Pope Francis said in an interview published Monday (Jan. 29) that the case of the Church in Africa was “special,” with regards to the extra-liturgical blessings proposed for same sex-couples.
He told Italian newspaper La Stampa that “homosexuality was something ‘ugly’ from a cultural point of view” for Africans.
He was being asked about the opposition a document he supports has attracted.
Declaration Fiducia supplicans, published on December 18, opens the possibility of blessing couples whose situation is considered “irregular” in the Catholic church. Those include unmarried couples, divorced-and-remarried couples, and same-sex couples.
“The Gospel is to sanctify everyone […]” “we are all sinners: why should we make a list of sinners who can enter the Church and a list of sinners who cannot be in the Church?,” he asked.
Doubling down on what the blessing is about was “blessing the people not their union.”
Regarding criticisms of the document, the Pope noted that “those who vehemently protest belong to small ideological groups.”
With the Pope’s approval, the president of the African bishops said on January 11th that blessings for same-sex couples wouldn’t be carried out on the continent where many countries criminalize homosexuality.
The Bishops of Northern Africa said they will bless people in irregular situations as long as the blessing doesn’t create confusion for the concerned or others.