Vatican City, Aug 8, 2017 / 10:59 am
*Updated with official statement from Paloma Ovejero, vice director of the Holy See press office
A congratulatory letter sent from Pope Francis to a same-sex couple regarding the baptism of their children was a standard form letter sent to all who write to the Pope, a Vatican source has confirmed.
The letter was not an endorsement of gay unions, the source told CNA, and the Pope may not have known that the letter was going to a gay couple, since it was addressed to a single individual.
Tony Reis, an LGBT activist, and his partner David Harrad published on Facebook in April that they sent a letter to the Pope, telling him about the baptism of their three adopted children in a church in Curitiba, Brazil.
The couple told AFP that they had received a congratulatory letter in return, signed by the Vatican Secretariat of State, Monsignor Paolo Borgi.
The letter, translated from Portuguese, said that the Holy Father “looks with appreciation” at the letter on the baptism of the children, and “expressed his feelings of esteem...and his wishes for the good spiritual fruits of his ministry as Pastor of the Universal Church.”
“Pope Francis wishes him well, invoking for his family the abundance of divine graces, so that they may live constantly and faithfully the condition of Christians, as good children of God and of the Church, and sends them a propitious Apostolic Blessing, asking them not to stop praying for him,” the letter concludes.
Along with the letter in Portuguese, the couple received a photograph of the Pontiff.