The Vatican decreed Monday that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions — because God “cannot bless sin.”
The Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), issued a formal response Monday to a question about whether Catholic clergy can bless gay unions.
The answer — approved by Pope Francis — was “negative.”
God “does not and cannot bless sin,” insisted the note published in seven languages.
“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.
The CDF said the explanation was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite.”
The decree maintained that “persons with homosexual inclinations” should be “[welcomed] with respect and sensitivity,” but that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered.”
Catholic teaching holds that God intends marriage to be a lifelong union between a man and woman for the sake of creating new life, the note said. Since gay unions are not intended to be part of that plan, they cannot be blessed by the church.
“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.
Blessing a same-sex union could give the impression of a sort of sacramental equivalence to marriage — which “would be erroneous and misleading,” the article said.
However, the Vatican stressed that “the negative judgment on the blessing of unions of persons of the same sex does not imply a judgment on persons.”
“The Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations,” the note said, saying that the church “prays for them, accompanies them and shares their journey of Christian faith.”
With Post wires