Vatican City, Mar 25, 2021 / 19:19 pm
Following a Vatican clarification that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions, some media outlets have speculated about Pope Francis’ involvement – or lack thereof – in releasing the document.
However, the pope’s consent is a necessary part of any responsum, and Pope Francis himself has multiple times reiterated the Church’s well-established teaching on marriage and sexuality.
The document in question is the responsum (response) which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave to a question about the blessing to same-sex unions. The responsum said that “God cannot bless sin.”
The responsum also stressed that “the Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations and will know how to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with Church teaching, to proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness.”
The Church cannot bless sexual unions outside the marriage of one man and one woman, the document said. However, blessings can be given “to individual persons with homosexual inclinations, who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching.”
Although the document reiterates the Church's longstanding teaching, it has sparked controversy and harsh reactions from progressive voices within the Church.
There has also been an attempt to distance Pope Francis from the document, with one media outlet claiming the issue was not discussed at the monthly plenary meeting of the CDF, but only by a small group of congregation officials.
However, the document itself clearly says that Pope Francis “was informed and gave his assent to the publication of the above-mentioned dubium, with the annexed Explanatory note.”