Catholic Church authorises priests to officiate same-sex marriages

Il Presidente della Repubblica Sergio Mattarella incontra Papa Francesco

Head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, says priests can now bless same-sex relationships as part of efforts to open up the church to members of the LGBTQ community, the church said on Monday.

The new declaration was announced by Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez after it was endorsed by the Pope, now allowing same-sex couples to receive blessing from the church but maintaining approval is not to amend “the traditional doctrine of the church about marriage.”

It is a major shift from the church’s past doctrine, where arguments against blessing same-sex relationships were made. The Pope maintained that priests should show digression when it comes to blessing same-sex relationships.

“It is precisely in this context,” Cardinal Fernández wrote, “that one can understand the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or changing in any way the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage.”

Despite the new declaration paving the way for a major change in the church, where the issue of same-sex relationships has been a major debate between the liberal and the conservative sides for years, the Pope upheld the church’s position that marriage could only exist between a man and a woman.

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