The Vatican released a declaration that same sex unions can not be blessed.
A formal statement Monday from the Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, saying Roman Catholic clergy may not bless such unions since God “cannot bless sin.”
Vatican doctrine holds that gays and lesbians should be treated with dignity and respect, but that gay sex is “intrinsically disordered” and that same-sex unions are sinful.
Various gay rights advocates within the catholic community responded;
Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which advocates for greater LGBTQ acceptance in the church: “If priests and pastoral ministers no longer feel they can perform such a blessing, the Catholic laity will step in and perform their own rituals.”
The Rev. Bryan Massingale, an openly gay Catholic priest and professor of theology and social ethics at Fordham University, said priests who want to engage in pastoral outreach to the gay and lesbian community “will continue to do so, except that it will be even more under the table … than it was before.”
The Rev. James Martin, another priest who advocates for greater LGBTQ inclusion in the Catholic church, said in a post on Twitter that he received dozens of messages from LGBTQ people on Monday saying they were discouraged by the Vatican’s pronouncement. He urged them not to despair.
Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the U.S.-based NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, said she was relieved the Vatican statement wasn’t harsher.
She interpreted it as saying, “You can bless the individuals (in a same-sex union), you just can’t bless the contract.”