Vatican authorises blessings for same-sex {couples} – beneath sure circumstances | EUROtoday

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The Vatican on Monday authorized blessings for same-sex {couples}, a vastly contested subject within the Catholic Church, so long as they aren’t in contexts associated to civil unions or weddings.

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In a doc authorized by Pope Francis, the Vatican backed “the possibility of blessings for couples in irregular situations (including unmarried couples or divorcees) and for couples of the same sex”.

“One 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,” it mentioned.

But the doc, revealed by the Vatican’s religion division, doesn’t change the Catholic Church’s stance on same-sex marriages or unions.

It reiterates the long-held place that marriage is between solely a person and a girl, for the aim of getting youngsters – and says no blessings ought to be on condition that confuse the problem.

“This blessing should never be imparted in concurrence with the ceremonies of a civil union, and not even in connection with them,” the doc mentioned.

But it’s the first time the Vatican has opened the way in which so clearly to the blessing of same-sex {couples}, which has been a supply of stress inside the Church.

A blessing, typically carried out by a priest, consists of invoking God’s benevolence on an individual.

Conservative Catholics, notably within the United States, are strongly against blessing same-sex {couples}.

But in some locations, akin to Belgium and Germany, clergymen have already been doing it, together with in church.

James Martin, a US Jesuit priest and well-known advocate for LGBTQ believers, mentioned the doc was a “major step forward in the church’s ministry to LGBTQ people”.

He mentioned it was additionally a “marked shift” from a 2021 choice during which the Vatican mentioned the Church didn’t have the ability to bless same-sex unions as a result of God couldn’t “bless sin”.

Pastoral imaginative and prescient

The Vatican’s announcement, generally known as a declaration, was revealed six weeks after the top of a worldwide assembly on the Church’s future, which debated social points akin to opening doorways to LGBTQ individuals or divorced and remarried individuals.

In early October, 5 conservative cardinals publicly requested Pope Francis to reaffirm Catholic doctrine on same-sex {couples}, however the hot-button subject was not addressed within the assembly’s last textual content.

The head of the Vatican’s religion division wrote in an introduction to the doc that it was “a broadening and enrichment” of the Vatican’s stance on blessings.

The textual content, entitled “Fiducia Supplicans – On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings”, was “based on the pastoral vision of Pope Francis”, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez wrote.

The Argentine pontiff, 87, has sought to make the Church extra welcoming to these it has lengthy thought-about “sinners”, even when they can’t absolutely take part in it.

Just weeks after taking workplace in March 2013, Francis notably mentioned that “if someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?”

Monday’s doc says: “To avoid any form of confusion or scandal”, blessings for same-sex {couples} can’t be “performed with any clothing, gestures, or words that are proper to a wedding”.

“Such a blessing may instead find its place in other contexts, such as a visit to a shrine, a meeting with a priest, a prayer recited in a group, or during a pilgrimage,” it mentioned.