Vatican Says Catholic Church Won’t ‘Bless Sin’ Of Same-Sex Unions; Activists Slam ‘Tragic’ Decision – CBS Los Angeles

ROME (CBSLA/AP) — The Vatican declared Monday that the Catholic Church won’t bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.”

The Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a formal response to a question about whether Catholic clergy have the authority to bless gay unions. The answer, contained in a two-page explanation published in seven languages and approved by Pope Francis, was “negative.”

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The note distinguished between the church’s welcoming and blessing of gay people, which it upheld, but not their unions. It argued that such unions are not part of God’s plan and that any sacramental recognition of them could be confused with marriage.

The note immediately pleased conservatives, disheartened advocates for LGBT Catholics and threw a wrench in the debate within the German church, which has been at the forefront of opening discussion on hot-button issues such the church’s teaching on homosexuality.

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for greater acceptance of gays in the church, predicted the Vatican position would be ignored, including by some Catholic clergy.

“Catholic people recognize the holiness of the love between committed same-sex couples and recognize this love as divinely inspired and divinely supported and thus meets the standard to be blessed,” he said in a statement.

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The Vatican holds that gay people must be treated with dignity and respect, but that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered.” Catholic teaching says that marriage is a lifelong union between a man and woman, is part of God’s plan and is intended for the sake of creating new life.

Some activists are saying that people now will be forced to choose between their faith and living an authentic life.

“The message I heard months ago from the Vatican was that they were in support of civil unions because everyone has the right to be happy and have a family,” said Peg Corley, Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center OC. “It seems as though
they are walking that position back and doing so in the middle
of a global pandemic when people need their support systems
more than before is tragic.”

Francis has endorsed providing gay couples with legal protections in same-sex unions, but that was in reference to the civil sphere, not within the church. Those comments were made during a 2019 interview with a Mexican broadcaster, Televisa, but were censored by the Vatican until they appeared in a documentary last year.

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(Copyright 2021 CBS Corp. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.)