

    If everyone does the same it will lead to a society which, if history is any guide, will look like Berlin in 1925 or Rome in 10 CE.

    Given the odds, and the choice, I choose to stay the course.

  72. 1. homosexuals are not saved, Billy. One cannot be actively rebelling and endorsing rebellion and be saved.

    1 John 2: 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,”

    1 John 1:6 – If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

    1 John 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

    1 John 3: 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

    2 Christ is the author of the NT. All scripture is breathed out by Him (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

    Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees. Christ chose him for the job of starting the Gentile Churches, and taught him for 3 years in Arabia via revelation. Your attempt to lessen the trust of Paul is out of context.

    Homosexuals will not see the Kingdom of Heaven until they turn to Jesus, renounce their sin, and follow Him. Christ is faithful and just and He will forgive them.

  73. Any church you may enter will freely give you a Bible upon asking.

  74. Including the Catholics. So, wassamatta? You really just don’t want to offer your definitive opinion on who gets to go to heaven, even though you are always offering your opinion on this?

    Why, one would think you actually don’t want to say that Catholics are going to hell because it makes you like like a bigot, and you don’t want to say they are not because you actually think they are.

  75. You failed your mind reading course, again, Ben.

  76. And you avoided answering a direct question yet again.
    So here you go. IN YOUR OPINION as a Christian, Are Catholics going to hell for not being the right kind of Christian, or are they not?

  77. It’s much more fun to watch you fervently trying to read minds…..

  78. Look, I already know that you already said the Catholics are going to hell. You said it a few months ago. Fortunately, my memory is excellent. Unfortunately, I don’t really have the slightest desire to keep a file of the nastiness you spew, nor the time to go back to every one of your nasty comments to quote you.
    So, here it is. you said it already.

  79. Nope. we both know you said it, but little miss sunshine doesn’t want to admit it, and doesn’t want to lie about having said it.

  80. Keep hoping……you’re getting funnier and funnier….

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