06 November 2014, The Tablet

Swiss parish priest blesses lesbian couple in a 'marriage-like ceremony'

A parish priest in Switzerland has blessed a lesbian couple in his parish church in a service closely resembling a marriage ceremony.

When the couple from his parish approached him with the request to bless their partnership, Fr Wendelin Bucheli, parish priest of Bürglen in the Swiss diocese of Chur, first consulted all the members of his parish council at length, but also sought the advice of a Jesuit colleague, he told the Urner Wochenblatt.

The question he had asked himself and those he consulted was, “Can I perform this blessing in the name of God and is it God’s will?” The conclusion he had come to was, “As animals, cars and even weapons are blessed nowadays, why should it not be possible to bless a couple who want to go their way with God?” “As for the form [of the service], this blessing was not very different from a church marriage [ceremony],” he added.

The diocese would be looking into the case, spokesman Guiseppe Gracia said.

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