No easy answers to Vatican’s ‘no’ to same-sex blessings

no easy answers same-sex blessings

A leading German Catholic bishop responded to the Vatican’s rejection of blessings for same-sex couples on Monday by saying that there were “no easy answers” to the issue.

Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference commented March 15 after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) clarified that the Catholic Church does not have the power to give liturgical blessings of homosexual unions.

The CDF was asked: “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”

The doctrinal office’s blunt reply was simply, “RESPONSE: Negative.”

A one-and-half-page “explanatory note” immediately followed, saying the Catholic Church” declares illicit any form of blessing that tends to acknowledge their unions as such.”

CNA Deutsch has previously reported that Bätzing expressed support for same-sex blessings, saying that “we need solutions for this.”

In his statement, Bätzing addressed the impact of the CDF’s intervention on the “Synodal Path,” a multi-year event bringing together German laypeople and bishops to discuss four major topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.

Bätzing said that the “Synodal Path” was seeking to address “the topic of successful relationships in a comprehensive way that also considers the necessity and the limits of ecclesial doctrinal development.”

He added: “The points of view put forward today by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith must and will naturally find their way into these discussions.”

Meanwhile, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg welcomed the CDF document.

In a March 15 statement, he said: “The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has made it clear that the Church does not have the authority to bless same-sex partnerships. Pope Francis has approved the publication of the document and the accompanying explanations.”

“With the pope and the members of the Family Synod of 2015, I also underline ‘that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while “every sign of unjust discrimination” is to be carefully avoided’ (Amoris laetitia, 250).”


Catholic News Agency

La Croix International

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