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Pope Francis OKs blessing same-sex couples

Pope Francis addressing an audience in St. Peter's Square at The Vatican Associated Press/Photo by Alessandra Tarantino

Pope Francis OKs blessing same-sex couples

The Vatican released a document Monday morning affirming that Catholic leaders may bless gay couples. The document expounds on a previous opinion penned by Pope Francis earlier this year. The new policy distinguishes between a blessing and a wedding, insisting that Biblical marriage is only between a man and a woman. The document described blessing as “a seed of the Holy Spirit that must be nurtured” and that homosexual couples should not be deprived of “mercy and closeness to God.” The declaration further requires that such blessings may not be given at civil unions or in any context resembling a wedding to “avoid any form of confusion or scandal.”

How are Catholics responding to the policy? The policy has received harsh criticism from some Catholics. Traditional Catholic blogger Luigi Casalini, who writes for “Messa in Latino” (Latin Mass), condemned the change, saying that the church is “crumbling.” Other social media users said the church should not bless sinful lifestyles and worry that the policy could be misused. University of Notre Dame theologian Ulrich Lehner described Pope Francis’ declaration as “the most unfortunate public announcement in decades” and said it may lead to a schism in the Catholic church.

Dig deeper: Read my report with Kim Henderson on Pope Francis’ censuring of conservative clergy.

Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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