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Cardinal Willem EijkOlivier Figueras

(LifeSiteNews) — The Bishops’ Conference of the Netherlands has issued a careful statement in rejection of the Vatican’s approval of the blessings of homosexual “couples.”

“The Dutch bishops do not wish to deny anyone the support and strength of God,” the bishops wrote in a January 16 statement. “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,” the bishops continued. “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,” the conference added.

“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,” they concluded.