Harsh condemnation of German Church Award for LGBT documentary
Every year, the German Bishops' Conference awards the Catholic Media Prize. This year, it was granted to the LGBT Documentary “Wie Gott uns schuf – Coming-out in der Katholischen Kirche”. There are many critiques of the decision. "The Conference spends 5,000 euros on the Catholic Church's self-dismantling."
The documentary was published in January as part of the "Out in Church" campaign, Die Tagespost writes. It advocates a change in the Catholic doctrine on homosexuality and pleads for Church Law reforms. Currently, that doctrine reads that homosexual acts are a "serious aberration to the Holy Scriptures." Furthermore, it states that "homosexual acts are not to be approved under any circumstances."
Biggest coming-out in Catholic Church
In the film, believers who are employed by the church show how they came out with their sexual orientation but remained loyal to their employer. That is described by Catholic News Agency. According to the news website, the documentary shows people "who are passionate about the church, even though they have been rejected by it."
The Catholic Media Prize has been awarded every year since 2003. That is reported by PRO. It is given to contributions that promote orientation towards Christian values and an understanding of people and social contexts, strengthen the humanitarian and social sense of responsibility and contribute to the coexistence of different communities, religions, cultures and individuals., as the official description of the initiators reads. The Media Prize is a concept of the German Bishops' Conference, the Society of Catholic Publicists and the Catholic Media Association.
According to the jury which decided about the Catholic Media Prize, the documentary showed "probably the biggest coming-out that there has ever been in the Catholic Church: 100 believers who identify as non-heterosexual dare to go public in the ARD documentary." Furthermore, the jury ruled that the film is "deeply touching and harrowing, and shames and shakes. (…) It made waves, was discussed in parishes, praised by Catholic associations and has something managed what seemed unthinkable until then."
Not everyone is happy that the Media Prize is awarded to the LGBT documentary. In a commentary in Die Tagespost, Dorothea Schmidt abhors the decision of the jury. "The awarding of prizes is a self-dismantling of the Catholic Church", she writes. "The German Bishops' Conference, which advertises the Catholic Media Prize, awards an award for something diametrically opposed to church teaching."
According to Schmidt, the award humiliates the church. "She must finally change, even better, abolish herself. The documentary is pure propaganda against the Catholic Church, and the church joins in."
The prize will be awarded by the chairman of the journalistic commission of the German bishops' conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, on November 3.
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