Metro

December 20, 2023

Pope’s same-sex marriage blessing: Church’s principles unchanged — Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria

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‘The Church’s view on same-sex marriage remains unaltered’

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN, has reaffirmed that the Church’s teachings on the sacrament of marriage remain unchanged, despite the Vatican’s recent decision to allow blessings for same-sex couples

This statement comes in response to the Pope’s recent directive and emphasises that marriage within the Church is still viewed as a lifelong union between a man and a woman.

An official from the Secretariat, who spoke in confidence because the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria has not publicly reacted, however, noted, “It’s crucial to reiterate that this does not change the Church’s teaching on the sacrament of marriage.

“The Church’s view on same-sex marriage remains unaltered.”

According to him, the decision to permit blessings for same-sex couples under specific circumstances is seen as a measure to acknowledge the lives and experiences of all individuals, while still upholding the core beliefs and teachings of the Church. 

“This move emphasizes that the Church’s role is to guide and bless, rather than judge, its members,” he added.

The Church don’t judge

Elucidating on the essence of a blessing, the official explained, “The essence of a blessing is to foster people’s trust in God, irrespective of their circumstances.

“The Church’s role is to guide and bless its members, not to judge them.”

However, the official clarified that blessings for same-sex couples should not be equated with the sacrament of marriage, nor should they form part of any civil union or wedding ceremonies. 

The Church’s priests will discern on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that the Church’s accessibility to people in every situation is not hindered or prohibited.

The CSN official stated, “The Church is a place of refuge, a place of love, and a place of blessing for all.

“We encourage all to see this development as an opportunity to foster greater understanding, compassion, and unity within the Church and the broader community.”

Vanguard News