Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 18, 2023 / 18:20 pm
A Vatican-issued declaration on blessing “same-sex couples” and couples in other “irregular situations” does not change the Catholic Church’s teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman, according to a statement issued by the United States bishops.
The Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith issued a declaration on Monday titled Fiducia Supplicans, which opened the door for priests to pastorally bless same-sex couples. However, the declaration also makes clear that such blessings cannot be performed in a way to resemble marriage and conveyed a distinction between a pastoral blessing and a sacramental blessing.
“The [declaration] articulated a distinction between liturgical (sacramental) blessings and pastoral blessings, which may be given to persons who desire God’s loving grace in their lives,” Chieko Noguchi, the executive director of public affairs at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement Monday.
“The Church’s teaching on marriage has not changed, and this declaration affirms that, while also making an effort to accompany people through the imparting of pastoral blessings because each of us needs God’s healing love and mercy in our lives,” Noguchi added.