In a controversial lengthy statement that has sparked off public debate, the Catholic Church in Vatican, Rome, announced that it could not bless same-sex marriages, saying that “God Does Not and Cannot Bless Sin.”
The statement, which was approved by the Pope came out as a huge blow to many who believed that same-sex marriages needed to be embraced by the church.
“It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” the statement said.
The announcement was bad news for the gay catholic people, who had hoped that the Pope would consummate same-sex unions following his statements in a documentary that was released last year.
In the documentary, Pope Francis mentioned that “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out or be made miserable over it,” adding that “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered.”
However, the Pope quickly rowed back from those remarks, saying they had been taken out of context and did not indicate a change in doctrine.
The released statement says that gays and lesbians, as individuals, may receive a blessing if they live according to Church teaching. But blessing same-sex unions, the Vatican said, would send a sign that the Catholic Church approves and encourages “a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God.”
The Catholic Church stands to lose a number of its followers among the LGBTQ community, who are mostly comprised of young people.
The critics of this move cite several other things to back their stance including the sexual abuse claims against the Vatican institution and the failure of the Catholic Church to embrace gender equality. In what seemed like a bitter-sweet reform back in 2011, Pope Francis said women could read at the altar, but could never become priests.