Sunday, June 16, 2024

Moral theologian criticises Church's treatment of homosexuals

Moral theologian Daniel Bogner is calling for a change in the Catholic Church's attitude towards homosexuals. 

It should no longer be the case that people are simply excluded on the basis of certain personality traits, Bogner told the portal (Saturday). 

For theological reasons, too, the Church must become a champion of diversity and recognise queer people as an enrichment because they make visible "the sense of the greatness of God's work of creation".

The English word queer refers to people who are not heterosexual or whose gender identity does not conform to social role models. Among them, people with same-sex orientation are probably the largest group. 

The Professor of Moral Theology and Ethics at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) emphasised that it is crucial for the church to address the issue more closely. Not least sexology is questioning "a schematic approach to bisexuality", as the church continues to represent it.

"Dramatic theological error"

Bogner criticised the maxim held by many bishops that one must "love the sinner, but not the sin" as problematic and a "dramatic theological error". 

Such a view divides people and differentiates between the "person as such" and their sexuality as an essential dimension in which being human is expressed. "For queer people, this can only sound cynical," added Bogner. 

As long as such judgements persist in official Catholic teaching, the church will find it difficult to reach non-heterosexuals in a credible way: "But it should want to."

The theologian added that many in the church experience that they have to "bend and be wrongly ashamed of something": "This fundamentally contradicts the message of the Gospel." The biblical message of a God who "created people in their diversity out of love" is "more powerful than anything the religious institutions have made of it". 

Bogner conceded that the church is "still at the very beginning when it comes to queer reality". 

This was shown, for example, by the massive negative reactions from many countries to the papal declaration "Fiducia supplicans" and its cautious opening with regard to a possible blessing for homosexual relationships.