German Catholic church abolishes anti-LGBT+ and divorcee labour laws
Catholic Church employees in queer relationships and those who have remarried after a divorce can no longer lose their job.
German Catholic church removes discriminatory labour laws
The German Catholic church has amended its labour laws which discriminated against LGBT+ and divorced employees. Until the law was changed on Tuesday, the 800.000 people who work in the Catholic church in Germany could be fired if they were in an openly LGBT+ relationship or had remarried after divorce.
In a statement on its website, the German Bishops' Conference wrote, "Explicitly, as never before, diversity in church institutions is recognised as an enrichment."
The body added that "all employees can, independently of their concrete duties, their origin, their religion, their age, their disability, their sex, their sexual identity and their way of life," be representatives of a church that "serves people ... so long as they bring a positive attitude and openness towards the message of the gospel [and] respect the Christian character of the institution."
Pope condemns German Catholic reform movement
This reform by the German Catholic church comes almost a year after 125 employees came out as queer in order to demand change to the discriminatory church system.
The group of employees leading reforms in the German church, known as the Synodal Path, have faced criticism from their second highest boss - the Pope. Speaking to journalists in June, the Pope said, "I am not saying go backwards, no; but go to the source of inspiration, to the roots.” In July, the German Catholic church then received a letter from the Vatican admonishing its reform decisions.
In response, German Catholic bishops have only vowed to continue with their reforms. This move is likely an attempt to stabilise German citizens’ relationship with the church after dwindling congregation numbers, increasing support for scrapping the German church tax and distrust following a number of sex abuse scandals.