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Germany’s highest-ranking cardinal believes that the state is unable to redefine marriage, as it is not a state-made institution.

The comments where made at a reception by Reinhard Marx, Chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference and serving the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising at a traditional Catholic church, St Michael-reception in Berlin on the 9 September .

The reception was also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as other high-ranking politicians, representatives of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and various Muslim associations.


Marx who was making a speech focusing on marriage and family.

“Human dignity is not state-made, it’s not made by the constitution, which is why neither the constitution nor the state can pass judgment on it,” said Marx.

“And this also applies to the topic of marriage and family.”

The discussion about granting same-sex couples full marriage equality has gained momentum in Germany after the Irish marriage equality referendum in May 2015.

German LGBTI

Marx referred to the marriage equality movement without the mention of the words marriage equality, or same-sex marriage, and instead described it as the, “discussions prevalent before the summer holidays, which may return”.

The cardinal argued that the, “relationship between man and woman, which is open for children.” should be granted special protection.

“Marriage precedes the state, and it is necessary. This institution is necessary for the survival, for the future of society.”

“And that’s why the state doesn’t just hold the right to, but is responsible for, protecting this area in a special way,”

“The state cannot give marriage a new definition.”

Marx agrees that the state has to overcome discrimination, however does not appear to believe that legalising same-sex marriage would count towards, “a positive development towards man’s freedom”.

Last Updated on Sep 11, 2015

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