UPDATE: Dutch Bishops Will Only Bless Individuals, Not Homosexual Couples

CORRECTION: We had previously published a story from Dutch News stating that the bishops had endorsed blessing homosexual couples. It turns out this report was in error. The Dutch bishops will only bless individuals. Their official statement in English is below:

Dutch bishops regarding to Fiducia supplicans
The statement issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith Fiducia
supplicans on 18 December last, highlighted the importance of accompaniment in
the Church for persons living in a homosexual relationship and for divorced persons
re-married. As our Church is a welcoming Church, the Dutch bishops, with Pope
Francis, underline the pastoral importance of closeness and accompaniment.

The bishops’ conference notes that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its
statement Fiducia supplicans, holds, in accordance with Sacred Scripture and the
Tradition of the Church, that marriage is only possible between a man and a woman and
is indissoluble, and that irregular relationships of any kind encounter intrinsic moral

The Dutch bishops do not wish to deny anyone the support and strength of God. It is
possible to say a prayer over individual believers living in an irregular relationship. What
one asks for in the prayer and the manner in which one prays are important here. In the
case of someone living in an irregular or homosexual relationship, the ordained minister
may say a simple prayer outside the context of a wedding celebration or prayer service.
In this prayer, God can be asked for strength and assistance under the invocation of His
Spirit, so that he/she may understand God’s will with his/her life and continue to grow.

This makes it clear in the wording chosen that this is not a blessing or confirmation of an
irregular relationship and also avoids confusion with marriage, which, according to the
Catholic Church, can only be between a man and a woman.

In this way, prayer can give the strength to draw near to God and live in accordance with
His intentions for the creation of man and woman and marriage.