Pope to reprimand Cardinal over comments about sexuality

ROME — Cardinal George Pell asked for intervention from the Vatican’s doctrine officer and to reprimand two prominent European Catholic priests who demanded changes in Catholic teachings on homosexuality and sexuality.

Pell was acquitted in Australia of sexual abuse charges. Pell, speaking to KTV (the German Catholic Television Agency), said that the church must not follow the “changing dictats” of secular culture and should remain true to their faith.

Pell was referring to recent comments about sexuality by Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, the president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, and the head of the German bishops’ conference that have arisen as part of the German Church’s “synodal path” of debate and dialogue with the laity.

Hollerich has said he believes the current church teaching on homosexuality is “no longer correct,” and not based on science. Interview with KNA German News Agency. He called for “fundamental revising the doctrine” and noted that Francis’ outreach to homosexuals might open the door for change.

Separately, the head of the German bishops’ conference, Bishop Georg Baetzing, told the German magazine Bunte that Catholic teaching needs to change vis-a-vis sexuality and pre-marital sex since no one follows it. The German prelate answered that same-sex relationships are permissible if they’re done with fidelity, responsibility, and respect for God. This doesn’t alter the relationship with God He indicated that he supported abolishing priestly Celibacy and ordaining Women — both things which the Vatican flatly rejects but were endorsed by the German synodal process.

Pell, who was the Vatican’s top finance minister before he left in 2017 to stand trial in Australia, called for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to intervene and pronounce judgement on the “wholesale and explicit rejection” of the church’s teachings on homosexuality and monogamous marriage, in an unusual dressing down of a fellow cardinal and bishop.

” The Catholic Church isn’t a loose federation in which different national synods, gatherings or prominent leaders can reject essential elements from the apostolic traditions and remain unperturbed,” said a statement summarizing Pell’s points. “This must not become a normal and tolerated situation.”

The Vatican has not commented on either statement though it has expressed concern about the German synodal process.

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