Pope Francis approves Catholic blessings for same-sex couples, but not for marriage

Pope Francis approves Catholic blessings for same-sex couples, but not for marriage

Pope Francis has formally approved the blessing of same-sex couples within the Catholic Church, as long as the blessing does not imply an endorsement of their marriage. This represents the church's most lenient stance on the issue of same-sex couples. 

The decree, released in a new document titled "Fiducia Supplicans: On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings," signifies a significant departure from the Vatican's stance just two years ago, when it declared that God "cannot bless sin" concerning same-sex couples. 

The document, approved by Pope Francis, emphasizes that marriage remains exclusively between a man and a woman, and priests blessing same-sex couples must avoid causing confusion or scandal that might suggest otherwise.

Despite the more permissive approach, the Vatican underscores its commitment to traditional marriage doctrines. Pope Francis, known for his liberal stance toward LGBTQ Catholics, has made the decriminalization of homosexuality a focal point of his papacy since 2013. 

The declaration is seen as a substantial advancement for the church in its approach to LGBTQ individuals, according to the Rev. James Martin, an American Jesuit priest advocating for the LGBTQ Catholic community.

The document differentiates between formal "ritual and liturgical" blessings and more informal, spontaneous blessings. It firmly upholds the traditional church doctrine on marriage while allowing blessings for same-sex couples without officially validating their status. 

Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, in an introduction to the document, clarifies that blessings should not resemble liturgical rites that could cause confusion. The Vatican instructs priests to decline blessings associated with civil union ceremonies or any elements resembling weddings.

Proper settings for such blessings, according to the Vatican, could be in a meeting with a priest or during a visit to a shrine. The document extends blessings not only to same-sex couples but also to couples in "irregular situations," such as divorced and remarried couples without annulments. 

The focus is on enriching, healing, and elevating the true, good, and humanly valid aspects of their lives and relationships through the presence of the Holy Spirit. The document concludes by emphasizing that God welcomes anyone who approaches Him, and a blessing serves as a means for individuals to deepen their trust in God.

Post a Comment