British Priests Write Open Letter Condemning Blessings for Same-Sex Couples
By American Faith – December 23, 2023
An organization consisting of more than 500 British priests and deacons wrote an open letter condemning the Vatican’s decision to bless same-sex couples.
The British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy said that the “traditional teaching of the Catholic Church” remains “unchanged and unchangeable.”
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,’” the letter reads.
While the British priests “note the pastoral desire to assist people to move forward by a renal of life and the call to conversion,” they see “no situation in which such a blessing of a couple could be properly and adequately distinguished from some level of approval.”
They wrote that “charity always follows true doctrine and that such blessings would work against the legitimate care a priest owes to his flock,” adding that blessing same-sex couples is “theologically, pastorally and practically inadmissible.”
A letter from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria sought to “clarify the content” of the Vatican’s recent declaration.
“[T]he teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage remains the same,” the bishops wrote. “There is, therefore, no possibility in the Church of blessing same-sex unions and activities.”
To bless same-sex marriages would “go against God’s law,” they note.
While some Catholic priests have criticized the declaration blessing same-sex couples, Jesuit Father James Martin wrote in an essay that blessing such relationships is a “major step forward for LGBTQ Catholics.”
[T]he declaration opens the door, for the first time, for the official blessings of same-sex couples by ministers of the church—something that has long been desired by LGBTQ Catholics and their families and friends,” he wrote.
He noted that the declaration allowing same-sex blessings “treats same-sex couples with such pastoral care.”
“Before this document was issued, there was no permission for bishops, priests and deacons to bless couples in same-sex unions in any setting. This document establishes, with some limitations, that they can,” Martin added.