Belgian bishops agree to bless same-sex unions, defying Vatican
Roman Catholic bishops from Belgium's Flanders region issued a document on Tuesday permitting the blessing of same-sex unions - in direct contrast to the Vatican's ruling on the matter.
The document was published on the Bishops' Conference of Belgium website, and listed a ritual which would include a prayer and a final "benediction" in front of couples' family and friends.
It emphasised that while such blessings did not alter the Catholic doctrine on "sacramental marriage," the move would allow the Church to be "pastorally close to homosexual persons" and a "welcoming [place] that excludes no one." A gay Catholic, Willy Bombeek, has also been appointed as an additional staff member for pastoral care of families to oversee the treatment of fellow LGBTQ+ Catholics.
No response has yet been issued by the Holy See's press office. The Catholic Church's position on same-sex unions was addressed in March 2021, with the Vatican's doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), ruling against their blessing - a stance that was sharply condemned by the Bishop of Antwerp.
The Holy See claimed such a position was "not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite" of the sacrament of marriage and the blessing associated with it. Pope Francis himself has displayed more openness towards the LGBTQ+ community than his predecessors.
In July 2013, a mere months after his election as Pope, he had said that he was in no position to "judge" gay people who "[seek] God and have good will."
He has also previously supported same-sex civil unions and has stated that gay people are "children of God and have a right to a family."
Nevertheless, Francis maintains Catholic teaching on homosexuality, which sees gay sexual relationships as sinful and does not condone same-sex marriage.
The Flemish bishops have affirmed that their decision to allow the blessing of same-sex unions is not intended as an act of resistance against the Vatican.
"This is first and foremost a positive message," the bishops' spokesman, Geert de Kerpel, told Reuters. The move has also been supported across the pond, with Francis DeBernardo, the executive director of US-based Catholic LGBTQ+ group New Ways Ministry, approving of the decision.
"These prelates recognise that love is love. Love is more important than sexual behaviour, and love is something that the Church should always bless," he said in a statement.
John Bellamy Comments: I am reminded of a Turkish friend whose Mother found out he was gay and disowned him for 5 years until his brothers got them talking again and she told him that ' I cried more over you being gay - than had you died.'
Now: The main reason she cried so much was not for him at all but for herself, the thought of the shame - as she imagined it - within the large extended family - and the thought of her son finding happiness and love wherever it may be and with whomever it may be, male or female, never entered her head and all she thought about was her standing in the family and how she wanted grandchildren.
Actually : Where her wants to put his dick - and what he choses to put in his mouth - and who he choses to have sit on his face - IS NONE OF HER FUCKING BUSINESS and whether straight or gay - his sex life is none of her business so should not matter and it only does because of her own lack of understanding and - actually - to be able to offer true UNCONDITIONAL LOVE to her children as clearly, it is CONDITIONAL - and that is not love at all.
That is making sure things are on your terms, your rules, your conditions and of your way of seeing things regardless - and any church that denies you for being LGBTQ is not truly teaching the teachings of Jesus at all but the man made edited versions of what was said and then massively edited to suit those scared little wankers in robes who were / are shit scared of anything they do not understand and / or more to the point, were closeted homos throwing abuse at those who were / are out and proud.
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