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On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change sacraments


Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP

Pope Francis attends a meeting with bishops, priests, religious consecrated persons, seminarians, and catechists at the Saint Martin Cathedral in Bratislava, Slovakia,

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 09/15/21

Pope Francis says there shouldn't be an imposition of what can't be part of the Church, by nature.

In his customary press conference on the return trip from Slovakia this September 15, Pope Francis was asked to comment on a resolution coming from Strasbourg regarding same-sex marriage.

“I have spoken clearly about this, no?,” he began. “Marriage is a sacrament. Matrimony is a sacrament. The Church does not have the power to change the sacraments as the Lord instituted them.”

The Pope then commented on civil laws that can offer certain rights and protections to same-sex couples or even other unions of people. The Pope mentioned as an example three widows who might want to join together by law to share inheritance, or have health care benefits.

Since facing the push for same-sex marriage as bishop of Buenos Aires, the Pope has spoken about the possibilities of such civil protections for homosexual couples.

It “is important that people be helped … but without imposing things that, by its nature, don’t go in the Church,” he said. “Marriage is marriage.”

Pope Francis urged that condemnation be avoided. “No, please! They are our brothers and our sisters and we must accompany them. But marriage as a sacrament is clear. It’s clear.”

“Matrimony as a sacrament is between man and woman,” the Pope said.

… Please, don’t make the Church deny her truth. Many, many people with a homosexual orientation approach the sacrament of penance to seek counsel from priests and the Church helps them move forward in their own lives. But the sacrament of marriage is something else.

HomosexualityMarriagePope Francis
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