African priests reject Pope’s endorsement of gay marriages

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12/24/2023

In an extraordinary pushback against Pope Francis, some Catholic bishops in Africa, Poland and elsewhere say they will not implement the new Vatican policy allowing blessings for same-sex couples. Others downplayed the policy approved this week by Francis as merely reaffirming the Vatican’s long-standing teaching about marriage being only a union between a man and a woman. The reactions show how polarizing the issue remains and how Francis’ decade-long effort to make the church a more welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community continues to spark resistance among traditionalist and conservative Catholic leaders. Some of the strongest responses came from bishops in Africa, home to 265 million Catholics, or nearly a quarter of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics. Many of those Catholics live and their churches operate in societies where homosexuality is condemned and outlawed.

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