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Pope Francis allows Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples

Pope Francis authorizes Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples in a new rule change, stating that God's love and mercy is for everyone.

Pope Francis recently authorized a rule change allowing Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples. The 87-year-old pontiff released a policy document stating that anyone seeking God's love and mercy should not face an exhaustive moral analysis to receive it. The document emphasizes that a blessing offers people a means to increase their trust in God and expresses and nurtures openness to transcendence, mercy, and closeness to God. While the Catholic Church's position on marriage has not changed, Francis clarified that blessings for same-sex couples should not resemble blessings of a marriage in any way. He emphasized that blessings could range widely in meaning and should not be withheld from someone seeking them. The decision to bless same-sex couples has been hotly debated in the Vatican for more than two years. In March 2021, the Church stated that same-sex couples could not be blessed because "God cannot bless sin." However, Francis' recent policy document marks a change in this position, emphasizing that priests should focus on opening the door to grace instead of inspecting and verifying. The decision has been met with support from individuals such as the Rev. James Martin, known for his LGBTQ advocacy, who expressed delight in being able to bless same-sex unions.

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