Catholic Bishops Announce Refusal to Bless Same-sex Marriages

Pope Francis waves to faithful as he arrives at the end of a Mass celebrated by Brescia's Bishop Luciano Monari, not pictured, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, June 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

The Catholic Bishops of the Lagos Ecclesiastical Province, which includes the Lagos Archdiocese, Ijebu Ode, and Abeokuta Dioceses, have jointly refused to bless same-sex marriages.

Their refusal was made known in a communiqué issued after their plenary meeting on January 26 in Lagos.

The Bishop’s stance comes despite the recent approval by Pope Francis, allowing Catholic priests to bless same-sex unions under specific conditions.

The Vatican’s ruling permits blessings for same-sex couples as long as they are not part of regular church rituals or liturgies, nor given in contexts related to civil unions or weddings.

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However, the Lagos Ecclesiastical Province bishops align themselves with the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), asserting a resounding “No to blessing of same-sex unions.”

In the Catholic Church, a blessing is a prayer or plea, typically delivered by a minister, asking God’s favor upon the individuals being blessed.

Despite divergent views, the bishops remain steadfast in upholding the traditional teachings of the Church regarding marriage and human sexuality.

The communiqué read:

Total agreement with the position of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and that of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar concerning the blessing of homosexual unions or same-sex couples.

“We affirm that the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage as the union of a man and a woman in a stable and exclusive relationship, open to bearing children, remains the same.

“We also affirm the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and urge the faithful to be guided by it.”

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Written by Tapre Timine

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