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No Power to Bless Same-Sex Unions

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On March 15, the Church issued an answer concerning the question of blessing same-sex unions.  The answer was that the Church does not have the power to impart a blessing on unions of this kind since marriage between two members of the same sex is not part of God’s plan.  

To explain what was issued, there is defined blessings and their purpose.  Blessings, as defined by the Church, belong to the category of sacramentals.  While not a sacrament, sacramentals prepare us to receive grace and cooperate with it (CCC §1670).  The explanation also references the Second Vatican Council, “Before men can come to the liturgy they must be called to faith and to conversion.” (SC §9)

Anyone wishing to come to the liturgy must first answer the call of faith and conversion.  As Catholics, to go to the liturgy means coming to the Eucharist, which one must be disposed to receive worthily.  

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.  Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 

1 Corinthians 11:26-27 RSV

With our belief that Jesus Christ is fully present in the Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, comes the expectancy of a certain disposition before receiving Him.  The Catechism (§1804) says, “The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.” The opposite is true; the result of immorality damages or destroys the disposition for being in communion with divine love. 

If a person is not ready to turn from their sinful ways, most especially grave ones, they prevent themselves from receiving the benefits of blessings.  By refusal to change, they have no apparent desire to live what is in God’s plan for them. Unfortunately, we live in a world that tells people with these inclinations that it is ok to pursue them.  When it comes to finding acceptance in the Church (blessing of their union), they learn that the Church teaches the opposite; pursual of living out these inclinations is immoral.  The Church gets accused of not loving due to this; however, it is because of love that the Church does not turn a blind eye to God’s plan and be faithful shepherds of souls.

By saying that the Church has no power to bless same-sex unions, the Church also points out that it does not have the ability to change God’s plan.  Much of the secular media see this as something the Church just decided on when instead, this is a reaffirmation of God’s plan for marriage found in Scripture.

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Mark 10:6-9 RSV 
The full text of their answer can be found here https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2021/03/15/0157/00330.html#ing

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