Priest Removed for Same-Sex Blessing

Posted by Censor Librorum on Aug 26, 2008 | Categories: Bishops, Lesbians & Gays, Scandals

The bishop of Limburg, Germany, Franz Peter Tebartz van Elst, has removed a priest from office for “blessing” the partnership of two gay men. Their  marriage took place on Friday, August 15th. tebartz-vanelst.JPG

Fr. Peter Kollas, a dean of priests in the city of Wetzlar, participated in the blessing of the  two men during a civil wedding ceremony witnessed by a Protestant minister and 150 guests.

The bishop, appointed to the Diocese of Limburg by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007, said Catholics “have a duty to protest the legal recognition of homosexual partnerships.”

In a statement appearing on the diocese’s website, Bishop Tebartz van Elst said he had removed Fr. Kollas as dean of priests to avoid further “damage” to the Church’s reputation.

The bishop met with Fr. Kollas, who said hat he would promise to “omit” such blessings in the future and said that he had never done them before.

A new dean of priests will be chosen who has the “confidence of the bishop.”

The statement from the bishop’s office came after protests over the event, not only from Catholics, but also area Protestants.

Fr. Kollas must have been disciplined within days of the event. The bishop’s reaction was much swifter than what we usually see for other transgressions–like pedophilia accusations  or financial improprieties.  

Obviously,   gay men and lesbians in love are a much greater threat to the church–and merit a much harsher response-than serial child abusers and priests who help themselves to the parish bank accounts.

I am grateful to Fr. Kollas the sacrifice he made to bless a loving relationship.  

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