Pope Francis Says Catholic Priests Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions
Pope Francis has declared that Catholic priests cannot bless same-sex unions because God does ‘not bless sin’.
In an announcement earlier today, March 15, the Vatican said such blessings are ‘not licit’ if carried out.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said it could not bless same-sex unions because the church does not permit homosexual marriage.
As per Reuters, Pope Francis has approved the ruling, stating that it is ‘not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite.’
The CDF said that while it would not permit blessings of same-sex unions, it has a ‘sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons.’
In a statement explaining its decision, the CFD said ‘there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.’
The ruling diverts from Pope Francis’s previous statement that he thinks same-sex couples should be allowed to have civil unions.
In a documentary about his life and work, Francesco, which premiered at the Rome Film Festival last year, Pope Francis said ‘homosexual people have a right to be in a family’.
‘They are children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or made miserable over it. What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,’ he added.
However, his stance on whether he believes same-sex unions should be blessed was not completely clear. He also said he believes marriage between a man and a woman is ‘fundamentally different’ to a union between same-sex couples.
The latest decision will undoubtedly face backlash from civil rights groups who had welcomed the Pope’s previous comments.
In October 2020, New Ways Ministry, which advocates for justice and equality for LGBT Catholics, urged Pope Francis to recognise and bless same-sex unions.
‘Since the pope framed his support for civil unions by saying that same-gender couples are ‘right to be a part of the family’, it would not be a long stretch for him to do so,’ the group said.
‘When the Pope says something positive about LGBTQ issues, he sends forth an enormous wave of goodwill to LGBTQ people, and, at the same time, teaches a positive lesson to people whose anti-LGBTQ views are religiously-based,’ the group added.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
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