The revelation of the Pope Francis’ openness towards same-sex union came as a shock amongst the catholic churches and conservative Christian circles in the Vatican City. “Francesco” a documentary that appeared in October 2020 included an interview of Pope Francis who was seen endorsing legal protection to gay couples and providing full support to same-sex civil unions. This represented a major outbreak in the Vatican City putting a sudden question mark on the teachings and Catholic beliefs.
Vatican has interdicted providing any blessings to gay union, stating- “this is not licit”, “God can’t bless sin”. This Monday the Vatican has announced that Catholic Churches won’t bless any such unions because it is against the word of God. This caused a great disappointment to the Gay Catholics who were looking forward to seeing changes being finally accepted and their Church becoming more liberal and welcoming under Pope Francis.
Amongst those critics who believed that the statement was rather harshly put, few voiced out their opinions saying that this is belittling of loving relations to moral offenses. Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA, a national advocacy group for gay Catholics expressed her disappointment by saying “That line in particular is going to cause tremendous pain and anger,” “The fact that our church still denies people a sense of sacredness about their relationships is deeply painful to those of who hold fast to our faith.”
Pope Francis who has been seen supporting right of gay couples to have legal civil protection from time to time made a hopeful remark in one of his papal interviews “Who am I to judge?” This raised alarms in the conservative Catholic Circles who later applauded the Vatican clarification that he only supports proving legal protection to them but stands still against a union or a marriage between same-sex.
Formally responding to the questions raised by a few dioceses whether the Catholic clergy has the authority to bless same-sex civil unions and if such practises should be allowed, The Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) purveyed the ruling “Negative”. The response that immediately pleased the conservatives and deeply disheartened the advocates of LGBT Catholics who were holding on for the final judgement, was contained in a two-page long explanation issued in seven languages and officially approved by Pope Francis.