Rebel Catholic Priests Say They Will Defy Pope And Bless Same-Sex Couples
A number of rebel Roman Catholic priests have come forward to say they will carry on blessing same-sex couples, despite orders from Pope Francis.
It comes after the Vatican announced the Roman Catholic priests must no longer bless same-sex unions because ‘God does not bless sin,’ on Monday, March 15.
The announcement came as a huge blow for the Catholic LGBTQ+ community, who had hoped the church was opening up to same-sex relationships under the current Pope.
Now, a number of Catholic priests have come forward in defiance of the Vatican’s announcement, saying they will continue to bless same-sex couples regardless.
‘We members of the Parish Priests Initiative are deeply appalled by the new Roman decree that seeks to prohibit the blessing of same-sex loving couples. This is a relapse into times that we had hoped to have overcome with Pope Francis,’ Parish Priests Initiative said in a statement, as per Reuters.
‘We will – in solidarity with so many – not reject any loving couple in the future who ask to celebrate God’s blessing, which they experience every day, also in a worship service.’
The Austrian-based group, which is led by Father Helmut Schueller, is known for its progressive stance, and has long campaigned for the right for priests to marry and for women to take on the profession.
The Parish Priests Initiative has even vowed to bless Protestants and divorced Catholics who remarry, in addition to same-sex couples, who would otherwise be shunned by the church.
The Vatican has, however, previously hit back at Schueller, stripping him of his ‘monsignor’ title – a term of honour given to some Catholic clergy men – in 2012.
The Parish Priests Initiative isn’t the first Catholic group to speak out against the Vatican’s ruling, with several groups coming forward with their disapproval.
Jamie Manson, president of Catholics for Choice, described the announcement as an act of ‘profound cruelty to invalidate LGBTQ families in any form.’
He continued: ‘The Vatican’s needless attack on same-sex marriages seems to reflect an intention to put up walls that separate people and divide families instead of building bridges between all people.’
Meanwhile, New Ways Ministry described it as ‘disappointing’ but ‘unsurprising,’ adding that many Catholic leaders are still keen for same-sex blessings to go ahead.
‘The Catholic faithful have already expressed their support of same-sex couples, and they will continue to do so,’ they said.
‘This decision changes nothing other than motivating more Catholics to support same-gender couples.’
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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