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Pope Francis sparks debate after approving blessings for same-gender couples

Pope Francis faces backlash after he approved blessings for same-gender couples in Catholic Church

Pope Francis.Vatican Media via Vatican Pool/Getty Images

In a groundbreaking move, Pope Francis has granted permission for Catholic priests to bless same-gender couples, marking a significant step forward for LGBTQ+ individuals within the Roman Catholic Church.

The Pope's decision allows priests to offer blessings for same-sex marriages and unions considered irregular under specific circumstances.


While emphasising that these blessings should not be integrated into regular Church rituals or extend to civil unions, the Vatican reiterated its stance that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The official document announcing this change, approved by Pope Francis on Monday, reflects a nuanced approach.

The pontiff's progressive stance has drawn attention, especially as he becomes the first pope to openly endorse LGBTQ+ rights.


His remarks challenging anti-LGBTQ+ laws precede his planned trip to Africa, where such laws are prevalent.

Earlier in January, he became the first Pope to openly express solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

In his latest message, Francis emphasised that all individuals are children of God, deserving of love and dignity, and urged bishops to embrace a process of conversion towards tenderness and acceptance.


Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the prefect of the Church, emphasised that the declaration remains firm on the traditional doctrine of the Church about marriage.

The declaration encourages a process of conversion for bishops, urging them to apply tenderness in their approach, mirroring the compassion that God extends to each individual.

This historic move by Pope Francis signals a significant shift in the Church's stance on LGBTQ+ issues, fostering a more inclusive environment for same-gender couples within the Roman Catholic community.


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