The Vatican on Monday reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s teaching that homosexuality is a “sin”. In doing so, the Catholic Church’s leadership has reaffirmed that same-sex couples cannot receive the sacraments of marriage since “these are reserved for the indissoluble union between a man and a woman”.
The Vatican institution charged with enunciating and enforcing Catholic dogmas, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has formulated an answer to the question, “Does the Church have the authority to bless alliances between persons of the same sex?”
“No”, the Congregation said in a document signed by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation.
“Projects and proposals for blessings for same-sex unions are circulating in some Church circles today,” wrote the Congregation in the preamble of the text, intended to clarify the Vatican’s official position.
“When a blessing is invoked over certain human relationships, it is necessary… That what is blessed be objectively and positively justified in order to receive and express grace, according to God’s creations… Only those realities that are in themselves capable of serving these plans are thus compatible with the essence of the blessing given by the Church,” the Congregation continues.
“For this reason, it is not permissible to give a blessing to relationships or partnerships, even stable ones, that involve sexual practices outside of marriage (that is, outside the unbreakable union of a man and a woman, which in itself is open to the transfer of life),” said the Congregation.
“He does not bless sin”
The doctrine recalls the classical position of the Church. “God never ceases to bless each of His children…. But he does not bless sin and cannot bless it,” says the Congregation emphatically.
“For the above reasons, the Church does not and cannot have the authority to bless same-sex alliances in the above sense,” concludes the Congregation, noting that Pope Francis has read and approved the text.
According to the Congregation, this doctrine is not an expression of “a form of improper discrimination”, but “rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgy”.
Several months ago, the Pope sparked controversy after saying that “homosexuals have the right to form a family” and that they “have the right to enter into a cohabitation contract.” The Vatican then hastened to clarify that Francis had in no way questioned the dogma of marriage between a man and a woman in this way.