American Catholics Split on Pope’s Blessing for Gay Couples

Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican last month. He announced on Monday that he would allow priests to bless same-sex couples. Pope Francis announced on Monday that he would allow priests to bless same-sex couples, a shift that angered some conservatives but was celebrated by those who said that the decision was a substantial step in moving the church toward greater acceptance of L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics. “It really is a landmark and milestone in the church’s relationship with L.G.B.T.Q. people that can’t be overestimated or overstated,” Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of New Ways Ministry, a Maryland group that has advocated on behalf of gay Catholics since the 1970s, said. “This declaration is proof that church teaching can — and does — change.” Conservative Catholics in the United States, many of whom are deeply skeptical of Francis’ leadership, were disappointed. Some reacted with anger and others with a sense of resignation. The pope’s decision was issued “in contradiction to the unchangeable Catholic teaching that the church cannot bless sinful relationships,” the conservative LifeSiteNews wrote. The pope’s decision does not mean that the church will now marry same-sex couples. Priests may now offer blessings to people in same-sex marriages, although the blessings must not take the form of a liturgical rite that could be confused with the sacrament of marriage, and they cannot include “any clothing, gestures or words that are proper to a wedding.” More on the Roman Catholic Church A High-Profile Case: A Vatican criminal court sentenced Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, once one of the church’s most powerful officials, to five and a half years in prison for financial crimes . Cremation Rules: The Vatican said that Catholic families may ask to preserve “a minimal part of the ashes” of a relative in a place of […]

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By Donato