On Monday, Pope Francis officially approved the ordination of same-sex couples by Roman Catholic priests, marking a dramatic change in the church’s attitude toward LGBTQ+ individuals.

pope Francis states

A Vatican document that was authorized by the pope Francis states that the blessings can be performed as long as they are not performed in conjunction with a civil union or as part of normal Church ceremonies or liturgies.

Pope Francis

The most recent decision expands on the concession the pope Francis made in October of last year to bless same-sex couples and moves away from a 2021 Vatican doctrinal office order that forbade such blessings, stating that God “cannot bless sin.”

However, Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, an Argentinean bishop and pope Francis’s supporter, has taken charge of the doctrinal department since July 2023 and has adopted a different stance than his predecessors.

The proclamation, written by Cardinal Fernandez and another official, says that granting a blessing should not be contingent on a thorough moral study of the request. “Those who humble themselves as sinners like everyone else and do not profess to be righteous are yet touched by God’s grace in their life.

Although the new ruling leaves decisions to “the prudent and fatherly discernment of ordained ministers,” it does open up “the possibility of blessings for couples in irregular situations and for couples of the same sex.”

Pope Francis has backed James Martin, a Jesuit priest who serves homosexual Catholics, in his vocation, and he called the decision a “huge step forward in the church’s ministry to same-sex couples” .

“What was previously prohibited for all bishops, priests, and deacons is now possible for same-sex couples to receive non-liturgical blessings,” he told CNN. “I will now be delighted to bless my friends in same-sex marriages, along with many other Catholic priests.”

The pope’s attempts to change the church’s attitude toward LGBTQ Catholics started in 2013 when he asked, “Who am I to judge? “in answer to a question on gay clergy from a reporter.

Francis has made it clear that he is in favor of same-sex marriages being recognized civilly and has worked to soften the Vatican’s earlier criticism of homosexuals. His advocacy for the legal acknowledgment of homosexual couples, as opposed to marriage, swayed the church’s position and resulted in a 2003 Vatican decree declaring that it was “necessary to oppose legal recognition of homosexual unions.”

Additionally, the pope has extended his support to American nun Jeanine Gramick, who has spent years serving LGBT Catholics. She had previously received criticism from the Vatican, but Francis, who visited with her recently, called her a “valiant woman.”

According to the Vatican’s most recent decision, blessing same-sex and single couples is permissible without formally endorsing their status or altering the Church’s long-standing doctrine on marriage. According to the ruling, the church cannot grant a “liturgical blessing” to same-sex or unmarried couples because doing so could “offer a form of moral legitimacy to a union that presumes to be a marriage or to an extra-marital sexual practice,” which goes against the Catholic Church’s teaching that sex should only occur within marriage.

Moral Requirment

A pastoral gesture that is so well-liked and commonplace will be subject to too many moral requirements, which, under the claim of control, could overshadow the unconditional power of God’s love, according to the ruling, which also holds that the meaning of a blessing cannot be reduced “to this point of view alone.”

According to the ruling, the pope has emphasized that the church has to have a more comprehensive concept of blessings and cannot only turn into “judges who just refuse, reject, and exclude.”

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