OAN’s Brooke Mallory
6:05 PM – Monday, December 18, 2023
In a new statement issued on Monday, Pope Francis formally endorsed the practice of priests blessing same-sex couples, stating that anyone seeking God’s love and compassion should not have to undergo a “moral analysis” in order to be granted it.
This marks a major departure in Vatican doctrine.
“One should not prevent or prohibit the Church’s closeness to people in every situation in which they might seek God’s help through a simple blessing,” said the document from the Vatican.
However, the shift in policy does not alter the church’s position on marriage.
It states unequivocally that such blessing requests from homosexual couples should not be turned down, and it also mentions how anyone pursuing a transcendent relationship with God and those seeking his compassion or mercy should not be subjected to “an exhaustive moral analysis” as a prerequisite for obtaining it, offering a comprehensive explanation of the term “blessing” in scripture.
“Ultimately, a blessing offers people a means to increase their trust in God,” the document reads. “The request for a blessing, thus, expresses and nurtures openness to the transcendence, mercy, and closeness to God in a thousand concrete circumstances of life, which is no small thing in the world in which we live.”
“It is a seed of the Holy Spirit that must be nurtured, not hindered,” the Pope added.
The Vatican also maintains that a marriage is an unbreakable bond “between a man and a woman.”
In 2021, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican said that “God cannot bless sin,” so the church was unable to approve of a marriage between two males or two females.
Even the progressive Pope Francis seemed taken aback by the uproar the statement had caused, despite the fact that he had given his formal approval for its release. He dismissed the official who had written it shortly after it was published and reportedly started to prepare for a reversal.
The Vatican stated in the updated document that the church must avoid engaging in “doctrinal or disciplinary schemes, especially when they lead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying.”
It emphasized that everyone involved in “irregular” couplings, homosexual or heterosexual, is living in sin. However, it also expressed that this fact should not rob them of God’s compassion or love.
“Thus, when people ask for a blessing, an exhaustive moral analysis should not be placed as a precondition for conferring it,” the document continues.
As a “huge step forward” and a “dramatic shift” from the Vatican’s 2021 stance, the new statement was highly praised by Rev. James Martin, a notable advocate for greater acceptance of LGBTQ+ Catholics.
The document “recognizes the deep desire in many Catholic same-sex couples for God’s presence and help in their committed relationships,” the Reverend said in an email. “Along with many Catholic priests, I will now be delighted to bless my friends in same-sex marriages.”
However, some Evangelical Christians and other social media users online have criticized the new stance, saying that the Pope is just trying to appease the progressive left and liberals. They have also accused him of overstepping his power and attempting to change Biblical doctrine.
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