The Catholic Church and its priests cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin,” the Vatican said on Monday.
The Vatican’s Orthodoxy Office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said it answered questions about gay unions. The bilateral declaration, published in seven languages, was endorsed by Pope Francis.
“The blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered legal,” the statement said. “There is absolutely no reason to view homosexual unions in any way as similar or even close to analogous to God’s plan for marriage and the family.”
The church and priests can still bless gay people who live in “fidelity,” the statement said. “Rather, it makes illegal any form of blessing that tends to recognize their unions.”
Francis DeBernardo, executive director of the New Ways Ministry, an LGBTQ-centered Catholic ministry, told the US TODAY the statement was disappointing but not surprising. Catholics, he said, will continue to find creative ways to bless the couples they love and support.
“What the Vatican does not realize is that the Catholic believers are not satisfied with this answer,” said DeBernardo. “Catholic people recognize the sacredness of love between committed same-sex couples and recognize that love as divinely inspired and divinely supported, thus meeting the standard of being blessed.”
The Vatican’s statement on Monday comes less than six months after Pope Francis’ revelations. staggering support for same-sex civil unions were published.
“Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God, ”said Francis in an interview for the documentary” Francesco “in 2019. “What we need to have is a civil union law. In this way, they are legally protected. “
Covered by law, but not sanctioned by the church. And Francis made the comment during an interview with a Mexican broadcaster, Televisa. It was edited by the Vatican but later appeared in a documentary.
The Vatican’s statement on Monday said that God “never stops” blessing everyone, including people who are gay.
“But he cannot and cannot bless sin,” the statement said. “He blesses the sinful man so that he can recognize that he is part of his love plan and allow himself to be changed by him. … The church has and cannot have the power to bless unions of people of the same sex.”
Jim Bretzke, priest, author and professor of theology at John Carroll University in Ohio, says the recent Vatican statement on the matter seems to be trying to “thread a needle” into gay people but not gay people To accept unions.
“The church specifically says that gay men and women can be blessed,” he said. “But that the domestic union of a gay couple should not be liturgically blessed lest people misunderstand that blessing as a form of Catholic marriage.”
Catholics are generally among the more acceptable sects of Christianity when it comes to same-sex unions. A Pew poll found that more than half of Catholics in the United States, along with Protestants and Orthodox Christians, support same-sex marriage.
The Pope has a complicated history with the LGBTQ community, especially when it comes to same-sex marriage. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he advocated civil unions for gay couples instead of same-sex marriages. Months after his papacy he was quoted as saying, “If someone is gay and looking for the Lord and has goodwill, who should I judge?”
However, during his time as Pope, Francis repeatedly condemned same-sex marriage and in several statements emphasized the Catholic dictum of marriage between a man and a woman.
“The declaration of the illegality of union blessings between people of the same sex is not intended to be … a form of unjustified discrimination,” the statement said on Monday. “It is a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite.”
Contributor: The Associated Press