ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Pope Francis has authorized priests to bless same-sex relationships, marking an effort to be more inclusive towards the LGBTQ community within the Catholic Church, as announced by Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez on Monday.
The Pope endorsed the new declaration, permitting same-sex couples to receive blessings from the church while emphasizing that the approval does not alter “the traditional doctrine of the church about marriage.”
This represents a departure from the church’s previous stance against blessing same-sex relationships.
Cardinal Fernández clarified that priests should exercise discretion in blessing same-sex relationships, emphasizing that it does not officially validate their status or alter the Church’s enduring teaching on marriage.
The move marks a significant development in a long-standing debate between the liberal and conservative factions within the church regarding same-sex relationships.
“It is precisely in this context,” Cardinal Fernández wrote, “that one can understand the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or changing in any way the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage.”
Despite this shift, Pope Francis maintains the church’s position that marriage is reserved for a union between a man and a woman.