25 March 2021, The Tablet

Gay couples failed by the CDF


LGBT+ blessings

 

In the debate about the attitude to its gay and lesbian members, the Catholic Church has been blown open by a curiously inopportune statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the CDF). Answering in the negative the question whether gay couples can receive a blessing, the statement seems designed to forestall any further development in the Church’s understanding of same-sex relationships. In fact, it may well have accelerated it.

The statement is consistent with previous CDF comments on homosexuality, summed up in its ruling that while God may bless many things, “he does not and cannot bless sin”. With circular logic and brutal insensitivity, this brushes aside all the psychological, emotional and pastoral situations in which gay people may find themselves, and defines them solely by such intimate sexual relationships as they may be presumed to have engaged in. This is a stark reversal of the direction of travel under Pope Francis, who has, for the first time, made gay and lesbian Catholics begin to feel welcome in the Church.

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