Pope Francis Open to Blessing Same-Sex Couples
Pope Francis has stated that he is open to the Catholic Church blessing same-sex couples, as reported by the BBC.
Responding to a group of cardinals who asked him to clarify this issue, he said that any request for a blessing should be met with "pastoral compassion."
"We cannot be mere judges who only reject, deny, and exclude," he stated.
However, he added that the Church still considers same-sex relationships as "objectively sinful" and does not recognize same-sex marriages.
Nevertheless, in 2019, Pope Francis expressed support for same-sex civil unions, stating, "Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God. What we have to have is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered."
This request was among several submitted to the Pope ahead of a week-long global meeting to discuss the future of the Church, which is set to begin in the Vatican on Wednesday.
In the Catholic Church, a blessing is a prayer or benediction typically delivered by a minister, asking God to look favorably upon a person or people.
In 2021, in response to a similar request for clarification, the Vatican's doctrinal office issued a negative response to the possibility of allowing such blessings.
At the time, in his response, the Pope stated that the Church understands marriage as an "exclusive, stable, and lifelong union between a man and a woman" and must avoid "any form of blessing that might be interpreted as an endorsement" of different beliefs.
However, he has now noted that "when people ask for blessings, they are expressing a wish for God's help, a wish to live in a better way."
"Pastoral discernment must do its best to understand whether there are elements that can be part of a blessing in a given situation, considering that God never abandons, but always desires to meet every person."
He emphasized that "pastoral discernment should take place in individual cases, considering if there are conditions that might make a blessing possible."
"Canon law cannot and should not be able to provide for all situations," he concluded.
It's worth noting that in February, senior figures in the Anglican Church endorsed proposals to allow blessings for same-sex couples.