The President of the Synodal Council of Zürich’s Catholic Church has insisted that “no one may be discriminated against because of their gender or their sexual orientation”.

Driving the news

The laywoman Franziska Driessen-Reding made the comments on the Catholic Church in the Canton of Zurich’s official website, as New Ways Ministry reports.

Her reflections came as Swiss lawmakers debate the legalisation of same-sex marriage and as the Church continues to reconsider its outreach to the LGBTIQ+ community.


Retired Münster bishop: “Church can bless same-sex partnerships”

Go deeper

On the subject of “marriage of all”, Driessen-Reding recalled that “an official statement of the Catholic Church in the Canton of Zurich… does not yet exist”.

The laywoman explained that non-discrimination is a “fundamental” in the debate, for which reason “the bishops do not fundamentally reject the civil marriage for all”.

But she added “another question is whether pastors should bless homosexual couples”.

“According to the doctrine of the Church, the religious sacrament of marriage is reserved for a union of man and woman, because it also includes the offspring”, Driessen-Reding recalled.

Don’t miss:

Dutch diocese backs out gay priest, keeps him in ministry

For the record

The doctrine of the Church notwithstanding, Driessen-Reding said she “personally” is “clearly convinced that the Catholic Church must find a liturgical form that can be used to give homosexual couples the blessing of God”.

“In practice, so many do so today, but in secret”, she admitted.

“Any real love between two people is valuable, whether homosexual or heterosexual. To acknowledge and appreciate this should also be a matter of course in the life of the Church”, she insisted.

More on Novena:

Swiss Catholic women plan Church “laboratory”, “financial pressure” in push for equality

Why it matters

Robert Shine, associate editor of New Ways Ministry, welcomed laywoman Driessen-Reding’s comments.

He said her reflections could help Catholics “image ways of shifting power from the hierarchy to the laity so that people can speak more freely and live more openly”.

“The ability to speak freely is in large part due to lay people being truly co-responsible for the Church, and having power to make decisions”, Shine affirmed.

The associate editor of New Ways also recalled in the context of the marriage equality debate in Switzerland that the Swiss Catholic Women’s Federation (SKF) recently reiterated their aspiration “that both unmarried and same-sex couples have the opportunity to give their relationship a legal framework, if they so wish”.

More from Switzerland on Novena