The Vatican on Monday said the Catholic Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions despite their “positive elements”, saying it was impossible for God to “bless sin”.
The powerful Vatican office responsible for defending church doctrine, The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), issued a response to the question, “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”
“Negative,” read the CDF’s response, signed by Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the doctrinal office that was first set up in 1542 to hear heresy cases.
Blessings are not allowed, wrote the CDF, because what is to be blessed needs to be “objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord”.
“For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” it wrote.
The CDF wrote that such relationships might have positive elements to be valued, but that did not make them “legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the creator’s plan”.
The office wrote that while God “never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world… he does not and cannot bless sin”.
Pope Francis approved the response by the CDF, saying it was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite”.
Some parishes in recent months, including in Germany and the US, have started giving blessings to people in same-sex relationships as a way to welcome gay Catholics to the church, Reuters news agency reported.
The news thus kills any hope for gay catholics who were hoping to have their unions recognized by the church.