German Bishop’s New Proposal: “There Exists More Than Man and Woman”

The Catholic Church in Germany seems to be becoming more and more unbounded in its proposals. In the recent past, for examples, the official website of the German Bishops’ Conference, katholisch.de, has reported about the idea to have women cardinals; about establishing homosexuality as a human right; and about the need for married priests and for female deacons – to name but a few of the seemingly heterodox themes coming to us out of Germany.

Another theme that has also recently become international news, as it were, is that a commission of the German Bishops had published already a year ago – on 22 October 2015 – a brochure which downplayed the dangers of the “Gender Theory” and which was even claiming that “Gender Mainstreaming” is merely about producing an equality between men and women. In this context, the new report that now comes to us might well worsen the reputation of official German Catholics.

For, now a Catholic bishop himself – Auxiliary Bishop Ludger Schepers, of Essen – has proposed the unusual idea that “there exists more than man and woman.” He spoke these new “categorical” words at a 5-6 October conference on “gender issues” in Stuttgart, according to a 6 October 2016 report published by katholisch.de. The Conference itself had an interogative title: “Is Gender an Ideology?” Among the Conference speakers was an ardent defender of homosexual relationships, Dr. Stephan Goertz.

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A screen capture of the online conference brochure.

On 6 October, moreover, Bishop Schepers had himself spoken at the Conference on the theme “Gender Trouble. Was nun? Zukunftsperspektiven der Kirche” (“Gender Trouble: Now What? Church Perspectives for the Future”). In his speech, he alleged – according to katholisch.de – that there exists a deep conflict within the German Bishops’ Conference with regard to the above-mentioned Gender Brochure which has been published by the German Bishops. “There was a fierce clash,” Schepers said. Several German bishops have claimed that this new brochure “does not represent the views of the [German] bishops” concerning the gender debate. As the Austrian news service kathpress.at reports, Schepers himself is a member of the commission who wrote this controversial Gender Brochure for the German Bishops and thus “is politically responsible for it.”

Auxiliary Bishop Ludger Schepers of Essen, Germany (Image via Bistum-essen.de)

Auxiliary Bishop Ludger Scheppers of Essen, Germany (Image via Essen.de)

Schepers himself claimed at the Gender Conference that there is much fear involved in this debate about Gender issues, “and fear is always a bad counselor.” He insisted that the Church has to partake in this discussion with society. In this ambiguous context, Schepers even obscurely “called upon the Catholic Church to realize that there exists more than man and woman.” From his strange proposal and mere assertion – as quoted by Katholisch.de – it is clear that Schepers effectively proposes that the Church now presents a “heterodox” view concerning Gender Theory.

This statement comes at a time where other prelates of the Catholic Church – such as Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra and Cardinal Robert Sarah – are strongly warning against the subversive Gender Theory’s false principles and damaging effects on marriage and the family.

Notably, this individual episcopal statement also comes at a time where Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, has himself just recently issued some additionally equivocal statements concerning this very same issue of “Gender.”

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