ua en ru

Grand shift in Vatican: Pope Francis approves blessings for same-sex unions

Grand shift in Vatican: Pope Francis approves blessings for same-sex unions Pope Francis (Getty Images)

Pope Francis has officially approved the blessing of same-sex couples. This is a significant step away from canonical Vatican policy, AP News reports.

In a newly released document from the Vatican's doctrine office, the Pope stresses that people seeking God's love and mercy should not make an exhaustive moral analysis to receive it.

This document, which elaborates on a letter sent by Pope Francis to two conservative cardinals in October, includes the option of blessing same-sex couples under some conditions, ensuring that such blessings do not conflate with the sacrament of marriage.

According to BBC, the Vatican says it is a sign that "God welcomes all". However, the document declares priests can make decisions depending on a case. Moreover, it specifies that these blessings should be non-liturgical, avoiding any association with civil unions or wedding rituals.

The prefect of the Church Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández introduced the text, affirming its adherence to the traditional doctrine of the Church about marriage. AT the same time, he acknowledged that, according to the Pope's vision to "broaden" the appeal of the Catholic Church, the new policies permit priests to consider blessings upon relationships that are still deemed "sinful."

A blessing is a prayer or plea, typically given by a minister, seeking divine favor for the people being blessed.

The document also addresses criticisms from traditionalists, emphasizing that offering a blessing does not legitimize anything but refrains from passing judgment.

This move is part of Pope Francis' ongoing efforts to welcome LGBTQ+ Catholics, distinguishing himself from his predecessors with a message of inclusivity.

Pope's stance on Russia-Ukraine war

In August, the scandal arose after Pope Francis advised Russian youth to remember that they were heirs to czars such as Catherine II and Peter I, whom President Vladimir Putin cited as examples to justify Moscow's war against Ukraine. Kyiv reacted by stating that Francis's words were mere imperialistic propaganda used by the Kremlin to justify the killings of thousands of Ukrainians.

Read more about Pope's statements on Ukraine in the article on RBC-Ukraine.