Headline RoundupDecember 18th, 2023

Pope Francis Approves Blessings for Same-Sex Couples

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Pope Francis formally approved letting Catholic priests bless same-sex couples, as long as they are differentiated from marriage blessings.

Details: The Vatican maintains that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Francis’ instructions regarding this distinct type of blessing came in response to requests from conservative bishops for clarifications on the church’s position on same-sex unions.

Key Quotes: “God never turns away anyone who approaches him!” a letter published by the Vatican reads. Clarifying the position of the church, it states that “one should neither provide for nor promote a ritual for the blessings of couples in an irregular situation. At the same time, one should not prevent or prohibit the Church’s closeness to people in every situation in which they might seek God’s help through a simple blessing.” Emphasizing the church’s required distinction between marriage blessings and these, the letter states, “this blessing should never be imparted in concurrence with the ceremonies of a civil union, and not even in connection with them. Nor can it be performed with any clothing, gestures, or words that are proper to a wedding.”

How the Media Covered It: The Associated Press (Lean Left bias) briefly mentioned conservative backlash to the letter but focused more on liberal and progressive reception to the news. Newsweek (Center bias) centered coverage around conservative criticism seen on social media. The Daily Caller (Right bias) did not focus on public response to the letter but included more details on the instructions in the writing.

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