The Vatican said that the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex unions and explained the decision in a lengthy statement. Responding to a question about whether the Church has the "power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex," the Congregation for the Doctrine ruled that "blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit."
"The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render 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 Congregation for the Doctrine wrote.
"Furthermore, since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit. This is because they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact 'there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family.'"
The Vatican said that the Church should "welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations" and grant blessings to individuals.
The ruling comes five months after a documentary quoted Pope Francis as saying that "homosexuals have a right to be part of the family" and voicing his support for "a civil union law."
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