EntertainmentBishop of Essen calls for LGBTQ+ community's forgiveness: Church's role in historic persecution

Bishop of Essen calls for LGBTQ+ community's forgiveness: Church's role in historic persecution

A bishop apologises to gays
A bishop apologises to gays
Images source: © Youtube | liebegewinnt
Jakub Tyszkowski

15 June 2024 18:03

Ludger Schepers, Auxiliary Bishop of Essen, asks homosexual individuals for forgiveness. In Germany, it was only thirty years ago that a law allowing the persecution of gays and lesbians was abolished.

Germany established Paragraph 175, targeting gays and lesbians, at the end of the 19th century. This provision criminalized homosexual acts. It did not disappear even after the end of World War II. It was in effect in East Germany until 1968 and in West Germany until 1994. As a result of the persecution, tens of thousands of people suffered.

The memory of the victims of the "homosexual paragraph" remains vivid. Germany pays compensation to those who suffered persecution. On the occasion of the round anniversary of the repeal of this discriminatory law, a representative of the Catholic Church, Ludger Schepers, auxiliary bishop of Essen, spoke out.

Apology from the German bishop

The clergyman approved the German parliament's decision to abolish Paragraph 175. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church did not support this 30 years ago, the bishop lamented. Schepers reminds us that the Church opposed the repeal of the discriminatory law and, therefore, asked LGBTQ+ individuals for forgiveness.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Essen criticizes the Church's policy towards homosexuals, appealing that God created people in a diversity that also includes homosexual orientation. Therefore, one should not deny people dignity based on gender or sexual preferences.

The bishop is disappointed with the Church's stance

The clergyman calls for posthumous rehabilitation of individuals who fell victim to the harsh law. He has no doubt that the Church is complicit in the criminalization of homosexuality.

The bishop pointed out that, unfortunately, the Church has not yet changed its approach to homosexuality and other orientations. At the same time, he expressed gratitude to the 20 German dioceses that have appointed caregivers for the queer community.

Ludger Schepers became renowned as a champion of non-heteronormative individuals. He became the first Church-appointed LGBTQ+ representative in Germany. His mission is to educate the faithful on issues related to queer individuals.

Related content