Catholic Voices explains why the Church does not bless same-sex unions
The Catholic Voices organization was created to explain and discuss the Church's decisions on controversial matters. It proposes discussing the Church's doctrine with clarity, but above all without hurting anyone.
It proposes understanding the motives behind the question before giving an answer.
So in response to the question of why the Church does not bless same-sex couples, the key response is that the Catholic Church condemns any forms of unjust discrimination, including those based on sexual orientation.
“We must accompany people, like Jesus would. When this person comes before Jesus, He will never answer, 'Leave because you are a homosexual!', no.”
According to the Vatican, “it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life).”
The decision applies to same-sex unions, not individuals. It includes any civil union outside of marriage within the Catholic Church. It applies also to divorced couples.
Catholic Voices explains that the Vatican's decision to withhold blessings from same-sex unions is not a condemnation of a person with same-sex inclinations.
“I think one of the great things about it is that it says that it's okay to bless individuals, so an individual who has same-sex inclinations, same-sex experiences, same-sex attraction, can receive a blessing. Every single person can receive a blessing and that's because God loves us. We're all sons and daughters of God.”
“Sometimes I ask people, 'What does the Church say to homosexuals'?, and they say, 'Well, that their actions are bad even though they are good.' Or that they're not allowed to marry or certain other things, and I find this very reductive, because what the Church says is in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is, 'Homosexual people are called to Christian perfection like everyone else.' There's no distinction. Everyone is called to Christian perfection.”
To those in favor of blessing gay unions, Catholic Voices responds by reminding them that there are other ways for people with same-sex inclinations to participate in the life of the Church.
“I saw a documentary not long ago of a gay couple who had come to the Church and converted, and they were of course great friends to each other. And they continue living and sharing their lives in holiness and chastity. Because friendship overcomes everything and is stronger than many other things.”
“Society is trying to force our identity to be related to who we're sleeping with or who we're attracted to rather than who we are as individuals.
And people are loved because of who they are rather than who they are attracted to.”
In fact, Catholic Voices explains that for the Church, love is much more than two people who are attracted to each other living together. It's a radical call to complete love. Even in celibacy.
But you know, everyone is called to holiness and to happiness and to love. And some people are called to marriage: a man and a woman to form a family. Other people are not called to marriage; they're called to other things. But if they're called to celibacy, then this is a call to love many people very intensely all their life. So their call is also a call to love.
The debate on the inclusion of gay people in the Catholic Church isn't the only question Catholic Voices is tackling.
This group of experts has spent the last 11 years exploring some of the most controversial questions arising from Catholic doctrine and the teaching of the popes.