Vatican: Church cannot bless same-sex unions
The Vatican declared on Monday that the Roman Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin.”
The Vatican’s orthodoxy office issued an official answer to questions about the viability of same-sex union blessings by Catholic clergy as some parishes and ministers around the world, including in the U.S., have issued blessings of same-sex unions, Reuters reported.
Pope Francis signed off on the two-page “negative” answer that the Church could not issue such blessings.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s decree indicated that the decision was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination” against gay people as the church has been “motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons,” according to The Associated Press.
But the Catholic Church said it could not bless same-sex unions because such acknowledgement could appear to equate the unions to the sacrament of marriage between a man and a woman, which it says would be “erroneous and misleading.”
“For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” it said, according to Reuters.
The church teaches its members that gay people must be treated well. But gay acts and sex are considered “intrinsically disordered” as they don’t abide with God’s plan for marriages between a man and a woman to create new life.
“The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, 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,” the response said.
God “does not and cannot bless sin: He blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him,” it added, according to the AP.
In the response, the Catholic Church emphasized the “fundamental and decisive distinction” between gay people and the same-sex unions, saying “the negative judgment on the blessing of unions of persons of the same sex does not imply a judgment on persons.”
The pope has previously called for the better treatment of gay people within the community.
Last year, the documentary “Francesco” aired remarks from Pope Francis signifying his support for civil unions. But the Vatican denied the pope’s comments, saying they were taken out of context, with the editor splicing together different quotes and excluding the questions.