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COLOGNE, Germany (ChurchMilitant.com) - A German prelate is standing up for the Church's teaching on human sexuality and against the current tide of heresy among his brother bishops.
Cologne auxiliary bishop Dominikus Schwaderlapp has walked out on the "Synodal Forum" on sexuality, which is part of the Synodal Path, a radical two-year program aimed at overturning Catholic teaching on issues like women's ordination, the role of the laity and homosexuality.
Bishop Schwaderlapp on May 28 told the newspaper Die Tagespost that the forum was trying to cast into doubt fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church on sexual morality by referring to sexuality as "polyvalent." Similar to the notion of "gender fluidity," polyvalent sexuality claims there is no one way of expressing male or female sexuality.
The forum's final working paper, explained Schwaderlapp, was operating on the assumption that the teachings of the Church on sexual morality required "further development," adding that such an approach did not do justice to the Catholic view of the "divine gift of sexuality."
Referring to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) documents and papal encyclicals, Schwaderlapp spoke of the rich tradition of the Church articulated by the Magisterium in the past half century on human sexuality. "Over the last 50 years in particular, the Magisterium of the Church has produced precise statements on questions of sexual morality. In doing so it has deepened and developed the teaching of the Church," he said.
"'Further development' can never mean destroying what is there, rather it should build on it," Schwaderlapp continued. "In particular, the Holy Popes Paul VI and John Paul II made a binding statement that sexuality, from the point of view of creation, comprises two meanings that are inseparably linked: the transmission of life and the communication of love."
Members of the Synodal Forum were expected to accept a change in Church teaching that contradicts the unchanging truth of natural law. The basic premise of a "polyvalent sexuality," the bishop said, would predicate such a change.
Schwaderlapp said that no debate on the presented paper that included sexual polyvalence was allowed, which led to his decision to renounce his membership in the forum.
Schwaderlapp reflected on two particular papal documents on life and the family — Humanae Vitae and Familiaris Consortio. "These texts are not 'food for thought,'" he said, "but magisterially binding documents."
Schwaderlapp stressed that it is precisely questions of sexual morality and personal identity that the Church "really has something to say." But German bishops are reluctant to say it.
It was not the alleged "clinging to tradition," he said, that has alienated people from the Church, "but because we are too concerned with ourselves and do not give answers to the existential questions of humankind." These "existential questions of the people" were not being dealt with in the synodal path, he explained.
Schwaderlapp mentioned what the Catholic faithful around the western world have painfully noticed for decades. "The widening gap between the Church's teaching and the life of the faithful also tells us that the challenging understanding of sexuality as a gift from God has — at least in Germany — in recent years been criminally neglected. This must change, and urgently so," he said.
Last December it was reported that "the German bishops' conference had committed to 'newly assessing' the universal Church's teaching on homosexuality, sexual morality in general, as well as the sacraments of ordination and marriage." The chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission of the conference declared the bishops agreed that homosexuality is a "normal form" of human sexual identity, contradicting the doctrine of the Church.
"The sexual preference of man expresses itself in puberty and assumes a hetero- or homosexual orientation," Berlin's Abp. Heiner Koch asserted in a statement released by the bishops' conference. "Both belong to the normal forms of sexual predisposition," he heretically stated, "which cannot or should not be changed with the help of a specific socialization."