Vatican says Catholic Church can’t bless same-sex unions
Vatican City, Mar 15 (efe-epa) .- The Vatican said Monday that the Catholic Church cannot impart its blessing to unions of same-sex couples and that any religious recognition of such unions by priests is deemed illicit.
In response to a dubium (question) on that matter, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith answered “Negative” and then detailed the Church’s position in an Explanatory Note.
“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,” the note read.
That body responsible for promulgating and defending Catholic doctrine recalled that “in some ecclesial contexts, plans and proposals for blessings of unions of persons of the same sex are being advanced” and that those projects “are not infrequently motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons, to whom are proposed paths of growth in faith.”
The CDF, led by Prefect Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, a Spanish Jesuit and Catholic cardinal, cited the final document of the 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2018 as saying that “‘God loves every person and the Church does the same,’ rejecting all unjust discrimination.”
Nevertheless, the note said that since “blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit” because, citing an apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis released in April 2016, there are “‘absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.'”
In a documentary on the pope titled “Francesco,” released in October of last year and directed by Israeli-American filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky, the Argentine pontiff said that “homosexual people have a right to be in a family.”
“What we have to create is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered,” he added in remarks that made headlines worldwide and sparked criticism from the more conservative wing of the Church.
The Vatican, however, said a week after the film’s release that Francis’ words had been taken out of context.
In an Oct. 30, 2020, letter from the Vatican’s Secretary of State to papal nuncios worldwide, the Vatican said the pope “had answered two different questions at two different times that, in the aforementioned documentary, were edited and published as a single answer without the proper contextualization, which has led to confusion.”
The letter said the pope was talking about his opposition to moves toward same-sex marriage in Argentina in 2010 – when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires – and his support then for extending legal protections for people with homosexual orientation under an Argentine civil union law.
“It is clear that Pope Francis was referring to certain state provisions and certainly not the doctrine of the Church, which he has reaffirmed numerous times over the years,” the letter said. EFE-EPA