In major doctrinal shift, Vatican officially OKs Catholic blessings for gay couples

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12/18/2023

The Vatican’s doctrinal office has officially declared it possible for Catholic priests to bless same-sex unions and divorced and remarried couples, under the condition that the blessings do not send mixed messages about the church’s teaching on sacramental marriage and do not occur within a liturgical celebration. While extremely narrow in scope, the Dec. 18 “declaration” from the powerful Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith may serve as the most concrete pastoral shift on the church’s stance toward gay couples in the church’s centuries’ long history. The publication of the eight-page document, “Fiducia supplicans: on the pastoral meaning of blessings,” comes less than three months after Pope Francis had personally opened the door to such a possibility in response to five retired conservative Catholic cardinals who had written to the pontiff about whether such blessings might be possible.

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