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Bishop Johan BonnyBisdom Antwerpen / YouTube

(LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, who with a group of Flemish bishops in Belgium recently published guidelines for the blessing of homosexual couples, has now publicly said that he has spoken with the Pope, and that “our guidelines for blessing of homosexual couples that we have recently published are in line with Pope Francis.”

Bonny is currently in Germany where he met with the German bishops at their annual fall meeting in Fulda, spoking with them behind closed doors. In this context, he gave, the official website of the German bishops, an interview, in which he encouraged the German bishops to continue the work of their Synodal Path which recently declared recently that homosexual acts are “not sinful.”

At the end of this interview, Bonny was asked about the reaction to his own actions, since he himself in 2015 already advocated for a blessing of homosexual couples. The interviewer reminded him that he was still a bishop, even though he advocated for such a blessing.

Bonny responded: “Yes, I am still a bishop. I was called to Rome, and there I said what was my opinion about it. I have also personally spoken with Pope Francis about it.”

When asked about the result of this conversation with the Pope, Bonny answered that “I know now what he thinks. That is for me the most important thing.”

RELATED: Catholic bishops in Belgium publish blessing ceremony for homosexual couples 

The Belgian bishop insisted that the Pope is also in agreement with him and his Flemish fellow bishops and their newly released guidelines. “And I know that our guidelines for the blessing of homosexual couples, which we recently published, are in line with Pope Francis,” he said, adding that this was important to him “because communion with the Pope is sacred to me.”

The prelate continued:

It is the personal responsibility that the Pope has given us bishops and that he also supports. However, the same topics do not have to and cannot be discussed worldwide at all times. Moreover, the Pope does not have to write everything down on paper. Just as I as a bishop do not record every conversation on paper.

When the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith came out with a ban of the blessing of homosexual couples in March last year, Bishop Bonny expressed he was “angry” at Rome and said he felt “shame” for his Church.

He then also referred to the Pope himself when saying that “this responsum is not an example of how we can walk a path together. The document undermines the credibility of both the ‘synodal path’ advocated by Pope Francis and the announced year of work with Amoris Laetitia. Will the real synod please stand up?”

Now, under the growing pressure across the Universal Church – with Cardinals Gerhard Müller and Willem Eijk, among others, raising their voice of opposition – Bishop Bonny saw it fit to come out even more explicitly about the Pope’s intentions.

It is to be seen how the Vatican will respond to this new interview by Bonny.

However, it is not the first time that a clergyman has publicly recounted a private conversation with Pope Francis, saying that Francis supports the blessing of homosexual couples. In March of 2018, the French priest Fr. Daniel Duigou revealed that he received Pope Francis’ support for blessing homosexual couples.

LifeSite reported that Duigou described his private conversation with the Pope in a televised interview as follows:

“The first question he [the pope] asked me was: ‘Do you bless divorced and remarried couples?’ which is one of the big questions today in the Church,” explained Duigou. He recalled responding, “I listen and I bless, and I also bless homosexual couples.”

According to Duigou the Pope responded: “Yes, because to bless means that God thinks well of people and that God thinks well of all people.” The news show host asked incredulously: “Well, does this mean that the Pope is in favor of blessing homosexual couples?”

The French priest responded: “Yes, absolutely. It is not about marrying them.”

In 2016, Bonny went on record calling for a blessing for homosexual couples, as well as for cohabitating or divorced and “remarried” couples.

Following the CDF’s March 2021 ban on homosexual couples, Pope Francis removed the Vatican official who is said to have been the driving force behind the Vatican’s ban on blessing of homosexual couples.

He has continuously promoted the work of pro-LGBT activists such as Father James Martin, S.J., saying in public just in August that an event hosted by the pro-LGBT priest was “enriching.”

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Dr. Maike Hickson was born and raised in Germany. She holds a PhD from the University of Hannover, Germany, after having written in Switzerland her doctoral dissertation on the history of Swiss intellectuals before and during World War II. She now lives in the U.S. and is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.

Dr. Hickson published in 2014 a Festschrift, a collection of some thirty essays written by thoughtful authors in honor of her husband upon his 70th birthday, which is entitled A Catholic Witness in Our Time.

Hickson has closely followed the papacy of Pope Francis and the developments in the Catholic Church in Germany, and she has been writing articles on religion and politics for U.S. and European publications and websites such as LifeSiteNews, OnePeterFive, The Wanderer, Rorate Caeli,, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Notizie Pro-Vita, Corrispondenza Romana,, Der Dreizehnte,  Zeit-Fragen, and Westfalen-Blatt.