The Catholic Church’s views on homosexuality have been apparent for many years. There had been hope in 2021 for change.

However, that was dashed today following confirmation from the Vatican.

The Vatican released a statement today, confirming that the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions. It was approved by Pope Francis, and this will be disappointing for millions of gay and lesbian Catholics and allies.

In the statement, homosexuality is referred to as a “choice”. Plus, it is also called sinful and claims it “cannot be recognized as objectively ordered” to God’s plans.

Statement

The Vatican’s top doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, writes: “The blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit,” and God “does not and cannot bless sin,”.
Until now, it had appeared that Pope Francis had a welcoming attitude towards LGBTQ people. However many thought it had seemed like he was modernising opinions within the church because of past comments.
Now, the statement comes as dozens of countries have legalised same-sex marriages. It continues: “It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”.
A two-page explanation has been published in seven languages. It states “the church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex”.
“The church recalls that God himself never ceases to bless each of his pilgrim children in this world. Because for him ‘we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit’,” the decree said. “But he does not and cannot bless sin.”.

Individual Blessings

However, the statement clarifies that gays and lesbians may receive a blessing as individuals. That’s if they live according to Church teaching.
The Vatican insists that blessing same-sex unions would imply that the Catholic Church approves and encourages “a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God.”
Seemingly now keen to try and do some damage limitation, the Vatican insisted that “the negative judgment on the blessing of unions of persons of the same sex does not imply a judgment on persons.”
Last year, Pope Francis gave an interview for a documentary that raised hopes for many people, because he said: “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,”

Then he added: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.”

However, the Vatican quickly said his comments had been taken out of context. In addition, they said he did not indicate any changes.
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Image via Alamy.