18.01.2022

Vatican says Catholic Church cannot sanction same-sex unions as God ‘cannot bless sin’

In an official response from the Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to a question about whether the Church has the power to give its blessing to unions of persons of the same sex, the decree said: “Negative.”

In a two-page explanation published in seven languages and approved by Pope Francis, the Vatican said “the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex”.

“The Church recalls that God himself never ceases to bless each of his pilgrim children in this world, because for him ‘we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit’,” the decree said. “But he does not and cannot bless sin.”

The decree distinguished between the Catholic Church’s welcoming and blessing of gay people, which it upheld, but not their unions.

It stated: “It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage … as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”

The Vatican said that while there were “positive elements” in gay relationships, which should be “valued and appreciated”, the church “cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan”.

Explaining the decision further, the Vatican said the decree was not intended to be a “form of unjust discrimination” but rather “a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them”.

Pope Francis meets with Iraq’s top Shiite cleric in historic religious display earlier in March

Pope Francis has endorsed providing gay couples with legal protections in same-sex unions, but that is in reference to the civil sphere, not within the church.

His comments were made during an interview with a Mexican television station, Televisa, in 2019, but were cut by the Vatican until they appeared in a documentary last year.

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