May 16, 2024

Pope Francis clarifies blessing same-sex unions

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis has clarified his position on allowing Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples.

In December, the 87-year-old pontiff said that allowing same-sex couples to be blessed is “as an expression of the Church’s maternal heart,” comments that were made two months after he made waves for seemingly suggesting he would be open to some Catholic priests blessing same-sex unions.

In PEOPLE’s exclusive look at the pope’s conversation with Norah O’Donnell, he went into further detail about his stance on the matter.

“What I allowed was not to bless the union. That cannot be done because that is not the sacrament. I cannot. The Lord made it that way,” he said during the interview. “But to bless each person, yes. The blessing is for everyone. For everyone.”

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“To bless a homosexual-type union, however, goes against the given right, the law of the Church. But to bless each person, why not?” he added. “The blessing is for all. Some people were scandalized by this. But why? Everyone! Everyone!”

When O’Donnell noted that Pope Francis once said that “Homosexuality is not a crime,” the pontiff responded in agreement, saying, “It is a human fact.”

“In our rare and wide-ranging conversation, we speak to Pope Francis about his efforts to open up the Catholic Church to everyone – including to those who have long been shunned by the institution,”