Pope Francis radically shifted the Roman Catholic Church’s stance on LGBTQ issues on Monday, formally allowing priests to bless same-sex unions.
Such unions can only be blessed if the ritual or service does not resemble the sacrament of marriage that is performed in the church and are not liturgical.
Driving the news: Francis’s approval came in a document released by the Vatican on Monday.
- The document explains that people seeking God’s love and mercy should not be subject to an exhaustive moral analysis as a precondition for receiving blessings.
- The Vatican’s ruling emphasizes that marriage is a lifelong sacrament between a man and a woman and blessings should not be performed simultaneously with civil unions.
- It also says that requests for same-sex blessings should not be denied, offering a broad definition of the term “blessing.”
- Francis wrote that people looking for God’s love and mercy should not be subject to “an exhaustive moral analysis.”
- “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,” the document reads. “It is a seed of the Holy Spirit that must be nurtured, not hindered.”