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Belgian bishops suggest prayer for homosexual {couples}, not marriage

ROME (AP) — Belgian bishops on Tuesday printed a proposed textual content for a prayer liturgy for same-sex {couples} that features prayers, Scriptural readings and expressions of dedication, regardless of a 2021 Vatican directive barring church blessings for homosexual {couples}.

The Flemish-speaking bishops careworn that the “second of prayer” was in no way akin to a sacramental marriage, which Catholic doctrine says is a lifelong union between a person and lady. Quite, they stated their proposal is a part of the Belgian church’s effort to be extra attentive to its homosexual members and to “create a local weather of respect, recognition and integration.” They cited Pope Francis’ name for the church to be extra welcoming to gays.

The publication of the textual content, first reported by the Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad, marks the newest salvo in efforts by extra progressive church buildings to increase larger outreach to gays, led by the German church and its controversial “synodal” technique of dialogue with the German laity.

Catholic instructing holds that gays have to be handled with dignity and respect, however that gay acts are “intrinsically disordered.”

Final 12 months, the Vatican’s doctrine workplace decreed that the church can’t bless same-sex unions “as a result of God can’t bless sin.”

The proposed Belgian ceremony contains an “opening phrase, opening prayer, Scripture studying” in addition to the texts of two proposed prayers — one committing each events to themselves and the opposite, a prayer of the group for the couple — and ends with the “Our Father prayer, a closing prayer and a blessing.”

Tommy Scholtes, spokesman for Belgium’s bishops convention, denied the proposal amounted to a “blessing” a lot much less a sacramental marriage. He stated it was a part of the Belgian bishops’ choice to create contact folks inside every diocese answerable for pastoral look after gays.

With such “level of contacts” created, Scholtes stated there can be “a possibility for gay {couples} to hope collectively, and others may even have the ability to pray for them.”

“However there isn’t a blessing, no change of consent, there’s nothing like a wedding,” he advised The Related Press.

The textual content of the proposed dedication prayer means that the couple thank God for letting them discover one another and pledge to be there for each other all through their lives. The group then responds with a prayer of its personal, praying for God’s grace to “make their dedication to one another sturdy and trustworthy.”

The Rev. James Martin, who has championed larger church outreach to the LGBTQ group, stated the Flemish-language textual content suggests a blessing.

Given a same-sex couple within the prayer, “then you might be asking God to be with same-sex companions not solely within the dwelling they share, however in what the prayer calls their ‘dedication,’” Martin stated. “So, until I’m lacking one thing within the translation, whereas the prayer just isn’t a proper ratification of same-sex marriage, if you invoke the mercy of God on anybody, you might be asking God to bless them.”


Petrequin reported from Brussels.

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