From Desperation to Boldness. The situation of queer Catholics in Germany
Abstract of the report of Michael Brinkschroeder* (Germany), Conference ‘LGBT people and Christian churches in Europe: fears and opportunities for full acceptance and inclusion’, Rome, June 10th 2011
The Catholic church in Germany is in a state of fermentation right now. While the 90s and the 00s were years of stagnation both in the church and in academic theology, causing widespread desperation among LGBT Catholic groups, since 2010 the climate has changed dramatically.
The reason is the vast scandal about sexual abuse of children by priests, first made public by a Jesuit headmaster.
Now, a widespread distrust in ecclesial institutions and the clergy in general gives way for the voices of laic people, who are much more progressive, demanding the full inclusion of LGBT people and the change of sexual moral teaching.
One example for this new boldness is the Memorandum signed by more than 300 theologians, demanding reforms of the church.
Another example is the coming out of David Berger, a former traditionalist theologian, yielding an acute description of the power structures inside the homophobic milieu of Catholic traditionalism.
Nevertheless, the small plants of queer worship communities or of lesbian, gay and queer theology are still weak and fragile…
* Dr. Michael Brinkschröder, 1967, Roman Catholic theologian and sociologist, living in Munich, Germany. Founder of the „Working Group Gay Theology“ and for many years editor of the journal „Werkstatt Schwule Theologie“.
Wrote his doctoral dissertation about the biblical roots of Christian homophobia: „Sodom als Symptom. Gleichgeschlechtliche Sexualität im christlichen Imaginären – eine religionsgeschichtliche Anamnese. (Sodom as Symptom. Same-sex Sexuality in the Christian Imaginary – a religious-historical Anamnesis, Berlin / New York 2006).
Since May 2011 male co-president of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups.