August 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A Spanish priest has gained the attention of local and national media by performing a “blessing of love” on a lesbian couple that appears to endorse their same-sex relationship.
Fr. José García, pastor of San Bartolomé (Saint Bartholomew) parish in the Valencian town of Onda, reportedly performed the “blessing” inside the parish church just 24 hours after the couple “married” according to Spanish civil law.
A photo supplied by La Gaceta and other publications shows the couple standing before the priest, dressed in what appear to be wedding garments. At least 20 attendees can be seen sitting in the pews to witness the event.
The couple announced the event with invitations that called it a “wedding” (“casament” in the Valencian dialect), followed by lunch at a local restaurant. The printed program for the event indicates that the “wedding” accompanied a Mass that included particular prayers at Communion celebrating the couple’s union.
However, García told the La Gaceta newspaper that the ceremony wasn’t a wedding because the two had already “married,” and that its only purpose was to “bless their love and struggle.”
He explained that he had “known them for a long time” and has “a great affection for them.”
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexual sexual acts are “intrinsically disordered” and are “acts of grave depravity,” and that homosexual unions, including civil unions and civil “marriages,” can “in no circumstances be approved.”
“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty,” states the Vatican’s 2003 declaration on Homosexual Unions. “One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application.”
The priest told La Gaceta that the “blessing” had been scheduled well in advance and claimed it had nothing to do with their civil “marriage,” although the newspaper noted the close proximity in time of the two events.
When the Catholic news agency InfoVaticana contacted Fr. García about the scandal, the priest reportedly asked the agency not to publicize the event because he feared it would cause trouble for him.
“For his part the priest has asked us not to publish this information because he thinks it will harm his chances of working with the bishop on some tasks, something that, without a doubt, it would have been better for him to consider before placing his parish at the service of the gay lobby,” InfoVaticana reported.