Pope formally approves allowing priests to bless same-sex couples

Pope Francis has formally approved allowing Roman Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples in a radical change in policy.
A new document from the Vatican’s doctrinal office insists people seeking God’s love and mercy should not be subject to “an exhaustive moral analysis” to receive it.

In a repeat of an earlier suggestion by the Pope, the document states blessings should not confuse the ritual with the sacrament of marriage – but would be a sign God welcomes all.
The Vatican has held the view marriage is an indissoluble union between a man and a woman.
As a result, it has long opposed same-sex marriage.

In 2021, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the Church could not bless the unions of two men or two women because “God cannot bless sin”.
That document created an outcry with the Pope removing the official responsible for it ahead of laying the groundwork for a reversal.
It also came after the Pope had backed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pontiff in 2020, when he called for the partnerships to be protected by law.
The release of the new document on Monday said priests should consider each individual case and “should not prevent or prohibit the Church’s closeness to people in every situation in which they might seek God’s help through a simple blessing”.


The document states a blessing “offers people a means to increase their trust in God” and is a “seed of the Holy Spirit that must be nurtured, not hindered”.
“The request for a blessing, thus, expresses and nurtures openness to the transcendence, mercy, and closeness to God in a thousand concrete circumstances of life, which is no small thing in the world in which we live,” it adds.
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Image: File pic: AP

The document elaborates on an earlier letter the pontiff sent to two conservative cardinals, which was published in October.
The Pope, who celebrated his 87th birthday on Sunday, had suggested such blessings could be offered under some circumstances if they did not confuse the ritual with the sacrament of marriage.
The new document states blessings should not be conferred at the same time as a civil union or even with the clothing and gestures that belong in a wedding.

Source : Sky News