Singapore Catholic Church clarifies stance on same-sex blessings

Pride flag. Photo: Unsplash
Pride flag. Photo: Unsplash

The Catholic Church in Singapore on Tuesday clarified its position on same-sex blessings, emphasizing that the recent Vatican document does not endorse such unions but rather provides guidelines for priests on offering pastoral blessings in individual cases.

“We are not blessing the unions of same-sex couples,” said Cardinal William Goh, Archbishop of Singapore, in a statement. “We are blessing couples who are in irregular situations, just as we bless the sick, the elderly, and those who request spiritual and temporal blessings.”

The statement sought to address “misimpressions” arising from the Vatican’s Monday ruling, which authorized blessings for same-sex couples but outside of official Church rituals or liturgies. Goh underscored that the document “sets out the rules and boundaries for priests” to avoid confusion about the Church’s stance on marriage.

“This declaration, rather than endorsing irregular marriages and same-sex unions, sets out the rules and boundaries for priests as to how they should bless these couples without having these blessings mistaken by others as the Church’s approval of such unions,” the statement said.

The Vatican’s doctrinal office, in its landmark document, acknowledged that same-sex couples “seek God’s blessing” and emphasized God’s love for all people. However, it reiterated that same-sex acts remain sinful and that such blessings should not be seen as legitimizing irregular relationships.

“It should in no way be confused with the sacrament of heterosexual marriage,” the document stated.

Pope Francis, since his election in 2013, has emphasized the Church’s welcoming stance towards LGBT individuals while upholding its traditional teachings on marriage. The Monday ruling marks a significant shift in official Vatican policy, offering pastoral flexibility while maintaining doctrinal boundaries.

The Catholic Church in Singapore, with its large and diverse congregation, faces the challenge of balancing its global doctrines with local realities. Goh’s statement suggests a nuanced approach, emphasizing the Church’s love and support for all individuals while upholding its core principles on marriage.


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