The Catholic Church on Monday made a final verdict on the issue of same-sex unions, saying the church does not have the power to bless such unions because “God does not and cannot bless sin.”
The church said such blessings, therefore, cannot “be considered licit.”
In a response to a dubium that had been presented, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican’s orthodoxy office, in a statement published in seven languages, therefore, said it is illegal for priests to bless homosexual couples who ask for some type of religious recognition of their union.
The CDF said Pope Francis was informed and “gave his assent” to the publication of the Response.
The statement by the Church is based on specific assertions and some actual practices.
The decree distinguishes between the church’s welcoming and blessing of gay people, which it upheld, but not their unions.
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 between a man and woman is part of God’s plan and is intended for the sake of creating new life.
“The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan,” the response said.
God “does not and cannot bless sin: He blesses sinful man, so that he may recognise that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him,” it said.