New Ways Ministry Praises German Catholics’ Vote for Greater Transgender Inclusion

Today, the assembly of the Synodal Way in Germany overwhelmingly approved a document appealing for “concrete improvements” in the church for transgender and intersex people. The document seeks the full inclusion of gender diverse people in the sacramental and pastoral life of the church, as well as a reconsideration of Catholic teachings on gender.

Bondings 2.0 will offer further reports on the Synodal Way’s final assembly in the coming days.

Below is a statement from Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry’s Executive Director, on today’s historic vote about transgender and nonbinary inclusion in the church:

Coming just one day after an historic vote to give church blessings to same-gender couples, the Synodal Way process of the Catholic Church in Germany has made another groundbreaking decision by voting for greater recognition of transgender, intersex, nonbinary, and gender diverse people.

New Ways Ministry joyfully praises this decision which paves the way for greater equality of gender minorities in the Catholic Church. This new direction not only moves the Church in Germany toward more a more compassionate pastoral approach, but, even more significantly, it is a first step toward ending the false gender binary of male/female in the Church, which for centuries has prevented Catholicism from not only affirming LGBTQ+ people, but has also kept it frozen in its discriminatory attitudes, policies, and restrictions for women.

New Ways Ministry is extremely grateful to German Catholic leaders, clerical and lay, who have shown the global Church a way to begin to remove the chains of gender inequality which for too long has prevented Catholicism from living the radical inclusivity and equality of Jesus.

The decision redirects the Church away from an antagonistic view towards new approaches to gender, which some church leaders have disparagingly referred to as “gender ideology.”  Even Pope Francis, whose record on LGBTQ+ issues has been a game changer for the Catholic Church, lacks sufficient understanding when it comes to gender, and often rails against the made-up threat of “gender ideology.”

The new German policy is a challenge to the almost 40 U.S. bishops who have instituted restrictive and harmful policies about gender identity for their Catholic schools, parishes, and other institutions. These policies were instituted without consulting or dialoguing with transgender people, which resulted in their directives reflecting not only a basic ignorance about human reality, but in guidelines that lacked human compassion.

The German Synodal Way, by contrast, included at least three trans and intersex delegates in the decision-making, one of whom, Mara Klein, was elected to join the Synodal Commission. This inclusive and dialogic method makes the German policy so much more authentically Catholic.

New Ways Ministry sees a new dawn breaking in the Catholic Church, and we pray that the light of gender equality will soon spread its way across the globe.

Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, March 11, 2023

3 replies
  1. Deron Sheri
    Deron Sheri says:

    People must be accompanied like Jesus would accompany them,” he said. “When a person who has this situation arrives before Jesus, Jesus certainly will not say, ‘Go away because you are an LGBTIQA person


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