German Catholic clergy rebel against Vatican over same-sex unions

Georg Bätzing, Bishop of Limburg, is among the Catholic clergy that have criticized the Vatican ruling.

(CNN)German Catholic theologians and clergy have mobilized against a recent ruling from the Vatican that said the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions.

The ruling "is characterized by a paternalistic gesture of superiority and discriminates against homosexual people and their lifestyles," according to a statement put together by the Catholic Theological faculty at Munster University, published Tuesday.
"We decisively distance ourselves from this position," it said.
    The statement, signed by 266 theologians, said the ruling lacks "theological depth, hermeneutical understanding as well as argumentative stringency."
      While some of their number support the Vatican position, other prominent Catholic clergy in Germany have spoken out against the ruling, which was approved by Pope Francis and published March 15.
      The Limburg diocese posted this profile picture on Facebook on March 17.
      "A document that in its argumentation so blatantly excludes any progress in theological and human scientific knowledge will lead to pastoral practice ignoring it," Georg Bätzing, Bishop of Limburg, said in a statement published on Facebook on Wednesday.
      "We need a re-evaluation of same-sex partnerships and a further development of the church's sexual morality."