Roman Catholic Church’s Stance on Blessing Same-Sex Couples: Can We Bless Sinners?

Pope Francis has approved some Catholic blessings for same-sex couples, so long as priests avoid confusion with marriage blessings. Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

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On Monday, 18th December 2023, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith of the Roman Curia, with the consent of the Holy Father Pope Francis, issued a Declaration entitled “Fiducio Supplicans” (the supplicating trust) on the “Pastoral meaning of blessings,” exploring the possibility of blessing the same-sex couples without any form of ritualization or offering the impression of marriage. As far as the Roman Catholic catechism is concerned, sodomy is still a grave sin.

This Declaration, “Fiducio Supplicans”, has split the Roman Catholic Church in a manner that has no precedence since the Protestant Reformation that swept Europe in the 1500ls.

For obvious reasons, issues involving the status of sexual relationships in the Church tend to drive the Church into divisions, leading to a proliferation of new churches that resist the establishment of new canons or retaining of the existing ones!

In the Protestant Reformation movement, the right to marry for the priests tore the Church into fragments, and those priests who saw marriage was not canonical moved on, believing they were not sinning.

Liberalism in the Roman Catholic Church has constantly threatened to asunder the Church apart. From the ordination of women and same-sex couples to priesthood marriages and now blessings for same-sex couples have stretched the faithful for generations, and now it seems the rupture may not be deferred.

The ordination of women is also a hot-button issue, but the Church has been able to cool off its ambers of fire mainly because the Church has for years groomed and moulded docile women. So, it is doubtful that the ordination of women may lead to the creation of new churches by the Roman Catholic Church to access that quest.

Marriage for priesthood has also been hotly debated. Still, nothing tangible came out of it because most of these priests lead a double life, siring children and having steamy relationships that are kept far from the public glare since their loins are adequately attended to; few peek at the need to burn the bridges.

However, we are pleasantly surprised when a priest does things his superiors do not want. One of the reasons cited for defrocking is that a priest usually has a family! Such sexual relationships are kept below the surface because most of the priests do have them. Therefore, there is no motivation to outdo others who behave like you do.

I had a friend who went to seminary school under peer pressure, but deep down his heart, he knew priesthood was not his calling. During the last days of his secondary school learning, the Church made a last-minute effort to convince him to reconsider his decision not to be a priest.

He was very forthcoming: He could not believe he could live without a soulmate. To his chagrin, Leviticus informed him the sisters were there to drain his overcharged batteries! Even with this audacious temptation, my friend bolted and never looked back or regretted his decision to forgo the veneer of celibacy life.

There has been a lively debate about allowing Roman Catholic priests to marry if they feel they cannot press the buttons of “abstinence”. Ironically, the arguments in favour of married priests resemble those of the blessing of same-sex couples!

It is too eerie to consider the grounds for sundering the Church’s precepts are egged on to entice more conversions and widen the Church’s appeal as if the Church is strolling a broader lane that leads to perdition. The argument reverberates like this: if we open the floodgates of hell, everybody will be glad to be a Catholic. So, let us bless everybody as an initiation ritual and patiently wait to see how the faithful will react to it!

Blessing same-sex couples are in another level of abrasion because, in the books of Leviticus, it was made abundantly clear God hates sodomites. After all, it is an abomination. Unlike the ordination of women, there is no commandment against it. Even Paul the Apostle, when he wrote that there was no role for women in the Church, was reacting to a certain conduct that he criticized as gossiping, obstinacy, and too much adornment.

He also said this is not a commandment of God, but he was merely expressing his own opinion, but everyone should know the Holy Spirit dwells in him. Many women were also doing evangelical work in his days, so assuming his fiat was canonical would be nonsensical.

While clerical celibacy was a matter of discipline, not ordinance, either way, the decision would not rupture the Church because those who desire to remain eunuchs for the sake of the gospel would be allowed on the same footing as those who want marital love.

A declaratory relief in favour of same-sex couples is a first step towards full sainthood of the perverted sexual relationships. One can only bless an act whose sanctity is above reproach, and the Church is heading towards that direction, albeit in small steps.

While the blessing of same-sex couples will add new converts, the purpose of the Church is not to regard several followers but to instruct followers to seek God with all their hearts, strength, and spirit. So, persuading potential newcomers may also antagonize the existing faithful who strongly feel the spirit of the Antichrist has hijacked the Church.

Let us examine the plinth reason fuelling the declaratory reliefs favouring same-sex couples. The argument sounds as follows: we are not blessing their perverse activities, but we are blessing them as people who are children of God. But their weakness is in their reasoning. Why pick this sect-like community unless you are pandering to its ever-growing economic and political influences? Yes, why not bless other types of sinners like murderers and murderers, adulterers and adulterers, habitual liars, thieves and everybody else who is a lawbreaker?

This declaratory relief has a lot of implications, although today, it is being played down as insignificant because sacramental reliefs for same-sex marriages are not within eyesight. What we see is piecemeal revocation of the word of God.

But this is nothing new. As the world nears its end, a lot of leaders from all spheres of life will pretend they are Almighty God, crafting laws which justify the annulment of God’s laws. Where God says do not commit sodomy, our leaders will say such a position is judgmental. Let us embrace them because they are children of God. Once we set a precedent that it is not objectionable to justify sinners, then the limits of overturning all ten commandments are without restraint.

What we know is as sin abounds, the heart of many will grow cold, trampling the precepts of God under the pretext of artificial laws, rendering the word of God of no effect.

We also appreciate that from the beginning, God created a man and a woman who will leave their parents and marry to become one flesh. And, what God has joined, let no man put asunder. But, we are also alive to the gospel truth that God has placed the beauty of this fleeting world into the heart of a man lest he contemplates the purpose and intents of the works of God from the beginning.

Having all this in mind, we can meekly discern why lust is now being blessed and glorified, but whether we can bless lustful stallions is a discussion which will occupy the hearts of many for generations to come.

The author is a Development Administration specialist in Tanzania with over 30 years of practical experience, and has been penning down a number of articles in local printing and digital newspapers for some time now.

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