The Pope allows the blessing of homosexual couples without equating it with marriage

Pope Francis has taken another step towards the openness of the Catholic Church. The pope has proven to be a teaching document which allows the blessing of same-sex and other “irregular” couples as long as it does not imitate the marriage rite.

According to the official Vatican portal “Vatican News”, this declaration makes the “Fiducia supplicans” of the Dicastery for the doctrine of the faith, approved by the Pope, possible bless same-sex couplesbut apart from any ritualization and imitation of marriage.

Thus, the declaration states that the ordained priest will be able to give his consent when confronted with the request of two people for blessing, even if their status as a couple is “irregular”, without this gesture being included is Elements that don’t even remotely resemble a wedding rite.

The document deals with the topic of blessing and distinguishes between ritual and liturgical blessingsand spontaneous blessings that more closely resemble gestures of popular piety. In this second category in particular, consideration is now being given to the possibility of including those who do not live according to the norms of Christian moral teaching but instead ask for blessings.

“Fiducia suplicans” begins with an introduction by the Prefect of the Dicastery, Cardinal Víctor Fernández, who explains that the declaration goes deeper into this the “pastoral meaning of blessing”which makes it possible to “expand and enrich one’s classical understanding” through a theological reflection “based on the pastoral vision of Pope Francis.”

A reflection that, as he explains, “Represents a real evolution from what has previously been said about blessings”which even includes the possibility of “blessing couples in an irregular situation and same-sex couples without officially confirming their status or in any way changing the Church’s enduring teaching on marriage.”

After the first few paragraphs reminiscent of the previous declaration from 2021, the declaration has now been expanded presents the blessing in the sacrament of marriage to explain “inadmissible rites and prayers that may lead to confusion between what constitutes marriage” and “that which contradicts it”, in order to avoid in any way “recognizing as marriage something which is not marriage is”.

Only sexual relationships within marriage are considered “lawful”

Therefore, it is reiterated that according to the “eternal Catholic teaching”Only sexual relationships within marriage between a man and a woman are considered legal.

A second chapter analyzes the meaning of the various blessings intended for people, objects of devotion, and places in life. Remember it “from a strictly liturgical perspective”Blessing requires that what is blessed be “consistent with the will of God as expressed in the teachings of the Church.”

In any case, it is specified that the one who asks for a blessing “shows himself in need of the saving presence of God in his story” because he expresses “a request for help from God, a request for a better life”, why He adds that this request must be welcomed and appreciated “outside the liturgical framework,” when it is found “in a realm of greater spontaneity and freedom.”

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With this he points out that viewed from the perspective of popular piety “Blessings should be viewed as acts of devotion.” and adds that it is therefore not necessary for the award to require “prior moral perfection” as a prerequisite.

We delve deeper into this distinction, based on Pope Francis’ response to the Cardinals’ “Dubia” published last October, in which he asked to recognize the possibility of “forms of blessing requested by one or more persons will not convey any error.” The document states that this type of blessing is “offered to all” when it comes to the idea of ​​marriage.

Thus, it is pointed out that there are “various occasions on which people spontaneously come to ask for a blessing, whether on pilgrimages, in shrines or even.” on the street when they meet a priest“, and with such blessings “no one can be excluded.”

In this sense, it points out that it is forbidden to activate “procedures or rites” for these cases, The ordained minister can participate in prayer those people who, “even though they live in a union that is in no way comparable to marriage, entrust themselves to the Lord and his mercy and want to ask him for help”.

They are not standardized

The third chapter of the Declaration opens the possibility of these blessings, which represent a gesture towards those who “recognize themselves as helpless and in need of help and do not claim the legitimacy of their own status, but pray that everything is true and good and humane.” valid in their lives and in their relationships, are equipped, sanctified and exalted by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Such blessings, as he points out, They should not be standardized, but entrusted to “practical discrimination in a particular situation.” Furthermore, it is suggested that “in the short prayer that may precede this spontaneous blessing, the ordained minister could ask for peace, health, a spirit of patience, dialogue and mutual help, but also for the light and power of God “in order to be able to fully fulfill one’s will.”

It also clarifies that in order to avoid “any form of confusion and scandal” when a same-sex couple asks for the blessing, “Shall never be performed simultaneously with or in connection with civil union rites.”. “Not even with the clothes, gestures or words typical of a marriage.” Therefore, it is suggested that this type of blessing “may find its place in other contexts, for example when visiting a shrine, at a meeting with a priest, at a prayer in a group or during a pilgrimage”.

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