Catholic Church ‘cannot bless same-sex unions’

The Catholic Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions, the Vatican office responsible for doctrine has said.

It is “impossible” for God to “bless sin”, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said on Monday.

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But the CDF did note the “positive elements” in same-sex relationships.

In October, Pope Francis said in a documentary that he thought same-sex couples should be allowed to have “civil unions”.

In the Catholic Church, a blessing is given by a priest or other minister in the name of the Church.

On Monday, Pope Francis approved the response by the CDF, saying it was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite”.

Some parishes in recent months, including in Germany and the US, have started giving blessings to people in same-sex relationships as a way to welcome gay Catholics to the church, Reuters news agency reported.

The CDF’s response was in answer to the question posed to it: “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”. It replied: “Negative”.

The CDF noted that marriage between a man and a woman is sacrament and therefore blessings cannot be extended to same-sex couples.

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