Thursday, December 28, 2023

The Blessing of Same-Sex Unions

The popular press is reporting that the current Pope said that the Roman Catholic Church will "Bless same-sex unions" but will not sanction "Same-sex marriages".

The goal of "catechesis" or basic Christian education, or at least the Roman Catholic version of it, is to produce adults with "well-formed consciences". A well-formed conscience can take a multitude of sometimes-conflicting inputs and reach a proper moral decision.

For example, even though the Catholic Church forbids oral contraceptives, those same pills are often prescribed to stabilize symptoms of menstrual distress. If the symptoms are severe enough, then a proper moral decision would be to use the pills so the woman can function in society until such time that the couple wants to conceive.

Details matter

It has always been a position of the Catholic Church that gay people can be blessed.

Every sinner is blessed by the priest at the end of their confession.

If sex outside of the Sacrament of Marriage is a sin, then sex between same-sex couples is a sin and should be confessed. If confessed, the gay person will be blessed but with the invocation to avoid sin and the circumstances leading up to it.

Societal benefits of confining sex to married couples

The sticky material on a strip of duct-tape is a good metaphor for the function of sex in marriage. If you tore off a strip of duct-tape, even the really good stuff, and then used it multiple times, it would lose its ability to function. It would stop being sticky.

Sex when acquired outside of wedlock dilutes its ability to keep a man-and-a-woman married. The family is the basic building block of society. A married man-and-woman are, hands-down, the best platform for raising children. Ergo, sex outside of marriage pecks away at society's foundation.

Sex reserved for married couples is an absolute standard and many people will fall short. But that is not a reason to water-down the standard.

No moral parent has ever looked at their twelve-year-old child and said "Damn, good going kid. You cannot start having sex too soon!" The act of having sex has consequences.

Statistically, even being able to delay the deed for one relationship has benefits from a public health and a personal mental-health standpoint. If reaching for a high standard fails but stretches most individuals so they came closer to the ideal, then it has benefit.

So my concern for the Pope endorsing the blessing of same-sex unions is two-fold.

First, he seems to be back-pedaling on "Sex reserved for Married Couples"

Second, it seems likely that bishops and priests will not be allowed to exercise their own "well formed consciences" and deny blessings to same-sex couple who demand them.


  1. I think the Church was pretty clear that it is NOT blessing or recognizing the union just blessing the people like it will bless every other variety of sinner.

    1. If nothing changed than why was an announcement necessary? They had to know that it would be interpreted as endorsing gay unions.

    2. Yeah... Blessing them AS A COUPLE... This is like looking at something walking like a duck and quacking like a duck and calling it a cat...

  2. This pope is a commie if I've ever seen one

  3. The announcement read the priest could bless same-sex unions, but not couples. In my mind there is no difference, but the liberals in the Church are trying to make same-sex nonsense now be acceptable. Same-sex is against Church teaching and always has been. This pronouncement is idiocy.
    Gays can go to confession and be blessed, but confession is made with intention of giving up the sin. I don’t expect that is happening. The intention is not there.
    I think this Pope is trying to ruin the Church, and the faith.
    Southern NH

  4. ERJ - Uisdean Ruadh, my long time friend and devoted Catholic, and I have had this discussion. He forwarded me a video (perhaps from Catholic Answers?) that parsed the issue much as you did - the difference between individuals and unions.

    That said, I am not particularly convinced. The optics of such blessings will not contain the nuances. And the fact that one has to go to great lengths to explain something suggests that the words as they stand are very unclear. It would have been much clearer to simple state "On the blessing of individuals" and clarify that any individual in a state of sin should be repent of their sin. It would have accomplished the supposed aim, on how to bless individuals, without creating the idea that the Catholic Church is sanctioning anything outside of the historical understanding of marriage.

    I truly feel sorry for traditional Catholics at this point, as I fear they have no-where to go and remain Catholic.

  5. Once again this pope is taking the church in a direction many do not want it to go, IMHO.

    1. There is a dynamic tension there.

      Christianity is not a democracy. In fact, it would be of no value if it only told us to do the things we would do anyway (Even the pagans love their children).

      But they are sifting through the Bible with an exceedingly fine filter to find any justification to "bless" gay-unions. And the basic blocking-and-tackling of everyday life is more than many of us can bear as it is without adding additional burdens (splinter-plank and all that).

      "Few should teach for they shall be judged more harshly", James Chapter 3. I take that to mean Judged by God.

  6. The evil communist left scored a major victory when they managed to insinuate Jorge Bergoglio into the Vatican. He's been able to do a great deal of harm during his tenure. History will almost certainly castigate the Catholic Church for selecting him.

  7. The most simple answer is usually sufficient, perhaps even best.
    This Bergoglio fellow has issued other very difficult to explain statements that fly in the face of catholic tradition.

    Assume for a minute that Bergoglio is not catholic, an infiltrator; perhaps even the forerunner to the anti-christ. Then the "difficult to explain" statements all make perfect sense.

    Watching poor catholics trying to keep Bergoglio's statements within the lines of catholic tradition, twisting the definition of words, and deeds; nope. That is not the simplest explanation.



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