Pope Francis could be set to make a huge U-Turn on the Catholic Church’s views towards same-sex marriage, but he’s still willing to “Educate” those who think women should be allowed to be priests.
Pope Francis has gone back on the Catholic Church’s past beliefs, suggesting that priests could offer blessings to individuals in same-sex unions on a case-by-case basis, marking a huge step towards inclusivity.
The Pope’s remarks were made in response to a letter from five conservative cardinals, known as a “dubia,” seeking clarity on Church teachings, including inquiries about same-sex unions and women’s ordination.
Cardinals Walter Brandmuller, Raymond Leo Burke, Juan Sandoval Iniguez, Robert Sarah, and Joseph Zen Ze-kiun sent a letter to Pope Francis in July, focusing on critical questions about the Church’s stance on various issues.
Yes or No?
The formal “dubia” letter questioned the Pope’s intentions regarding same-sex unions and whether he would allow women priests into the Church.
Dissatisfied with the initial response, the cardinals reworded and resent the “dubia” letter, saying that they needed a yes or no response due to the “gravity of the situation.”
The Vatican, through Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, the new chief of doctrine, released a letter dated September 25 containing Pope Francis’ responses to the “dubia” questions.
In the letter, Pope Francis began by affirming the Catholic Church’s firm stance that marriage should stay between a man and woman, but he did make a surprising response about same-sex blessings.
Pope Francis, while affirming the traditional view of marriage, indicated an openness to blessing individuals in same-sex unions, signaling a change from his earlier stance.
The Pope’s current position on blessing individuals in same-sex unions contrasts with his previous statement in March, where he stated that the Church could not bless such unions, “When you ask for a blessing, you are expressing a request for help from God, a prayer to be able to live better, a trust in a father who can help us live better,” he recently said.
The Pope’s shift aligned with a German Church decision in March, where several priests blessed same-sex unions in Cologne, potentially influencing the Pope’s evolving stance.
What Is on the Horizon?
While reaffirming the Church’s stance against women’s ordination, Pope Francis expressed the need for further study to educate those who doubt this doctrine.
The Pope said he had “No authority” to ordain women priests but also reaffirmed that “it will be difficult to accept that the priesthood is reserved only for men and we will not be able to recognize the rights of women” unless people are educated on the matter.
It has been reported that some conservatives have criticized Pope Francis and worry that women will have the right to Catholic leadership along with same-sex marriages on the horizon.
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