The Catholic Church is affirming that it doesn’t have the power to bless same-sex unions. “Does the church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?” the Vatican was asked. “Negative,” it answered.
“Blessings belong to the category of the sacramentals, whereby the church calls us to praise God, encourages us to implore his protection and exhorts us to seek his mercy by our holiness of life,” the Vatican said. ”For this reason, 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.”
A marriage blessing, the document said, “refers back to the creation account, in which God’s blessing on man and woman is related to their fruitful union.” The document cited Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 2:18-24. A same-sex relationship, the Vatican said, is a “a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God.”
The Vatican holds that homosexuals must be treated with dignity and respect, but that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered.” Catholic teaching holds that marriage between a man and woman is part of God’s plan and is intended for the sake of creating new life. Because gay unions are not intended to be part of that plan, they cannot be blessed by the church, the document said.
“The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan,” the response said.
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.
Pope Francis has endorsed providing gay couples with legal protections in same-sex unions, but that is in reference to the civil sphere, not within the church. His comments were made during an interview with a Mexican television station, Televisa, in 2019, but were cut by the Vatican until they appeared in a documentary last year.
In a post to his official Facebook page Rev. Franklin Graham expressed support for the Vatican decree, Graham stated it was “good to see that the Vatican got this right.”
“Gay people deserve respect and dignity like everyone does, but we cannot condone actions that are contrary to the teachings of God’s Word,” wrote Graham. “Marriage is defined as a union before God between a man and a woman in Scripture, beginning in the Garden of Eden.”
Other voices were critical including Jamie Manson, president of the pro-abortion group Catholics for Choice.
Manson labeled the decree “an act of profound cruelty to invalidate LGBTQ families in any form.”
“The Vatican’s needless attack on same-sex marriages seems to reflect an intention to put up walls that separate people and divide families instead of building bridges between all people,” stated Manson.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice