The Vatican on Monday said the Catholic Church did not have the power to bless same-sex unions despite their “positive elements” and said it was impossible for God to “bless sin”.
The powerful Vatican Office in charge of defending Church doctrine, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), answered the question: “Does the Church have the power to bless unions of the same sex?”
“Negative”, read the CDF’s response, signed by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, head of the doctrine office, which was first established in 1542 to hear heresy.
Blessings are not allowed, wrote the CDF, for what is to be blessed must be “objectively and positively commanded to receive and express grace, according to the pattern of God inscribed in creation and fully revealed by Christ the Lord.”
“For this reason, it is not permissible to give a blessing to relationships or partnerships, even stable ones, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (ie outside the insoluble union between a man and a woman that is in itself open to the transfer of life. ), as is the case with same-sex unions, “it wrote.
The CDF wrote that such relationships may have positive elements to value, but that did not make them “legitimate objects of ecclesiastical blessing, because the positive elements exist within a union that is not commissioned to the plan of the Creator.”
The office wrote that while God “never ceases to bless each of his pilgrims in this world … he cannot and cannot bless sin.”
The CDF denied that its statement was “a form of unfair discrimination”. Instead, it said it was a “reminder of the truth of the liturgical ritual and of the nature of the sacraments, which the Church understands them.”
The Church believes that marriage is exclusively a union between man and woman.
Early in his papacy, Pope Francis took an unsurpassed welcoming tone towards the LGBT community and made the now famous “Who Shall I Judge?” remark about homosexuals trying to live a Christian life.
In a documentary released in October last year, Francis expressed support for same-sex civil unions, although the Vatican later qualified that the comments were highly edited and excludes one who says he is against same-sex marriage.