Pope Francis Approves Blessings for Same-Sex Couples


Pope Francis waves to faithful as he arrives at the end of a Mass celebrated by Brescia's Bishop Luciano Monari, not pictured, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, June 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Social Share.


Pope Francis has formally permitted Catholic priests to bless same-sex unions.

In the Catholic Church, a blessing is a prayer or plea, usually delivered by a minister, asking God to look favourably at the person(s) being blessed.

However, a declaration issued by the Vatican on Monday clarified that “such blessings should not be conducted with any church rites that offer the impression of a marriage”.

The declaration added that “the doctrine regarding marriage does not change, and the blessing does not signify approval of the union” and that “only sexual relations between a man and a woman in the context of marriage are considered lawful”.

Despite the caveat, the declaration reflects a significant shift in Vatican doctrine.

In 2021, the Vatican decreed that the Catholic Church would not bless gay marriages because God “cannot bless sin”.

But in a turn of events two months ago, Francis hinted that he would be open to having the Catholic Church bless same-sex unions.

The pope said “pastoral charity” requires patience and understanding, adding that priests should not become judges “who only deny, reject and exclude”.

He said a blessing requested is a plea for God’s help to live a better life even in situations that are “not morally acceptable”.

The practice of blessing same-sex couples was already established in some countries such as Belgium and Germany, despite not having the approval of the Holy See until now.

Since Pope Francis took office in 2013, he has worked to reform church governance, making it less hierarchical and paying more attention to those who have expressed concerns about exclusion.

However, he has met stiff internal resistance along the way.

Social Share.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *