October 3, 2022
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Defying Vatican, Flemish bishops allow blessing of same-sex unions

VATICAN CITY — Flemish Roman Catholic bishops on Tuesday issued a doc successfully permitting the blessing of same-sex unions, in direct defiance of a ruling in opposition to such practices by the Vatican’s doctrinal workplace.

The doc revealed on the web site of the Bishops’ Convention of Belgium urged a ritual that included a prayer and a benediction for steady same-sex unions. However it harassed that it was not “what the Church understands by a sacramental marriage.”

It mentioned the Church needed to be “pastorally close to homosexual persons” and be a “welcoming Church that excludes no one.”

The ritual would begin with prayers and features a dedication by the 2 folks in entrance of household and mates to be devoted to one another. It will finish with extra prayer and what the doc known as a “benediction.”

A Vatican spokesman had no quick remark.

In March 2021, in response to formal questions from a quantity of Roman Catholic dioceses on whether or not the observe of blessing same-sex unions was allowed, the Vatican’s doctrinal workplace, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Religion (CDF), dominated that it was not.

On the time, the CDF mentioned its ruling was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite” of the sacrament of marriage and the blessing related to it.

In response to that ruling, Bishop John Bonny of Antwerp mentioned he felt “shame for my Church” and apologized to these he mentioned had been harm by the “painful and incomprehensible” choice.

Pope Francis has mentioned he’s against same-sex marriage within the Church however helps civil union laws to provide same-sex {couples} authorized safety and rights akin to inheritance and shared well being care.

A spokesman for the bishops, Geert De Kerpel, mentioned their intention was to not defy the Vatican ruling.

“This is first and foremost a positive message,” he informed Reuters, including that it conformed with the pope’s requires a extra inclusive Church.

The Flemish bishops doc mentioned that some Catholic gays remained celibate and that the Church appreciated it. The Church teaches that whereas gay orientation isn’t sinful, gay acts are.

However the doc added that “some prefer to live as a couple, in lasting and faithful union with a partner” and that such a relationship “can also be a source of peace and shared happiness.”

The bishops denounced “homophobic violence,” and mentioned they needed to “structurally anchor their pastoral commitment to homosexual persons.”

They introduced the appointment of Willy Bombeek, a homosexual Catholic, as a further workers member to their division for pastoral care of households to supervise care of homosexual Catholics.

One with related duties could be appointed to every diocese in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking half of Belgium.

“I’m proud to belong to the Flemish Church,” Bombeek informed Reuters. “I hope that religious people in other countries will also get to experience this, and hopefully, this is only the beginning.”

Francis DeBernardo, government director of US-based Catholic LGBTQ group New Methods Ministry, mentioned the transfer could be a blessing for each the couple and for the Church.

“These prelates recognize that love is love. Love is more important than sexual behavior, and love is something that the Church should always bless,” he mentioned in a press release. — Reuters

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