RELIGION

Pope Francis approves allowing Catholic priests to bless same-s3x couples

Pope Francis has formally approved allowing priests to bless same-sex couples, but has reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman.

A document from the Vatican’s doctrine office released Monday provides guidance and details about the declaration, which states, in part, “When people ask for a blessing, an exhaustive moral analysis should not be placed as a precondition for conferring it. For those seeking a blessing should not be required to have prior moral perfection.”

The document from the Vatican’s doctrine office, released today, elaborates on a letter Francis sent to two conservative cardinals that was published in October

The new document also reaffirmed that marriage is a lifelong sacrament between a man and a woman.

And it stresses that blessings should not be conferred at the same time as a civil union or even with the clothing and gestures that belong in a wedding.

But it says requests for such blessings should not be denied full stop.

It offers an extensive definition of the term ‘blessing’ in Scripture to insist that people seeking a transcendent relationship with God and looking for his love and mercy should not be subject to ‘an exhaustive moral analysis’ as a precondition for receiving it.

‘Ultimately, a blessing offers people a means to increase their trust in God,’ the document said.

‘The request for a blessing, thus, expresses and nurtures openness to the transcendence, mercy, and closeness to God in a thousand concrete circumstances of life, which is no small thing in the world in which we live.’

He added: ‘It is a seed of the Holy Spirit that must be nurtured, not hindered.’

The Vatican holds that marriage is an indissoluble union between man and woman. As a result, it has long opposed same-sex marriage.

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