Vatican Says It Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions
The Vatican issued an order Monday stating that the Roman Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions.
The Vatican office that sets official church policy said the order was issued because God "cannot bless sin." It said the order was approved by Pope Francis.
The decision came after questions were raised by a number of Catholic clergy who sought guidance on the issue. Local leaders in some countries had begun blessing same-sex unions in place of marriage.
The Vatican has said in the past that it welcomes gay people and urges church leaders and members to treat them with respect. But the Catholic Church does not permit same-sex marriages and condemns gay sex. The church teaches that marriage can only be entered into between a man and woman in a lifelong union.
The new order said that permitting the blessing of same-sex unions would be seen as an official recognition of such unions within the church. It stated that such blessings were not permissible even though they were "motivated by a desire" to welcome gay and help them grow in the church.
The order said the Vatican cannot officially bless any union that involves sexual activity outside of marriage because it is not in line with church policy and God's plan. God "does not and cannot bless sin," it said.
Last year, the Vatican had to explain comments attributed to Pope Francis that seemed to support providing gay couples with legal protections in same-sex unions. His comments appeared in a documentary about his life and social issues that concern him.
In the documentary, Francis said gay people "have the right to be in a family. They are children of God." He added: "What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered."
But the Vatican said the pope's comments were not correctly attributed and did not signal a change in official church policy.
In an article issued with the latest order, the Vatican said there was a "fundamental" difference between gay unions and how gay individuals should be treated in the church. The article noted that "the negative judgment on the blessing of unions of persons of the same sex does not imply a judgment on persons."
At least two German bishops, including Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich — one of the pope's top advisors — have expressed support for some kind of church blessing for same-sex unions.
The head of the bishops' conference, Bishop Georg Batzing, said "There are no easy answers to questions like these." He added the German church would look at both the Vatican's moral teaching and the reality of Catholics today.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1. in place of 代替；取代；
Cooked kidney beans can be used in place of French beans.
2. even though 即使；尽管；纵然；
She wouldn't change it, ev en though she knew it was wrong.
3. in line with （与…）一致；（与…）相符；
Wage increases must be in line with inflation.
4. attribute to 认为(文章、艺术品或评论）出自…；
This, and the remaining frescoes, are not attributed to Giotto.
制定教会官方政策的梵蒂冈办公室表示，颁布这一命令是因为上帝“不能祝福罪恶” 。该办公室表示，这一命令得到了教皇弗朗西斯的批准 。
该决定在一些天主教神职人员就这一问题寻求指导后作出 。有些国家的地方领导人已经开始用同性结合来代替婚姻 。
梵蒂冈此前曾表示欢迎同性恋者，并敦促教会领袖和成员尊重这一群体 。但天主教会不允许同性婚姻，并谴责同性恋 。教会的教义是，婚姻必须是一男一女之间持续一生的结合 。
这项新命令表示，允许祝福同性结合将被视为教会内部对这种结合的正式承认 。命令指出，即使是出于欢迎同性恋并帮助他们在教会中成长的“愿望”，这种祝福也是不被允许的 。
该命令表示，梵蒂冈不能正式祝福任何涉及婚外性活动的结合，因为这不符合教会的政策和上帝的计划 。命令表示，上帝“不会也不能祝福罪恶” 。
去年，梵蒂冈不得不对教皇弗朗西斯的言论进行解释，因为这些言论似乎支持在同性结合中为同性伴侣提供法律保护 。教皇这番言论出现在有关他生活及其关心的社会问题的纪录片中 。
弗朗西斯在纪录片中表示，同性恋者“有权融入家庭 。他们是上帝的孩子 。他还表示，“我们要制定一部民事结合法 。这样他们就能得到法律保护 。”
梵蒂冈在发布最新命令的文章中表示，同性结合和同性恋个人在教会中应如何被对待有着“根本”区别 。文章指出，“对同性结合祝福的否定裁定并不意味着对人的判定” 。
主教会议的负责人——主教格奥尔格·巴茨表示，“这类问题没有简单的答案 。”他补充表示，德国教会将研究梵蒂冈的道德教义和当今天主教徒的现实 。