Vatican: Priests Cannot Bless “Sinful” Same-Sex Unions

Reuters reports:

The Vatican said on Monday that priests and other Catholic Church ministers cannot bless same-sex unions and that such blessings are “not licit” if carried out.

The Vatican’s doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), issued the ruling in response to questions and moves in some parishes to impart such blessings as a sign of welcome to gay Catholics since the Church does not permit homosexual marriage.

Pope Francis approved the response, the CDF said, adding that it was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite”.

The Associated Press reports:

The decree distinguished between the church’s welcoming and blessing of gay people, which it upheld, but not their unions. The Vatican holds that gays much be treated with dignity and respect, but that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered.”

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 said.

The Washington Post reports:

Many gay Catholics had been hopeful that Francis would create more openness inside the church, not only by speaking more welcomingly about homosexuality, but by changing church law. In a documentary released last year, the pontiff had called for the creation of civil union laws so that same-sex couples are “legally covered.”