Conservative Catholics have claimed there is no possible way their church can approve gay marriages. I have always doubted this claim.
The Catholic Church in Germany shovels lots of money to Rome and it is also a liberal branch of the church. I’ve written here before about conservatives who want the Vatican hammer down on the liberal German Church. It doesn’t happen. Now, the German church is tip toeing over the line in the sand drawn by Conservatives. It’s head Cardinal has announced his openness to gay marriage. You can read his careful language here.
He did not say directly priests can perform and bless gay marriage ceremonies. He did not say they cannot either. What happens between the church member and his/her priest is left to the priest.
I interpret him to be saying gay marriages will be discouraged in the church setting itself. But, if a priest conducts a wedding elsewhere and blesses the couple he will not be reprimanded. That is my take.
A similar thing happened with remarried Catholics and communion. Before, they were not permitted to receive communion. Now Pope Francis has decided local priests should be the ones deciding such matters.
Some degree of approval of gay marriage will be good for the declining Church in Germany. It will be good for the Vatican as well because a large source of revenue is protected.
Mostly, it will be good for gay Catholics who want to marry and stay in the Church.