Monday, 16 July 2012

Faithfulness and caring


When I read an interview (in German - English here1) with the youngest Cardinal of the Catholic Church - Rainer Maria Woelki, the following question and answer struck me in particular:
ZEIT: You were quoted as saying the following during the Catholic Congress, which resulted in a lot of anger being directed at you: “I can imagine that people who take responsibility for one another and who live in a permanent, homosexual relationship, can be seen similarly to those who live in a heterosexual partnership." Do you stand by this statement?

Woelki: The Catechism says the following about those who have homosexual tendencies: “Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, §2358] If I take this seriously, I cannot look at homosexual relationships and only see their being “contrary to the natural law,” as the Catechism states [§2357]. I also try to acknowledge that they take responsibility for each other on a permanent basis, have promised each other faithfulness and want to look after each other, even though I cannot endorse their life choices. The life choice, that we as Catholic Church represent, is sacramental marriage between a man and a woman, that is open to the transmission of life. This is how I have said it also at the Catholic Congress immediately before the statement you have quoted.

[translation and references in square brackets mine]
What I like a lot about this quote is the obvious desire by Cardinal Woelki to see the good that is there even under circumstances that the Church does not endorse, without being unfaithful to its teaching. This strikes me like exactly the thing Jesus would do today.

1 The translation does seem quite skewed to me, so, proceed with caution if you are thinking of reading it. You can get a sense of this even just from the one question I re-translated above and from the article's title, which bears little resemblance to the Cardinal's words.