Nigerian Catholic bishops reject Pope Francis same-sex blessing declaration

(Pope Francis. Source: Facebook)

Catholic Bishops under the auspices of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) have rejected the declaration of Pope Francis approving the blessing of same-sex by Catholic priests after following some measures.

According to the bishops, the act goes against God’s word and does not align with the principles of the church, the culture in Nigeria, and the laws of the land.

The stand of the Catholic bishops was made known in a statement by the Archbishop of Owerri and President of CBCN, Lucius Ugorji, and the Bishop of Uromi and Secretary of CBCN, Donatus Ogun.

In response to the Vatican’s Declaration, the CBCN statement read, “The Declaration seeks to clarify the different forms of blessing that can be given to persons and objects in the Catholic Church, including the possibility of blessing persons in irregular unions.

“Also, those in same-sex unions, those in polygamous unions, and those in concubinage, among others. Nevertheless, the church maintains a clear stance that the blessing of individuals in irregular unions can only be performed in a non-liturgical manner to prevent confusion.”

Furthermore, CBCN suggested that such blessings should be carried out in relation with a civil wedding ceremony, not in the church. There shouldn’t be symbols, language or attire attached to such ceremonies too.

The council added that they do not have the authority to bless irregular unions like same-sex marriage, adding that people involved in irregular unions should be open to conversion.

The statement added, “The Declaration also reinforces the truth about God’s mercy. Asking for God’s blessing is not dependent on how good one is. Imperfection is the reason for seeking God’s grace.”

In conclusion, they noted that Nigerians have no cause to worry as the marriage teachings of the Catholic Church remain the same. They also sent their gratitude to all the priests for their supporting married couples.

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