Church sexual morals and the assessment of homosexuality are the focus of a lively discussion at the General Assembly of the Synodal Path of German Catholics on Saturday.

In the first reading, there was a clear majority for a text that recognizes homosexuality as an equal identity.

According to the text, no one should be denied the right to hold church offices or be ordained a priest because they are homosexual.

At a later synodal assembly, a binding vote on this must still be taken in the second reading.

As with a text on conjugal love and sexuality, this means a reassessment by the magisterium, that is, a further development of Catholic teaching.

Should the text be adopted, the Synodal Assembly recommends that the Pope undertake such a doctrinal reassessment.

If the Pope were to do this, it would not only have an impact on Catholicism in Germany, but worldwide.

"Step Towards A Church Without Fear"

For some delegates, the texts went too far, for others not far enough: Young delegates in particular demanded that a ban on discrimination should not only apply to homosexuals, but to all sexual and gender identities.

A lesbian religion teacher praised the text as the first "step towards a church without fear, a true inclusive church".

In the area of ​​the sexuality of married couples, too, the majority of synod members spoke out in favor of changes to previous teaching, as set out, for example, in the Catechism, the Catholic faith manual.

A line must be drawn, said the priest and philosopher Eberhard Tiefensee: “In no other area does the Church go into such detail as in the bedroom.” Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx emphasized: “The catechism is not the Koran.

It is always being changed.”

Pope ambassador warns

Pope Francis' ambassador to Germany, Nikola Eterovic, had previously addressed warning words to the Synodal Assembly of German Catholics in Frankfurt am Main on Saturday.

In a statement to the delegates, he emphasized the unity of the Catholic Church, which proclaims the same message worldwide.

It is crucial what the "Holy Father" says in Rome: "The Pope is, so to speak, the point of reference and the center of unity for over 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide, 22.6 million of whom live in Germany."

The Apostolic Nuncio said that synodality is close to the heart of "His Holiness" Pope Francis.

However, this must be understood in the Catholic sense: “Synodality is a gift of the Holy Spirit.” Eterovic warned: “At the same time, Pope Francis warns against parliamentarism, formalism, intellectualism and clericalism.” A true synod is filled with the Holy Spirit “and not a parliament or a survey of opinions, as the media can do”.

Eterovic quoted the ancient bishop Irenaeus of Lyon as saying: "The churches founded in Germania believe and transmit no differently than those in Spain or among the Celts, those in the Orient or in Egypt, those in Libya or in the middle of the world."