Pope Francis Approves Catholic Ruling That Says Church Can’t Bless Same-Sex Unions
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a ruling saying while the church must “welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations”, the church can not bless same-sex unions, a ruling in which Pope Francis approved. The ruling comes as a greater number of western Catholic churches have grappled with how to handle homosexuality and sam-sex unions since they have become legal in many western countries over the last decade.
The explanation accompanying the ruling does not rule out blessings given to people with “homosexual inclinations.” The document did not make clear who sought or asked for this ruling. "This is an important document because it shows how far Pope Francis is willing to go and where he wants to stop," said Massimo Faggioli who teaches religious studies at Villanova University.
What is clear is that a documentary of Pope Francis released last October appears to show the Pope supporting same-sex unions. The Vatican later clarified that his comments were taken out of context but did acknowledge Pope Francis’ belief that gay couples should enjoy legal protections. “Following this documentary, the church saw an increase in Catholics who had stopped attending and were involved in a same-sex relationship return to Sunday services and participate in other Catholic events” said Susan Rice of Notre Dame university. “Some have confused the Pope’s care and compassion for all, including LGBTQ members, as an approval of same-sex lifestyles being consecrated within Catholicism.”