Pope Francis approves historic decision to allow blessings for same-sex couples

Pope Francis delivers his blessing to the faithful in St. PeterÕs Square at the Vatican^ November 22^ 2023.

Pope Francis has issued a historic decision allowing Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples. According to a document released on Monday from the Vatican’s doctrine office, Pope Francis says allowing same-sex couples to be blessed is “as an expression of the Church’s maternal heart.”  The announcement comes months after the pope had responded to questions formally submitted by five cardinals about the matter. At that time, the 87-year-old pontiff indicated that he would be open to some Catholic priests blessing same-sex unions.

The document stated: “God never turns away anyone who approaches him! Ultimately, a blessing offers people a means to increase their trust in God. … It is a seed of the Holy Spirit that must be nurtured, not hindered.” The doctrine, however, stresses that any any “rites and prayers that could create confusion between what constitutes marriage…and what contradicts it are inadmissible.”

Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández states that the new declaration that the new rule didn’t amend “the traditional doctrine of the church about marriage,” and that it didn’t allow for liturgical rites that resemble the sacrament of marriage. The document stated that the declaration is intended to allow those seeking the blessing “to open one’s life to God, to ask for his help to live better, and live with greater faithfulness. The Church welcomes all who approach God with humble hearts, accompanying them with those spiritual aids that enable everyone to understand and realize God’s will fully in their existence.”

Pope Francis declared his support for the civil unions of same-sex couples in October 2020 during comments featured in the documentary Francesco.  In March 2021, the Vatican said that the Catholic community should welcome gay people with “respect and sensitivity,” and in July 2023, the pontiff said that laws criminalizing homosexuality are “unfair….We are all children of God, and God loves us as we are.”

Editorial credit: Riccardo De Luca – Update / Shutterstock.com

RecomMended Posts