Homosexual unions, the Vatican: “They cannot be blessed”

“To the question posed: ‘Does the Church have the power to give blessings to same-sex unions?’ you reply: ‘Negatively’ “. We read it in the Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ad un dubium about the blessing of same-sex unions “.

“The Supreme Pontiff Francis, in the course of an audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of this Congregation, was informed and gave his consent to the publication of the aforementioned Responsum ad dubium, with an accompanying Explanatory Note”, writes at the bottom of the document the prefect of the former Holy Office, Cardinal Luis Ladaria. “The Church recalls that God himself does not stop blessing each of his pilgrim children in this world, because for him” we are more important than all the sins we can do “”, writes the cardinal, “but he does not bless he can bless sin: he blesses the sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love “. “The declaration of illegality of the blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not, and does not intend to be, an unjust discrimination, but rather to recall the truth of the liturgical rite and of what deeply corresponds to the essence of the sacramentals, so ‘as the Church understands them “, continues the explanatory note,” The Christian community and the Pastors are called to welcome people with homosexual inclination with respect and delicacy, and will be able to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with the ecclesial teaching, to proclaim the Gospel in its fullness. These, at the same time, recognize the sincere closeness of the Church – which prays for them, accompanies them, shares their journey of Christian faith – and accepts their teachings with sincere availability ” .

“The answer to the proposed dubium does not exclude blessings being given to individuals with homosexual inclination, who manifest the will to live in faithfulness to God’s revealed plans as proposed by ecclesial teaching, but declares every form of blessing that tends to recognize their unions “, Cardinal Ladaria continues,” In this case, in fact, the blessing would manifest the intention not to entrust certain individuals to the protection and help of God, in the sense mentioned above, but to approve and encourage a choice and a praxis of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God. For the above reasons, the Church does not have, nor can she dispose of, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex in the sense understood above “. Today’s pronouncement stems from the fact that “in some ecclesial spheres projects and proposals for blessings for same-sex unions are spreading”. “Not infrequently”, it is acknowledged, “such projects are motivated by a sincere willingness to welcome and accompany homosexual people, to whom paths of growth in faith are proposed, so that those who manifest the homosexual tendency can have the help necessary to fully understand and realize God’s will in their life “.

However, the note continues. “to be consistent with the nature of sacramentals, when a blessing is invoked on some human relationships it is necessary that what is blessed is objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the plans of God inscribed in Creation and fully revealed by Christ the Lord “. Consequently “only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those designs are compatible with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church. For this reason, it is not permissible to impart a blessing to relationships, or even stable partnerships, which involve a sexual practice outside marriage (that is, outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case with unions between persons of the same sex “. The presence in such relationships of “positives” in themselves “are to be appreciated and valued”, does not make them “legitimately the object of an ecclesial blessing, since these elements are at the service of a union not ordered to the design of the Creator”. And then a blessing “would in some way constitute an imitation or a reference to analogy with the nuptial blessing, invoked on the man and woman who unite in the sacrament of Matrimony, since there is no basis for assimilating or establishing analogies, not even remote, between homosexual unions and God’s plan for marriage and the family “. A phrase, the latter, taken up in full from the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia written by Pope Francis.

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