Pope Francis has allowed priests to bless same-sex couples, a significant advance for LGBT people in the
Roman Catholic Church.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church said priests should be permitted to bless same-sex and
“irregular” couples, under certain circumstances.
But the Vatican said blessings should not be part of regular Church rituals or related to civil unions or
It added that it continues to view marriage as between a man and a woman.
Pope Francis approved a document issued by the Vatican announcing the change on Monday. The
Vatican said it should be a sign that “God welcomes all”, but the document says priests must decide on a
Introducing the text, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the prefect of the Church, said that the new
declaration remained “firm on the traditional doctrine of the Church about marriage”.
But he added that in keeping with the Pope’s “pastoral vision” of “broadening” the appeal of the
Catholic Church, the new guidelines would allow priests to bless relationships still considered sinful.
People receiving a blessing “should not be required to have prior moral perfection”, according to the
Cardinal Fernández emphasised that the new stance does not validate the status of same-sex couples in
the eyes of the Catholic Church.