Italian Cardinal on Blessings for Gay Unions: ‘God Cannot Bless Sin’

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 21: A Rainbow Cake displayed during the inauguration of the Gay Wedding Fair, the first exhibition in Italy dedicated to civil unions on October 21, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati/Corbis via Getty Images)
Simona Granati/Corbis via Getty Images

ROME — Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the former vicar of Rome, reaffirmed Tuesday the importance of a recent Vatican text banning clergy from blessing homosexual unions.

“Persons can certainly be blessed, but in order for them to be converted, not so that they be confirmed in their sin,” Cardinal Ruini told the Italian daily Il Foglio. “God himself blesses a sinful person so that he will let himself to be changed by Him, but He cannot bless sin.”

In his interview, the cardinal was referring to a March 15 statement by the Vatican’s doctrinal office (CDF) that the Church has no power to bless homosexual unions, noting that God Himself “does not and cannot bless sin.”

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,” states the text, which was published with the approval of Pope Francis.

“For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage,” the document noted, “as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex.”

“I would like to underscore the force of this position,” Ruini declared. “It’s not just a matter of a thing that the Church has decided not to do, but a thing the Church cannot do. Therefore, nobody in the Church has this power.”

The cardinal went on to say that although the Vatican statement reflected ongoing Church teaching rather than something new or different, it was necessary to clarify because “these blessings have been spreading in certain church settings.”

As Breitbart News has reported, there have been a string of negative reactions to the Vatican statement from prelates, theologians, and clergy from German-speaking countries, where such blessings have become commonplace.

“The impression is that the pope is looking to avoid or at least to mitigate conflicts the damage the church,” Cardinal Ruini noted. “The pope himself gave his approval for the publication of this text.”

The cardinal also asserted that the church is “against any unjust discrimination of homosexual persons and wants them to be welcomed in Christian communities with respect and sensitivity.”

“The question concerns the moral evaluation of homosexual relations and the unions in which they occur,” he added. “According to the constant teaching of Sacred Scripture — both the Old and the New Testaments — and of the tradition of the Church, homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered because they are incapable of transmitting life and are not founded on a true affective and sexual complementarity.”

“This is why they can never be approved in any case,” the cardinal said. “This moral evaluation and ecclesiastical evaluation should not be conflated with state law.”

“Also, the negative judgment regarding this behavior considered in itself is not the same as a judgment of the subjective responsibility of the persons involved, who are always to be respected and welcomed,” he said.

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