Two women shake hands today in front of an image of the Virgin Mary in the convent of Lüdinghausen, (Germany). Guido Kirchner (AP)
A total of 125 employees of the Catholic Church in Germany, including priests, teachers and administrators, have openly declared their homosexuality and have called for an end to discrimination against LGBTIQ+ people within the ecclesiastical institution. The lawsuit is part of the #OutInChurch initiative, which advocates "a Church without fear" in which it is possible to work as LGTBIQ+ people. To do this, they demand the modification of the Church's labor legislation, because, they indicate in a statement, "an open life in accordance with sexual orientation, also as a couple or as part of a civil marriage, cannot be evaluated as disloyalty. or a reason for dismissal.
In the same statement they ask that “defamatory statements on gender and sexuality” be eliminated from ecclesiastical teaching and that “full access to all fields of activity and occupation in the Church without discrimination” be defended.
The "outdated statements of Church doctrine" on sexuality and gender must be revised taking into account the new understanding that exists on this matter "based on theological and human-scientific findings," they claim.
#OutInChurch also calls on all LGBTIQ+ people who work full time or volunteer for the Catholic Church to join the initiative, and urges bishops to publicly declare their support.
They also ask that LGBTQ+ couples not be prevented from accessing the blessing or the sacraments. "Because a church that reclaims Jesus and his message must act decisively against any form of discrimination and foster a culture of biodiversity," says the statement issued.
Some members of the initiative explain the reasons for their demands in a documentary on the public network ARD that will premiere this Monday. It includes, among others, the story of the Jesuit priest Ralf Klein, whose homosexuality was denounced to Rome by a member of his congregation, which made him face an "extermination" campaign, although his parishioners accepted it. The documentary includes another case in which a deanery employee received a letter two weeks before giving birth to her second child, ordering her to separate from her partner, a woman, or lose her job.
They are not the first demands of the group.
In March last year, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ruled that it is not lawful for a priest to bless a same-sex couple, prompting several German priests to hold ceremonies for gay couples in protest.