German scholars say the Catholic Church's stance welcoming gays but refusing to bless same-sex unions is "paternalistic" and "discriminating" against homosexuals.
'The life and love of same-sex couples are not worth less before God than the life and love of any other couple,' say signatories
More than 230 German-speaking theology professors published a statement Monday criticizing the Vatican's recent affirmationthat priests cannot bless same-sex unions.
That stance was "marked by a paternalistic air of superiority and discriminates against homosexual people and their life plans," the professors said.
The academics from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands distanced themselves from the Vatican's position and said:
"We believe that the life and love of same-sex couples are not worth less before God than the life and love of any other couple."
Signatories pointed to the discrepancy between blessing the person yet not the union as lacking in "theological depth" and "argumentative stringency."
The Catholic Church last week affirmed its policy of welcoming gays in the Church but stated that priests "cannot bless sin."
The announcement by the Church's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, upset German Catholics eager to see the Vatican embrace what it sees as a more progressive approach to homosexuality and same-sex partnerships.
js/rt (AP, dpa)