Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, called for the resignation of German Cardinal Reinhard Marx Thursday for the latter’s public rejection of Catholic moral teaching.
“Cardinal Marx has left the Catholic faith. He needs to be honest & officially resign,” wrote Bishop Strickland on his Twitter account, citing the cardinal’s pressure for a change in Church teaching on the immorality of gay sex.
In an interview published Thursday, Cardinal Marx — one of Pope Francis’s team of nine advisors — insisted that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is “not set in stone” and “one is also allowed to doubt what it says,” in reference to Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
“Homosexuality is not a sin. It corresponds to a Christian attitude when two people, regardless of gender, stand up for each other, in joy and sorrow,” he said, adding that “LGBTQ+ people are part of creation and loved by God, and we are called upon to stand against discrimination.”
Earlier this year, Cardinal Marx celebrated a Sunday Mass to commemorate “20 years of queer worship and pastoral care” in Munich, Germany.
“I desire an inclusive Church, a Church that includes all who want to walk the way of Jesus,” the cardinal said, in a homily offered at the time to a “queer congregation.”
In his homily, Marx insisted that Jesus himself was opposed to “those who exclude” but rather “would like to invite everyone with the primacy of love!”
“The kingdom of God is to discover that God is love — in all its dimensions,” said Marx, which includes “the sexual dimension.”
“All human relationships must be characterized by the primacy of love. Then they can be accepted by God,” he added.
Last June, Marx tendered his resignation to Pope Francis, citing the need to confront his “errors and omissions” in dealing with the clerical sex abuse crisis in Germany.
The cardinal said in a written statement that “it is obvious to me that I will face my possible errors and omissions in individual cases to be verified concretely during my mandate, cases that will then have to be examined and evaluated according to objective criteria.”
“As a bishop I have an ‘institutional responsibility’ for all the actions of the Church, also for her institutional problems and for her failure in the past,” he added in the text. Pope Francis rejected the cardinal’s resignation and has kept him on as a papal counselor.
Over the years, the 68-year-old Marx has been in the vanguard among progressive Catholics, pushing issues such as blessings for homosexual couples, phasing out fossil fuel use, opposition to crosses in public buildings, and pro-immigration policies.
In 2017, Marx, who was president of the German Bishops’ Conference at the time, asserted that the three greatest challenges facing Europe are “climate change,” changes in the world of work, and immigration. In his analysis, the cardinal made no mention of the deep crisis of faith in the German Catholic Church, which has been hemorrhaging members for more than 20 years.
In early 2020, Marx came under fire for donating €50,000 of Catholic Church funds to United4Rescue, a coalition of NGOs engaged in migrant sea rescues that reportedly receives financing from billionaire leftist George Soros through his pro-migration Open Society Foundations.
Marx had already received sharp criticism for “lavish expenditures,” including some $11 million to renovate the archbishop’s residence as well as another $13 million for a guesthouse in Rome.
In September 2019, the editors of the United States-based National Catholic Register asserted that the Catholic Church in Germany appeared to be taking steps toward a schism with Rome under the banner of “synodality.”
Under the leadership of Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising, “the Church in Germany is poised to pursue a radical ‘binding synodal path’ that seeks to dislodge settled Church teaching in the name of ‘synodality,’” they declared.
The German “Synodal Assembly” entered into a partnership with the Central Committee of German Catholics, the editors noted, “a lay group that has demanded the ordination of women, an end to clerical celibacy, the blessing of same-sex unions by the Church and rethinking of all Catholic teachings on sexuality,” the editors stated.