© Reuters. Former Benedictine monk Father Anselm Bilgri and his husband Markus pose for the media following their ecclesiastical same-gender marriage at Saint Willibrord church in Munich, Germany, October 8, 2022. REUTERS/Yannick Thedens


By Louisa Off and Sarah Marsh

MUNICH (Reuters) – Anselm Bilgri, a former monk and prior at one in every of Germany’s most well-known monasteries, needed to go away the Roman Catholic Church to wed his long-term male associate. Now he hopes their marriage ceremony inside a breakaway church will normalise such unions.

Bilgri, 68, and his associate Markus Achter, 41, have been wed in a Munich church on Saturday by a priest of the Outdated Catholic Church, which emerged within the Netherlands within the nineteenth century and lets clergymen marry and permits same-sex relationships.

“I instantly thought: now I’ve really acquired all seven sacraments, from ordination to marriage,” stated Bilgri, chuckling after the ceremony. “And I would really like it to turn into regular.”

Bilgri, who was ordained in 1980 by Joseph Ratzinger, who turned Pope Benedict, left the Roman Catholic Church in 2020 because of frustrations over its failure to modernise – the Vatican doesn’t permit clergymen or same-sex {couples} to wed.

His was one in every of many departures from the Catholic Church in Germany amid anger over abuse scandals and a sense amongst some that the establishment is failing to maintain up with the instances.

That feeling intensified final 12 months after the Vatican determined to not permit clergymen to bless same-sex unions. The ruling disenchanted believers who had hoped Pope Francis would soften the arduous line taken on the difficulty by John Paul II and his successor, Benedict XVI – and never simply in Germany.

Flemish Roman Catholic bishops final month issued a doc successfully permitting the blessing of same-sex unions in defiance of that ruling.

Bilgri ran the brewery at a Munich monastery earlier than changing into prior, or deputy head, of the 900-year-old Andechs Abbey on Bavaria’s “Holy Mountain”, in 1999 co-authoring the guide “Cooking and Therapeutic with Beer”.

“Take this ring and put on it as an indication of affection and faithfulness,” Bilgri stated as he slid a gold ring onto the little finger of Achter’s proper hand in a small church in Munich, each carrying matching black morning coats with white roses of their lapels.

The couple had already wed in a civil ceremony final 12 months.

“I all the time assume that if it turns into increasingly self-evident, then in some unspecified time in the future it’ll now not be one thing particular,” stated Achter. “That is the course we wish to go in, and perhaps we have now set an indication for that at present.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.