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Pope Speaks On Approval Of Blessings For Same-S€x Couples | Citizen NewsNG

ByCitizen NewsNG

Jan 26, 2024

 

Pope Francis has addressed the recent approval of blessings for same-sex couples by the Catholic Church’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, seeking to ease concerns among conservative factions.

During a meeting with members of the dicastery, the Pope defended the decision, stating that these blessings do not necessitate moral perfection but are bestowed upon the individuals who request them.

Recall that in December the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, its department for Roman Catholic doctrine, said priests could bless “irregular” and same-sex couples under certain circumstances.

“These blessings… do not require moral perfection in order to be received,” the pope said during an audience with members of the dicastery.

“When a couple asks for it, it is not the union that is blessed, but simply the people who together have asked for it.

“Not the union, but the people, naturally taking into account the context, the sensitivities, the places where one lives and the most appropriate ways to do it,” Francis said.

This however, sparked an outcry in some quarters, particularly in Africa, with critics accusing the Church of back-tracking on the issues of gay marriage and homosexuality, both of which it opposes.

Strong opposition emerged in countries such as Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and influential figures, including Cardinal Robert Sarah, labeled the declaration as “heresy.”

Meanwhile, the original declaration emphasized limitations on such blessings, excluding weddings or civil unions and highlighting specific circumstances.

In response, the dicastery defended the Church’s position on marriage and sexuality while urging consideration of the ecclesial context and local culture in applying the measure.

the dicastery defended itself, saying the Church was “clear and definitive” about marriage — which it says can only be between a man and a woman — and sexuality, with homosexuality considered a sin.

Pope Francis, known for his efforts to embrace diverse communities within the Church, faces resistance from traditional and conservative individuals despite his inclusive approach since assuming the papacy in 2013.

Since his election in 2013, 87-year-old Pope Francis has insisted on opening the doors of the Church to all its faithful, including the homosexual and LGBTQ communities.

But his efforts have met with strong resistance among its traditional and conservative fringe.

 

By Alexandra Dominic-Chukwu

 

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