Web Analytics Made Easy - Statcounter

Religion: German Priests Defy Vactican, Bless Same-Sex Couples

Share this Post:
Photo by Felix Hoerhager DPA via AP
Photo by Felix Hoerhager DPA via AP

Priests in around 100 Catholic churches in Germany are offering blessings to same-sex couples starting on May 10.

The blessings have been organized under the slogan "Love Wins."

The Love Wins movement emerged after the Vatican issued a statement in March — said to have been approved by Pope Francis — that priests may not bless same-sex couples because God "cannot bless sin."

"Couples who take part should receive the blessing that God wants to give them — without any secrecy," the Love Wins group wrote earlier.

Pope Francis has previously said he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to have "civil unions." Last year, he told an Italian documentary that same-sex couples "have a right to be in a family."

The document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in March, however, said clearly that the Catholic Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions.

The Vatican document was "not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite," the Pope said at the time.

Love Wins described the church's decision to deny same-sex couples blessings as "a slap in the face for people around the world."

The movement has produced a map showing all the churches offering the blessings in the coming days.

Thousands of German priests and church employees have also signed a petition calling on the church to extend blessings to same-sex couples, while some parishes have also displayed rainbow flags outside churches.

In the Catholic Church, a blessing is given by a priest or other minister in the name of the church and priests are required to bless only those relationships that the church approves. Priests who give unauthorized blessings may be subject to church discipline.

The Catholic Church in Germany is more liberal than in many other countries and its increasingly vocal acceptance of Gay couples will be hard for the Vatican to ignore, said BBC reporter Damien McGuinness. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Germany since 2017 and the country has also banned so-called "Gay conversion therapy" for those under 18.