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Fr. Leszek GęsiakWikimedia

(LifeSiteNews) — The Polish Bishops’ Conference clarified in a statement today that people who are in same-sex relationships “cannot receive a blessing” after the Vatican issued a contrary document approving blessings for same-sex couples.

“Since practicing sexual acts outside marriage, that is, outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open to the transmission of life, is always an offense against the will and wisdom of God expressed in the sixth commandment … people who are in such a relationship cannot receive a blessing. This applies in particular to people in same-sex relationships,” wrote Fr. Leszek Gęsiak, spokesman for the Polish Episcopal Conference, after consulting members of the conference’s Permanent Council.

On Monday, December 18, Pope Francis and Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández issued Fiducia Supplicans, which allows “blessings for couples in irregular situations and for couples of the same sex” in contradiction to the unchangeable Catholic teaching that the Church cannot bless sinful relationships. 

The Declaration notably contradicts a Responsum regarding the blessing of same-sex unions published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on February 22, 2021, which was approved by Pope Francis.

Fr. Gęsiak cited this Responsum, which was issued in response to the Dubiam, “Does the Church have the authority to bless same-sex unions?” The bishops’ conference spokesman noted that the CDF 2021 Responsum gave the answer, “negative.”

He went on to quote the Responsum’s teaching that same-sex unions are not a “legitimate object of ecclesial blessing” because such relationships are “not directed according to the Creator’s plan.”

The 2021 Responsum explains that blessings are a kind of sacramental, and therefore that “when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships, in addition to the right intention of those who participate, it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God … ”

Fr. Gęsiak further restated the Responsum’s (referred to as a “2021 note”) clarification that “since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit, [b]ecause they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”

“In other words, avoiding confusion and scandal is virtually impossible in this case,” Fr. Gęsiak wrote.

He pointed out that the Responsum nevertheless considers permissible the blessings of individuals with same-sex attraction who intend to live chastely. 

According to the 2021 note, “blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations, who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching” are not excluded.

“Therefore, we are talking about individual people living in complete abstinence,” pointed out Fr. Gęsiak, who went on to stress that such blessings of chaste individuals must be done privately.

“However, in order to avoid confusion that this means approval of same-sex relationships, it must be done in a private way, outside the liturgy and without any analogy to sacramental rites,” the bishops’ spokesman said.

According to Fr. Gęsiak, Fiducia Supplicans “does not change in any way the current teaching of the Church regarding marriage and family,’ reported. He pointed out that even this recent Declaration states that “rites and prayers that could cause difficulty in distinguishing between that which is constitutive of marriage as an exclusive, permanent and unbreakable bond between one man and one woman open in a natural way to offspring, and that which denies it, are unacceptable.”