World NewsBelgian bishops propose prayers for same-sex couples but not marriage

Belgian bishops propose prayers for same-sex couples but not marriage

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Belgian bishops on Tuesday printed a proposed textual content for a prayer liturgy for same-sex {couples} that features prayers, Scriptural readings and expressions of dedication, regardless of a 2021 Vatican directive barring church blessings for homosexual {couples}.

The Flemish-speaking bishops pressured that the “second of prayer” was not at all akin to a sacramental marriage, which Catholic doctrine says is a lifelong union between a person and girl. Reasonably, they mentioned their proposal is a part of the Belgian church’s effort to be extra conscious of its homosexual members and to “create a local weather of respect, recognition and integration.” They cited Pope Francis’ name for the church to be extra welcoming to gays.

The publication of the textual content, first reported by the Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad, marks the newest salvo in efforts by extra progressive church buildings to increase higher outreach to gays, led by the German church and its controversial “synodal” technique of dialogue with the German laity.

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Catholic educating holds that gays should be handled with dignity and respect, however that gay acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

Final yr, the Vatican’s doctrine workplace decreed that the church can not bless same-sex unions “as a result of God can not bless sin.”

The proposed Belgian ceremony consists of an “opening phrase, opening prayer, Scripture studying” in addition to the texts of two proposed prayers — one committing each events to themselves and the opposite, a prayer of the neighborhood for the couple — and ends with the “Our Father prayer, a closing prayer and a blessing.”

Belgian bishops declare that holding prayer liturgies for same-sex {couples} doesn’t quantity to a church blessing, which is banned by the Vatican. The Vatican is pictured above, in Italy on Sept. 18, 2022, at St. Peter’s sq..
(ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

Tommy Scholtes, spokesman for Belgium’s bishops convention, denied the proposal amounted to a “blessing” a lot much less a sacramental marriage. He mentioned it was a part of the Belgian bishops’ choice to create contact folks inside every diocese accountable for pastoral look after gays.

With such “level of contacts” created, Scholtes mentioned there will likely be “a chance for gay {couples} to wish collectively, and others can even be capable of pray for them.”

“However there isn’t a blessing, no change of consent, there’s nothing like a wedding,” he advised The Related Press.

The textual content of the proposed dedication prayer means that the couple thank God for letting them discover one another and pledge to be there for each other all through their lives. The neighborhood then responds with a prayer of its personal, praying for God’s grace to “make their dedication to one another sturdy and trustworthy.”

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The Rev. James Martin, who has championed higher church outreach to the LGBTQ neighborhood, mentioned the Flemish-language textual content suggests a blessing.

Given a same-sex couple within the prayer, “then you’re asking God to be with same-sex companions not solely within the residence they share, however in what the prayer calls their ‘dedication,’” Martin mentioned. “So, until I’m lacking one thing within the translation, whereas the prayer isn’t a proper ratification of same-sex marriage, once you invoke the mercy of God on anybody, you’re asking God to bless them.”

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