As many as 100 Catholic priests in Germany have publicly defied Pope Francis and offered their blessings to same-sex couples despite a Vatican ban.
In March, the Vatican declared the Catholic Church can’t bless same-sex unions because God “does not and cannot bless sin.”
But on Monday (May 10), Catholic churches around Germany publicly invited same-sex couples to receive the blessings anyway.
Around 100 churches around Germany signed up to host the special services, even using the slogan “Love Wins”.
The churches welcomed all couples to the services, and livestreamed some of them online.
Dozens of German priests have also signed a public statement pledging to “never refuse” to bless same-sex unions.
“We will continue to accompany people who enter into a binding partnership in the future and bless their relationship,” it reads.
“We do this in our responsibility as pastors, who promise people at important moments in their lives the blessings that God alone gives.
The statement continues, “We respect and value their love, and we also believe that God’s blessings are on them.
“We do not accept that an exclusive and outdated sexual morality is carried out on the back of people and undermines our work in pastoral care.”
Vatican declares same-sex unions ‘not part of God’s plan’
In March the Vatican’s orthodoxy office declared in an official document they don’t allow same-sex blessings.
The official decree, approved by Pope Francis on the question, was responding to a formal question on the issue. It declared priests can’t bless same-sex unions because “God does not and cannot bless sin”.
The document states while the church welcomes and blesses gay individuals, same-sex unions are “not part of God’s plan”.
“It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships… that involve sexual activity outside of marriage,” the decree states.
As the Catholic Church defines marriage as between “a man and a woman”, the priests therefore can’t bless same-sex unions.
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