Berlin archbishop to name minister for gays, calls side-lining ‘painful’

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Archbishop Heiner Koch said he would appoint a pastoral minister as a contact person for gays, the Berlin Archdiocese announced. The German Catholic news agency KNA reported Koch made the pledge when he met with representatives of the Lesbian and Gay Association of Berlin-Brandenburg, with the Archbishop saying this was important so that the marginalization and discrimination of the LBGTQ community could be addressed in the church without fear. Koch said he regarded the double marginalization of Catholic gays — within the Catholic community as well as in the LGBTQ community — as “problematic and painful.”
The reason behind the dis-cussion, which the Lesbian and Gay Association had requested, was to look at the contradictions within the Catholic Church and the simultaneous solidarity shown toward LGBTQ people in the wake of the Vatican’s renewed rejection last February of any church blessing for homosexual couples, KNA reported.
Ulrich Kessler, a member of the board of the Lesbian and Gay Association of Berlin-Branden-burg, said he had been surprised and thrilled “that the rainbow flags were also waving from Catholic Church spires, decorated internet pages and posts in the social media and that many church congregations had called out for blessing services.”

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