Same-Sex Marriage: Nigerian Catholic Bishops Tackle Pope


The Catholic Bishops in Nigeria have voiced their disagreement with Pope Francis’ stance on blessing same-sex marriage, expressing that it could be interpreted as endorsing same-sex marriage within the Church. They conveyed their concerns during the opening of the 2024 First Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) in Abuja.

President of the CBCN, Most Rev. Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, highlighted that the recent declaration by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has caused distress among the bishops. While the declaration prohibits liturgical blessings for same-sex couples, it suggests pastoral blessings for couples in irregular situations, including same-sex couples. This ambiguity has led to mixed reactions globally, with many bishops and faithful rejecting the notion of blessing same-sex unions.

Ugorji emphasized the bishops’ commitment to upholding Church teaching based on Scripture and Tradition, which prohibits blessing same-sex couples due to the grave depravity of homosexual acts. He stressed the importance of teaching the faithful about repentance and God’s unconditional love for sinners.

Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Archdiocese, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, highlighted the conference theme, “Synod on Synodality: Focusing on Areas of Concern for the Church in Nigeria,” as an opportunity to address various church issues. He explained synodality as a collective decision-making process, emphasizing the importance of listening to all voices within the Church while maintaining traditional Catholic faith and practice.

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Kaigama noted that synodality aligns with African culture, where decisions are made collectively, and individuals contribute to the community’s well-being. He emphasized the need to listen to the universal Church and rejected clericalism, which Pope Francis has criticized as a scandal.

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