ROME — The Vatican’s doctrinal office stated Monday that the Church has no power to bless homosexual unions, noting that God Himself “does not and cannot bless sin.”
In its formal reply to the “dubium” (question) “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) responded: “Negative.”
As signs “of spiritual effects that are achieved through the Church’s intercession,” blessings require both “the right intention of those who participate” and “that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord,” states the CDF explanatory text, with the approval of Pope Francis.
“Therefore, only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those ends are congruent with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church,” it declares.
The Vatican’s response explains that a blessing can only be conferred on something that is inherently ordered to good.
“For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” it notes, because the union itself is “not ordered to the Creator’s plan.”
The text goes on to note that a blessing on homosexual unions would also be illicit because of its possible confusion with a nuptial blessing given to a husband and wife.
Since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, “the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit,” the document continues.
“This is because they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family,” it states, citing Pope Francis.
The declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not “a form of unjust discrimination,” it reads, “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 rejection of the possibility of blessing a homosexual couple “does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations, who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching,” the text declares.
“Rather, it declares illicit any form of blessing that tends to acknowledge their unions as such,” it adds.
Blessing an illicit sexual union would be “to approve and encourage a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God,” it notes.
God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, it observes. “But he does not and cannot bless sin.”
“For the above mentioned reasons, the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex in the sense intended above,” the document concludes, noting that Pope Francis “gave his assent” to the publication of the text.