The Church in Germany, an influential voice for reforms prompted by Pope Francis, has decided lay employees who divorce and remarry or form gay civil unions should no longer automatically lose their jobs, reports Patheos.
The German Bishops have voted to adjust Church labour law “to the multiple changes in legal practise, legislation and society” so employee lifestyles should not affect their status in the country’s many Catholic schools, hospitals and social services.
The new rule opens the way for decisions that do justice to the situations people live in,” Alois Glueck, head of the lay Central Committee of German Catholics, said after the decision on new labour guidelines was announced on Tuesday.
More than two-thirds of Germany’s 27 dioceses voted for the change, a Church spokesman said, indicating some opposition.
There is no worldwide Catholic policy on lay employees. German law allows churches to have their own labour rules that can override national guidelines.
Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the bishops conference and a senior adviser to Pope Francis, has been a leading proponent of making the Church more open to modern lifestyles that its doctrine officially rejects.