These Catholic bishops really want you to know that same-sex love comes from God

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The bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg in Austria have commissioned a book to teach that gay love comes from God, and reveals God’s “goodness and humanity”.

The book, titled The Benediction of Same Sex Partnerships, calls on the global Catholic church to change its teachings on homosexuality.

Marriage equality was legalised in Austria in 2019, and the Catholic bishops are calling for “official blessings” of same-sex couples within the church.

The catechism of the Catholic church states that same-sex relationships are “acts of great depravity”, and adds: “Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

But liturgical scholar Father Ewald Vollger, who contributed to the book, said that changing Church’s teaching on homosexuality “can be not only discussed, but also demanded”.

In an interview with KirchenZeitung Diozese Linz, the diocesan newspaper of Linz, Vollger said that providing official blessings to same-sex couples would “of course” require a change to the catechism.

He said: “There has been movement in the topic. The teaching of the church is receiving less and less resonance in society and within the church, and moral theology in particular is in favour of new approaches to evaluating same-sex relationships.”

Although Vollger accepts that marriage within the Catholic church is not yet on the cards for same-sex couples, he said: “Benediction… is an official act of blessing.

“Just as marriage between a man and a woman is an image of God’s creative love, so is a same-sex relationship an image of God’s attention to human beings.

“If partners live the gift of mutual love in faithfulness to one another and live their lives with the spiritual gifts of God such as kindness, forbearance, patience, reconciliation, etc, their relationship is also an image of God’s goodness and humanity.”

The book describes the legal situation for same-sex partnerships in Austria, and discusses biblical tradition, ethical and moral theology and liturgical science.