In May 2015, a selection of bishops and senior theologians from Germany, France and Switzerland gathered in Rome for a study day in preparation for the 2015 Synod on family and marriage. The importance of the event is demonstrated by it’s being convened by the presidents of the three countries’ bishops’ conferences – and by the enraged uproar that ensued on a wide range of conservative Catholic websites.
Three themes were covered in three sessions
- biblical exegesis on divorce,
- sexual love
- narrative theology.
each with one paper delivered in French and one in German:
Some of the material referred directly to questions of homosexuality, but all have relevance to the bigger questions of Catholic responses to people in what are sometimes termed “irregular situations”, and so of relevance to LGBT Catholics, especially two papers dealing with the importance of “narrative theology” – the value of paying attention to our real life situations and stories.
The day’s proceedings were subsequently published at the website of the German bishops’ conference, together with some introductory material, a press release, a concluding summary and translations of each paper into the other language, and also into Italian. The resulting single document is consequently lengthy, and not too easy to navigate. Because of the papers’ importance, for ease of access and navigation, I have copied the text, section by section, into a series of separate Google documents, one for each paper in each language.
The papers may be accessed at these links:
Published French text (complete)
Communiqué de presse /Press release (French)
- Sur la réception de Matthieu 19, 3–12/ (On the reception of Matthew 19, 3-12, French original) Prof. Dr. Anne-Marie Pelletier (Paris)
- Ehebund in Gottes Hand / (Marriage in God’s Hands, German original) Prof. Dr. Thomas Söding (Bochum)
- Sexualität als Ausdruck von Liebe /(Sexuality as an Expression of Love, German original ) Prof. Dr. Eberhard Schockenhoff (Freiburg i. Br.)
- Sexualité comme expression de l’amour / (Sexuality as an expression of love, French original) Abbé Prof. Dr. François-Xavier Amherdt (Fribourg/CH)
- La prise en compte de l’histoire et des développements biographiques dans la vie morale et la pastorale de la famille / (original French) Prof. Dr. Alain Thomasset, SJ (Paris)
- Das Geschenk des eigenen Lebens / (The Gift of One’s Life, original German) Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Faber (Chur)
- Le don de la propre vie. / (French translation) Prof. Dr. Eva-Maria Faber (Chur)
(Additional links still to be added to texts in German, Italian and English translation)