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Pope Francis says Africans oppose his decision to allow same-sex blessings

Pope Francis says Africans oppose his decision to allow same-sex blessings Pope Francis (Getty Images)

Pope Francis says that in Africa, many people, especially bishops, do not support his decision to allow blessings for same-sex couples. He believes that, except for Africans, people who criticize it will eventually understand, according to Pope's interview with La Stampa, Reuters reports.

A document called Fiducia Supplicans allowed these blessings, causing a wave of heated debates within the Catholic Church. African bishops strongly oppose it.

"Those who protest vehemently belong to small ideological groups," Pope said. "A special case is Africans: for them, homosexuality is something 'bad' from a cultural point of view, they don't tolerate it".

In some African countries, engaging in a same-sex relationship can lead to prison or even the death penalty.

The Pope trusts that over time, everyone will feel reassured by the declaration. He adds that the goal is to include, not divide. Last week, he acknowledged the disagreement.

When blessings are given, the Pope says priests should consider the context, sensitivities, and appropriate ways to do it.

He is not worried about conservatives leaving the Catholic Church because of his changes, saying it is just small groups, and the focus should be on moving forward.

"We must leave them to it and move on...and look forward", he said.

The Pope officially approved the blessings of same-sex couples

In December 2023, Pope Francis officially approved the blessing of same-sex unions. This is a significant step away from canonical Vatican policy. The Vatican said it was a sign that "God welcomes all". However, the document declares priests can make decisions depending on a case. It also specifies that these blessings should be non-liturgical, avoiding any association with civil unions or wedding rituals.