Italian bishops appear to have delivered a snub to Pope Francis by promoting a Vatican official who the Pope sacked months after the official authored a key document prohibiting liturgical blessings for same-sex couples.
Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, 58, was dismissed by the Holy Father soon after the then-known Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF; now called DDF), for which Morandi served as secretary, ruled in 2021 against the legitimacy of liturgical blessings for same-sex couples.
But on 15 January, Morandi was elected as the new leader of the Bishops’ Conference of Emilia-Romagna, a key northern region of Italy that centres on the city of Bologna.
Archbishop Morandi was seen as the driving force behind the Vatican’s rejection of same-sex blessings when the CDF published a responsum ad dubium to a question about the legitimacy of liturgical blessings for same-sex couples.
The statement was issued with the authority of Pope Francis only after Archbishop Morandi insisted that the matter was addressed in response to repeated calls by several German bishops for same-sex liturgical blessings.
Archbishop Morandi, a distinguished canon lawyer, joined the CDF as an under-secretary in 2015 and was promoted to secretary – the second highest position – just two years later.
In response to the question: “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”, the CDF, under his guidance, answered: “Negative.”
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