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Pope Francis. Wikimedia.

Franklin Graham responds to the Pope allowing same-sex blessings

The Rev. Franklin Graham has harsh words for Pope Francis, who recently approved a measure that will allow Roman Catholic priests to offer blessings to same-sex couples.

“So-called ‘blessings’ from religious leaders won’t save you from the judgment of God!” Graham wrote on social media, according to “The Christian Post.” “Pope Francis has now approved Catholic priests’ blessing’ same-sex couples. But none of us, including the pope, has the right to ‘bless’ what God calls sin. ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…’ (Isaiah 5:20).”

The comments came after the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a declaration titled “Fiducia Supplicants,” providing “a broadening and enrichment of the classical understanding of blessings, which is closely linked to a liturgical perspective.”

“It is precisely in this context that one can understand the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or changing in any way the church’s perennial teaching on marriage,” church leadership said. “This declaration is also intended as a tribute to the faithful people of God, who worship the Lord with so many gestures of deep trust in his mercy and who, with this confidence, constantly come to seek a blessing from mother church.”

The Vatican document said that “when people ask for a blessing, an exhaustive moral analysis should not be placed as a precondition for conferring it” and that “those seeking a blessing should not be required to have prior moral perfection.”

For same-sex couples, “a blessing may be imparted that not only has an ascending value but also involves the invocation of a blessing that descends from God upon those who — recognizing themselves to be destitute and in need of his help — do not claim a legitimation of their own status.”

Officially, the Catholic Church teaches that same-sex attraction is not sinful but homosexual acts are. However, in the United States, more than six in 10 Catholics said in a 2019 survey that they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

The decision by the Pope continues to split Catholic clergy. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Conservative Catholic bishops in various countries have objected to Pope Francis’ recent permission on blessings for gay couples, underscoring the divisiveness of the issue in the global church.”

The Vatican also cautioned those seeing this as a blessing of weddings asking priests to refuse the blessing in connection with a ceremony of a civil union, or with any “clothing, gestures or words” that are associated with weddings.

–Alan Goforth | MV

Photo: Palácio do PlanaltoCreative Commons Attribution 2.0

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