The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican formally barred Catholic clergy from officiating same-sex marriages on Monday. The measure was signed by Pope Francis.

The note from the Vatican covers its condemnation of same-sex couples with Biblical legalese. Luis F. Card. Ladaria, S.I. and Giacomo Morandi wrote, “Consequently, in order to conform with the nature of sacramentals, when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships, in addition to the right intention of those who participate, it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord. Therefore, only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those ends are congruent with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church.”

Ladaria then writes that “the declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and is not intended to be, a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them.”

Ladaria doubled down by saying that the Catholic Church cannot officiate same-sex marriages because “[God] does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him.”


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In the United States’ fight to legalize same-sex marriage, conservative anti-LGBT lawmakers used Biblical references to support their points. The Vatican claimed to not support “all unjust discrimination,” against same-sex couples.

The question proposed to Ladaria and Morandi was “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?” This newest Vatican decree says those words do not have the “power” to officiate a same-sex marriage.

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