– The Vatican’s doctrinal office March 15 clarified that the Catholic Church does not have the power to give liturgical blessings of homosexual unions.
Answering the question, “does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex,” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) responded, “negative.”
In an accompanying note, the doctrine office explained that blessings are sacramentals, and “consequently, in order to conform with the nature of sacramentals, when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships, in addition to the right intention of those who participate, it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord.”
“Therefore, only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those ends are congruent with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church,” the CDF said.
“For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”
The ruling and note were approved for publication by Pope Francis and signed by CDF prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria and secretary Archbishop Giacomo Morandi.
The CDF’s note did not state the origin of the dubium submitted to the doctrinal office, but noted that “in some ecclesial contexts, plans and proposals for blessings of unions of persons of the same sex are being advanced.”
In recent years, German bishops in particular have been increasingly outspoken in requesting “discussions about an opening” towards acceptance of practiced homosexuality and the blessing of homosexual unions in the Church.
The CDF explained in 2003 that “the Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”