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Pope Francis Approves Blessings for Same-Sex Couples

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Pope Francis Approves Blessings for Same-Sex Couples

Pope Francis Approves Blessings for Same-Sex Couples

Pope Francis Approves Blessings for Same-Sex Couples

On December 18, 2023, Pope Francis formally sanctioned the approval for priests to bestow blessings upon gay and other same-sex couples. The Vatican’s doctrine office released a document on this matter, indicating a significant development in the Catholic Church’s stance.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church expressed that, under certain circumstances, priests should have the ability to bless same-sex and “irregular” couples.

It was clarified, however, that these blessings should not become part of regular Church ceremonies or be associated with civil unions or weddings. The Vatican reiterated its steadfast view that marriage is defined as a union between a man and a woman.

While the document emphasized that priests should make decisions on a case-by-case basis, the Vatican underscored that it should be seen as a symbol that “God welcomes all.”

Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the prefect of the Church, clarified during the introduction of the text that this revised position does not grant official recognition to same-sex couples within the Catholic Church.

This declaration marks a shift in tone without altering the fundamental stance of the Church. Notably, in 2021, Pope Francis had declared that priests were prohibited from bestowing blessings upon same-sex marriages, citing the belief that God could not “bless sin.”

In the Catholic Church, a blessing is a prayer or entreaty, typically recited by a minister, asking for God’s favor upon the individuals receiving the blessing.

The Pope’s inclination towards the possibility of blessings for same-sex couples was hinted in October. While the position of Church officials remained ambiguous, it was noted that bishops in several countries had previously allowed priests to bless same-sex marriages, according to the BBC.

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