Pope Francis has formally approved allowing priests to bless same-sex couples, with a new document explaining a radical change in Vatican policy by insisting that people seeking God’s love and mercy shouldn’t be subject to “an exhaustive moral analysis” to receive it.
The document from the Vatican’s doctrine office, elaborates on a letter Francis sent to two conservative cardinals that was published in October. In that preliminary response, Pope Francis suggested such blessings could be offered under some circumstances if they didn’t confuse the ritual with the sacrament of marriage.
The new document repeats that condition and elaborates on it, reaffirming that marriage is a lifelong sacrament between a man and a woman. But it says requests for such blessings for same-sex couples should not be denied full stop, and it insists that people seeking a transcendent relationship with God and looking for his love and mercy should not be subject to “an exhaustive moral analysis” as a precondition for receiving it.