LGBT-inclusive German Catholic Congress Ends

The German “Catholic Days” Festival has just ended.More than 1,000 exhibitions, performances and talks were staged in Leipzig in the three days of the festival, attracting roughly 40,000 visitors in total. Although political parties are usually invited to attend and participate, one was not. There was no invitation extended to the right-wing “”Alternative for Germany”, because their platform of hostility to refugees was considered incomaptible with Catholic ideas of openness and hospitality.

In contrast, the organizers of the festival demonstrated their own commitment to openness and hospitality by inviting major LGBT groups!

Gay Rights and other issues

Three advocacy groups supporting gay and lesbian Catholics were also in attendance at the congress, signaling a more tolerant approach towards sexual orientation taking place in parts of the church. The Catholic Lesbian Network and the Workgroup Homosexuals and Church were invited by organizers to present their work on the open integration of sexual minorities to the Catholic Church.

The prospect of having female deacons was also highlighted in the sidelines of the congress – amid great applause. Having suffered numerous sex scandals in the past years, the Catholic Church, under the guidance of Pope Francis, is trying to reassert its position in the world, hoping to witness a revival with a number of reforms and more welcoming attitudes to previously excluded demographics.

Sternberg said the event was a great success to that end. “We witnessed a lively church in these few days in Leipzig, and we saw that the church can do things differently; we didn’t have to bemoan declining numbers but could rather rejoice in growing interest.”

Source: DW.COM | 30.05.2016

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