Notitia Blog

Notitia Blog - Katolikker i Dialog

Cardinal Marx: On sexual teaching, black-and-white won't do.

7. okt. 2014 

Grant Gallicho, Commonweal Magazine, skriver bl.a.

Is the Synod on the Family considering relaxing Catholic teaching against sex outside of marriage? Today a reporter put that question to Cardinal Reinhold Marx, chairman of the German bishops conference. Marx didn't answer directly. First he said that "the great majority" of German bishops support Cardinal Walter Kasper's proposal for allowing some Catholics who have divorced and remarried to receive Communion.

Then he addressed the question of how the church speaks about sexuality (a major theme of the day's discussions). Some bishops at the synod mentioned that the church should "speak in a new way about sexuality"--"I think it might be possible," Marx said. How? Through the "very important" notion of gradualism. This aspect of the tradition recognizes that moral decision-making develops over time. "We cannot always have 100 percent." A person, a relationship, might develop toward the good, even if only in fits and starts. One bishop suggested that even in relationships that don't conform to the vision of the church, there may be aspects of those relationships that are ethical, according to Marx.

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Cardinal Reinhard Marx discusses the idea of "graduality" in church teaching on sexuality.