Auxiliary Bishop Geerlings: Degradation was "inhuman"

25 years of the Münster queer community - one of the first in Germany

Münster - In 1999, homosexual theologians founded the Münster Queer Community. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Münster, Dieter Geerlings, had words of warning for the church - but also emphasised milestones.

Published  on 21.01.2024 at 12:42  – 

One of the first queer parishes in the Catholic Church in Germany has celebrated its 25th anniversary in Münster. Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Münster Dieter Geerlings said at an ecumenical service in the Überwasserkirche on Saturday: "The degradation of queer people, including by the official church in its teaching, was inhumane." In the meantime, the bishops have enacted changes, for example in church labour law; "but that doesn't mean that everything is in order - it takes revolutionary patience".

Geerlings, who himself regularly celebrated services with the queer community, went on to say that he had learnt a lot for his faith there; and: "Today we believe that homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality and intersexuality and all queer lifestyles are part of creation and not against God's will." At the subsequent ceremony, Geerlings read out a greeting from Bishop Felix Genn. He thanked the queer community for their many years of commitment and their endeavours to overcome boundaries. "The road is still long, but we are travelling it," said Genn.

The Queergemeinde Münster was founded in 1999 by a group of gay theologians. Since then, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender as well as heterosexual believers have celebrated mass together on the second Sunday evening of every month. According to Catholic doctrine, homosexuality is considered a sin. In December, however, the Vatican authorised Catholic priests to bless unmarried, remarried and homosexual couples. However, the blessing must not resemble a wedding ceremony and must take place outside of church services. (KNA)