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Ukrainian church's stance on Pope's permission to bless same-sex couples

Ukrainian church's stance on Pope's permission to bless same-sex couples Ukrainian church's reaction to the blessing of same-sex couples (illustrative photo: Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

The Vatican has approved a resolution to bless same-sex couples in Roman Catholic churches. However, such a procession does not apply to regular church rituals or liturgies. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine called the text of the resolution "program" and same-sex relationships the sin of sodomy, according to the head of the Bila Tserkva Diocese of the OCU, Yevstratii Zoria.

OCU's reaction to the Vatican's decree

According to Yevstratii Zoria, the text of the decree aims to make the words Church, same-sex couples, and blessing be perceived as single-worded.

"The ambiguity of the text and contradictory statements are deliberately used to disguise the main goal and allow all interested to find in the text what they like, and thus to open the "Overton window" in their minds," the clergyman writes.

He emphasizes an interesting detail: the time of the text's publication. It happened on Christmas Eve to "stir up the world and the faithful." According to Zoria, this only confirms that this event has nothing to do with pastoral care or the Gospel.

"This is a political 'program' text. And this is how it is already perceived by those who are against it and those who are for it," Yevstratii believes.

As for the OCU, the church expressed its position on this topic in the Declaration of the Local Council "On the negative attitude to the sin of sodomy (homosexuality)." This document repeats the principled views expressed in the same Declaration in 2007.

Yevstratii Zoria emphasizes that the Vatican's resolution refers to the blessing of a "disordered couple."

"That is, one that by definition cannot get married. This is specifically emphasized by the document's instructions that the "blessing" cannot be the same as the ritual and ceremony of the Sacrament of Marriage. The authors and the pontiff recognize that the community of two who ask for the blessing cannot become a married couple," he emphasizes.

More about the Vatican's decision

First of all, the Pope emphasizes that the Doctrine of the Faith issued by the Dicastery should not be confused with the sacrament of heterosexual marriage. For the Roman Catholic Church, the doctrine of marriage remains unchanged, and the blessing does not mean approval of the union.

In addition, such innovations do not necessarily have to become the norm. That is, priests must make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

To avoid "any form of confusion or scandal" when a couple in a non-standard position or same-sex couples ask for a blessing, it "should never be given at the same time as civil union ceremonies, or even in connection with them."