The Vatican published a clarifying note on Monday to remind that the Catholic Church cannot impart its blessing to same-sex unions, after some ecclesiastical circles have raised doubts on this issue.
"It is not lawful to impart a blessing to relationships, or even stable couples, that involve a sexual praxis outside of marriage (that is, outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open, by itself, to the transmission of life), as is the case of unions between persons of the same sex ", writes the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.
With a 'Responsum ad dubium', that is, an answer to a doubt, approved by Pope Francis, the former Holy Office answered negatively to the question that many priests were asking: does the Church have the power to impart the blessing to unions of people of the same sex ?. The answer is due to the fact that in "some ecclesiastical environments projects and proposals for blessings for unions of persons of the same sex are being disseminated" and that "these projects are motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and support homosexual people, to which paths of growth in faith are proposed "but which cannot be converted into blessings, is indicated in the note.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, led by Spanish Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, clarifies that "God loves every person, as does the Church rejecting all unjust discrimination. "But" the blessings on persons are in relation to the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit, insofar as it would be in a certain way an imitation or an analogy with the nuptial blessing, invoked on the man and the woman who unite in the sacrament of Matrimony ". And that, it is added," there is no basis to assimilate or establish analogies, not even remote, between homosexual unions and the design of God over marriage and family. "
It is further emphasized that "the declaration of illegality of the blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and does not want to be, an unfair discrimination, but claim the truth of the liturgical rite and how much corresponds deeply to the essence of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them. "But he urges" the Christian community and pastors to welcome people with homosexual inclinations with respect and delicacy "and" know how to find the ways more suitable".
Response after the documentary?
In a recent documentary on Francis by Russian director Evgeny Afineevsky, the Argentine pontiff stated: "Homosexuals have the right to be in a family. What should be there is a civil union law, in that way they are legally covered ", a quote that made headlines around the world, also provoking criticism from the most conservative wing of the Church. Actually, it was two different responses to an interview with the Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki, but that they were never delivered by the Vatican to his channel, Televisa, and edited and published in the documentary as if it were one, without contextualizing and referring to state laws while speaking of his homeland Argentina.
But this response, out of context, from the pope created confusion and even the Secretary of State contacted the nuncios (ambassadors) in each country to explain in a note that the doctrine did not change. It is thus the first official response by the Vatican to a few words that gave, or so it was believed, the approval, not the blessing, to the civil unions on the part of the Pope.