Pope clarifies stance on LGBT blessings: Focus on individuals, not unions

Pope Francis, in a recent address, reaffirmed a Vatican document regarding blessings for same-sex couples. He emphasized that these blessings are not an endorsement of unions the Church views as potentially sinful, but rather an acknowledgment of individuals seeking a closer relationship with God.

Publication: 27.01.2024 - 15:51
Pope clarifies stance on LGBT blessings: Focus on individuals, not unions
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This clarification follows the Dec. 18 declaration, which sparked widespread debate within the Church and resistance from bishops in some countries.

In his address to the Vatican's doctrinal department, Francis explained the blessings' intent: "to concretely show the Lord's and the Church's closeness to those in various situations seeking help to continue or sometimes start a faith journey."

The Church's teaching remains that homosexual acts are sinful and disordered, while same-sex attractions are not inherently sinful. The Pope stated that those seeking blessings don't need to be morally perfect, but these blessings shouldn't be misconstrued as justifying a relationship considered irregular by the Church.

Francis specified that these blessings should not occur in a liturgical setting and advised discretion, avoiding the ceremony associated with weddings. Since his election in 2013, Francis has aimed to make the Church's 1.35 billion members more welcoming to LGBT people, without altering its moral doctrines.

Acknowledging the document's mixed reception, particularly in Africa where bishops largely rejected it amid legal ramifications for same-sex activities, Francis noted the importance of context, local sensitivities, and appropriate methods when giving blessings.