A priest in Germany has come under fire for calling homosexuality ‘the consequence of a failed psychological development.’
Father Romano Christen, the Director of the Bonn Collegium Albertinum and a part of Cologne Archdiocese, made the comments at a training class for new priests.
RP Online reported that church representatives are calling for the man to be replaced.
What did he say?
Father Christen discussed conversion therapy as a way to offset ‘deep-seated homosexual tendencies that cannot be be consecrated into the Vatican.
Though, he admitted such treatments are not always successful. However, the priest went onto add that homosexuality is not an innate identity.
He then added that, even if romantically expressed, homosexuality comes from a ‘narcissistic search’ for masculinity.
‘1950 and 1960s’
But many members of the liturgy across Germany condemned the priest’s homophobic teachings.
‘Anyone who thinks and talks about homosexuals has been discredited for the training of young priests,’ said the chairman of the Cologne Diocesan Council, Tim Kurzbach.
Mainzer Catholic moral theologian Stephan Goertz said that the statements of the director correspond to ‘the scientific and moral theological state of the 1950s and 1960s.’
They are ‘traversed by prejudices that are hard to bear for those affected. Especially because they are denied to live humanly decent relationships.’
Furthermore, in a statement distributed by the Archbishopric of Cologne on Thursday (9 May), Christen emphasized that in his lecture he also stated that ‘people with homosexual inclinations deserve respect and must never be degraded.’
LGBTI rights in Germany
During a live television debate in 2013, an audience member asked the German chancellor Angela Merkel when the government would allow he and his partner to adopt a child.
Fast-forward to 2017, and the Bundestag, Germany’s federal government, made it a reality.
With several bills passed by the bloc over the years, LGBTI Germans enjoy many rights. For ezans people can change their legal identity without undergoing treatment.
Moreover, marriage equality became a reality in 2017 for over 6,100,000 LGBTI Germans.