Kerkbestuur in Itteren laments situation surrounding refusal of communion for lesbian Carnaval prinsessen
In a statement, the kerkbestuur (church board) in Itteren and the Edith Stein Federation to which the parish of Sint Martinus belongs regret the situation that has arisen due to parish priest Horsch's refusal to give communion to the prinsessenpaar (princess couple) from Carnaval association De Vreigeleire. The statement was signed by the priest himself, as chair of the church board and federation, and vice-chair Mirjam Depondt.
Homosexuality is in some parishes tolerated, and in some parishes welcomed, however it is still against the rules of the Catholic Church. As a result, the parish priest in Itteren refused to give communion to the ladies during the Carnavalmis on Carnavalszondag.
The letter states that it would weigh heavily on the parish priest's conscience if he were to give communion to prinsessen Carly and Helen during the Carnavalsmis: "The formal teaching of the Roman Catholic Church has its limits and it is precisely these limits that, at times like this one, create a tension between formal teaching and socially desirable actions." According to the church board, the church stands for connection and does not want to exclude anyone. The federation is open to this principle and is working in the 6 parishes involved to create an open connection between church and society.
"We note that other solutions could have been possible in this matter. Solutions that would have done justice to the prinsessen, but also to the priest's dilemma and would have suited a parish where so many work on community and connection. We regret that this was not chosen, leaving Carly and Helen feeling left out. That was very much not the intention. We will handle this differently in the future," the statement read.
Carnaval association De Beerbieters in neighbouring Borgharen, where the parish belongs to the same federation, cancelled next Saturday's planned Carnavalmis because of all the commotion. The Catharina parish in Ulestraten also belongs to the Edith Stein federation, which Father Horsch thus presides over. Here, however, the Carnavalsmis next Saturday will go ahead as usual. It will be presided over by chaplain Andreas Schmidt.