Bishop Stowe Affirms Support for ‘Blessings’ of Same-Sex ‘Couples’

Notoriously pro-LGBT Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., of Lexington, Kentucky, has expressed his support for “blessings” of same-sex unions after Pope Francis statement that such blessings can be discerned by priests to be acceptable in certain circumstances according to “pastoral prudence.”

Speaking to TIME about the Pope’s opening of the door to “blessings” of same-sex unions, Stowe said, “He’s not saying that we should create a ritual that can be done anywhere, any time, but [that blessings] can be a response to individuals or couples or groups of people who ask for a special blessing on an occasion.”

Stowe was commenting on a letter Pope Francis had written in July in response to five dubia submitted by several high-ranking cardinals. In the original version of the questions the cardinals raised, they wrote:

2. Dubium about the claim that the widespread practice of the blessing of same-sex unions would be in accord with Revelation and the Magisterium (CCC 2357).

According to Divine Revelation, confirmed in Sacred Scripture, which the Church ‘at the divine command with the help of the Holy Spirit… listens to devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully’ (Dei Verbum 10): ‘In the beginning’ God created man in his own image, male and female he created them and blessed them, that they might be fruitful (cf. Gen. 1, 27-28), whereby the Apostle Paul teaches that to deny sexual difference is the consequence of the denial of the Creator (Rom 1, 24-32). It is asked: Can the Church derogate from this ‘principle,’ considering it, contrary to what Veritatis Splendor 103 taught, as a mere ideal, and accepting as a ‘possible good’ objectively sinful situations, such as same-sex unions, without betraying revealed doctrine?’

Pope Francis appeared to open the possibility of granting “blessings” of same-sex unions by declaring them to be a matter of “pastoral prudence,” according to which a priest can “discern” that in certain circumstances such blessings are acceptable.

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