The Vatican’s Doctrinal Office released a response regarding the blessing of same-sex unions.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Prefect Cardinal Luis Ladaria and Secretary Archbishop Giacomo Morandi signed the response approved by Pope Francis.

The document opens with the question, “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?” 

“Negative,” the document responds.

Blessings belong to the category of the sacramentals, whereby the Church “calls us to praise God, encourages us to implore his protection, and exhorts us to seek his mercy by our holiness of life,”” the response begins.

The Catholic Church teaches that people with homosexual tendencies “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” but that homosexual acts constitute “grave depravity,” are “intrinsically disordered,” and that “under no circumstances can they be approved.” Instead, “homosexual persons are called to chastity.” (CCC 2357-2359)

Because a marital union must conform with the order of God’s design of creation, “it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace.”

It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage…as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”

The document also encourages chastity for those with homosexual tendencies and calls them to live in holiness. It adds that priests and communities are called to welcome, love, and pray for and with them.

“God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, because for Him ‘we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit’

But he does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact ‘takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are.'”

“The declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and is not intended to be, a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them.”

“The Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex in the sense intended above.”

Click here to read the full response.

[See also: Milo Yiannopoulos Renounces Gay Lifestyle, Consecrates Himself to St. Joseph]

[See also: Pope Francis Declares Year of St. Joseph: 8 Ways to Gain a Plenary Indulgence Over the Next Year]

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