Mettmann, Cologne (epd). Two parish councils in the archdiocese of Cologne are criticizing the archdiocese’s ban on celebrating further blessing services for same-sex couples. The pastor of the parishes of St. Lambertus Mettmann and St. Maximin Wülfrath, Herbert Ullmann, informed the two bodies that he was no longer allowed to hold such services, as the parishes announced on their websites on Monday. At the request of the Evangelical Press Service (epd), the Archdiocese stated that it generally does not comment on personnel matters.
At the initiative of a working group from the parishes, Pastor Ullmann had invited to a first “blessing service for all loving couples” in Mettmann at the end of March. In their statement on Monday, the parish councils reaffirmed their unreserved support for the commitment of the so-called rainbow group and the blessing services. One is “very disappointed” by the reactions from Rome and Cologne and cannot “understand why morality is brought to the fore instead of inner experience and experience”. The “liberating Christian message” recedes into the background due to the negative reaction.
The Catholic Women’s Community of Germany (kfd) also criticized the Archdiocese of Cologne. Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki does not implement the decision of the synodal path to allow blessing ceremonies for homosexual couples, said the deputy federal chairman of the kfd, Agnes Wuckelt. Together with the diocesan chairwoman of the association, Elisabeth Bungartz, Wuckelt explained: “We no longer want a church in which people are excluded just because they live and love differently.”
In March, the majority of the synodal assembly of the Catholic reform process Synodaler Weg recommended that there should be blessing celebrations for homosexual couples in the Catholic Church in Germany. However, handouts for such services should be prepared beforehand.