German cantor dismissed for choosing surrogacy


Central Europe


Nurses take care of babies born from surrogacy. Photo AFP, Sergei Supinsky

The Evangelical Luther Church in Braunschweig (Germany) releases its cathedral cantor, Gerd-Peter Münden (56). He has to step up because he and his husband want to conceive children via surrogacy.

Münden lives in a same-sex marriage with a Columbian. However, that is not the reason for his dismissal. Instead, the problem lies with his choice of surrogacy. By commissioning surrogate mothers, Münden would degrade women and children to commodities, the Cathedral preacher Cornelia Götz explained. According to her, that is contrary to the doctrines and teachings of the church, Kath.net reports.

The church regrets the dismissal of the cantor. “His intention to commission surrogacy in Columbia has profoundly shaken the fruitful cooperation of all those involved in the cathedral”, a spokesperson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church told the Evangelical Press Service according to Domradio. The medium reports that Münden led the Braunschweig Domsingschule, the largest institution for Protestant church music. The cantor has been working for the church since 1999.

The cathedral foundation board, the cathedral parish office, and the cathedral parish board all agree on the ethical assessment of commercial surrogacy. Press spokesman Michael Strauss says that from a Christian perspective, they reject surrogacy.

Ifs and buts of surrogacy

Alexandra Maria Linder argues in Idea that people should bear the consequences of their choices. In the case of choosing a same-sex marriage, that would be the fact that one will not be able to father children.

Surrogacy would solve the biological problem of not being able to conceive children. Donors exist to take care of the genetic material, and a random woman can carry and deliver the child. However, Linder places some serious question marks.

Firstly, the conceived child will experience trauma when separated from the woman who carried it, Linder says. According to her, this separation can have severe consequences as “the best place to grow up is still the family of a genetically related father and mother who live in a stable relationship together.”

In addition, Linder points out that the surrogate mother takes on serious health risks if she carries a child that is not genetically related to her. This can, for example, lead to high blood pressure. Furthermore, the premature birth rate for multiple births is also close to 90 per cent.

Therefore, Linder strongly opposes surrogacy. She writes: “A child is not something you can pick and choose from egg, sperm and surrogate catalogues. A woman is not a body to be misused or commercialised for other purposes.” In her opinion, if someone chooses a particular way of life, he or she should bear the consequences of that choice. “Heterosexual couples do not take second partners; Catholic priests are celibate; same-sex couples cannot father children.”



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