Pope Francis Grants Blessings for Same-Sex Couples, in Contrast to Greek Orthodox Church's Restraint

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Traditional and conservative Catholics worldwide are stunned and outraged in the wake of another 'victory' for the progressive wing of the church, which has more influence at the Vatican, a trend that has been very visible throughout Pope Francis' liberalizing pontificate. 

The Vatican on Monday issued official approval for Roman Catholic priests and bishops to administer a formal blessing for same-sex couples

While the new ruling approves of "the possibility of blessings for couples in irregular situations and for couples of the same sex" it stipulates that "this blessing should never be imparted in concurrence with the ceremonies of a civil union, and not even in connection with them."

The document further says that priests should do this on a case-by-case basis and "should not prevent or prohibit the Church’s closeness to people in every situation in which they might seek God’s help through a simple blessing." Yet it still says that a couple asking for a blessing should not be denied full stop

Conservatives fear this just paves the way for eventual approval of rites for gay 'civic unions' and that the Vatican is now on a slippery slope, akin to the ultra-progressive path taken by the Episcopal Church starting especially in the 1970s and after.

The New York Times in its commentary on the change has noted this does not mark an alteration of how marriage is understood in the Roman Catholic Church, but still points out it marks a big step in furthering the LGTBQ agenda:

Pope Francis has taken one of the most concrete steps in his efforts to make the Roman Catholic Church more welcoming to L.G.B.T.Q. Catholics by allowing priests to bless couples in same-sex relationships, the Vatican announced on Monday.

Priests have long blessed a wide variety of people, offering a prayer asking for God’s help and presence. The Vatican had long said it could not bless same-sex couples because it would undermine the church doctrine that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

The new rule was issued in a declaration by the church’s office on doctrine and introduced by its prefect, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, who said that the declaration did not amend “the traditional doctrine of the church about marriage,” because it allowed no liturgical rite that could be confused with the sacrament of marriage.

The Holy Community of Mount Athos has urged the Greek government to refrain from enacting legislation regarding same-sex marriage and the adoption of children by same-sex couples.

In their statement, the Holy Community firmly declares, “Any form of marriage or adoption that contradicts evangelical teachings and the enduring traditions of our pious nation and heritage stands in complete opposition to us, particularly concerning the sanctity of the traditional family.”

Following recent discussions regarding the Greek Government’s proposal to legalize marriage for same-sex couples and their potential adoption of children, our Holy Community voices profound concern echoed by all Athonite Fathers.

Mount Athos, a sanctuary of prayer and asceticism, holds a humble reverence for all humanity as the divine image. Yet, we express our deep distress and concern regarding the proposed legislation.

We emphasize unequivocally through this announcement that any form of marriage or adoption that contradicts evangelical teachings and the enduring traditions of our pious nation and heritage stands in complete opposition to us, particularly concerning the sanctity of the traditional family.

We earnestly implore the Greek Government to reconsider the announced legislation, as it opposes the evangelical doctrines. We beseech the Most Holy Theotokos, the Protector of our homeland and Mount Athos, to intercede to our Lord Jesus Christ for the guidance of all towards repentance and a life in accordance with the divine light of the Gospel and God’s teachings.

All Representatives and Overseers were present at the Joint Meeting of the Twenty Holy Monasteries of Mount Athos.

Mout Athos

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