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Fr. Francisco Gordalina giving a 'blessing' to a same-sex coupleYouTube screenshot

MALDONADO, Uruguay (LifeSiteNews) — A same-sex “blessing” ceremony in Uruguay that was approved by the local Vatican nuncio has created confusion and outrage among Catholics.

Revista Gente, a popular tabloid magazine in Uruguay, covered the civil “wedding” of two homosexual men, 82-year-old actor Carlos Perciavalle and 47-year-old Jimmy Castilhos, and the “blessing” they received from a Catholic priest on February 21, two days after they were civilly “married.”

READ: Father James Martin performs another ‘blessing’ for two ‘married’ men

According to Revista Gente, Fr. Francisco Gordalina, who officiated the “blessing” ceremony, said that the two men are “children of God who … have asked for a blessing for you from God our Father” and that “it is with pleasure that we are present in the name of the Church to ask to bless you.”

The priest stated that it was only a “blessing” and “not a wedding.” However, he added that the ceremony “is a way that the Church wants to show you that God is with you, and we know very well that you are also with God because we have talked in intimacy with our bishop and we have seen your faith.”

The Catholic Church condemns homosexual activity as “intrinsically disordered,” mortally sinful, and a “sin that cries to heaven,” in accordance with Sacred Scripture and the constant Tradition of the Church.

Several local media outlets described the ceremony as a “gay marriage” sanctioned by the Church, sparking confusion and outrage among Catholics in Uruguay. This prompted Bishop Milton Troccoli of the Diocese of Maldonado-Punta del Este-Minas to issue an official statement on the matter.

Troccoli said he had a “thoughtful conversion” with the two homosexual men, after which “they requested to receive the blessing,” which he described as “a possibility raised by [Fiducia Supplicans] for couples in an ‘irregular situation.’”

The bishop then said that they contacted the apostolic nuncio in Uruguay, Archbishop Gianfranco Gallone, to ask “how to proceed in this situation,” which they expected to get significant media attention, given that Perciavalle is a famous actor in Uruguay.

“We were informed [by the nuncio] that the blessing had to be given, given that there was a document signed by the Pope [Fiducia Supplicans], and that we should proceed accordingly,” Troccoli stated.

“We then informed those interested that the blessing would be given, and they were reminded that it would not be in a church, that it was a blessing to the people and not to the union (it was not a ‘church marriage’), and that for the same reason, it would be discreet, without the presence of guests; which was a simple blessing,” the statement continued.

According to news reports, Perciavalle and Castilhos’ party on February 21 at which they celebrated their homosexual “wedding” and received the “blessing” was attended by 400 guests. The “blessing” was also set to take place in a chapel before being moved to their farm after outrage over reports that it was planned to take place in the church of San Benito in Garzón.

As Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has noted, “blessing” a homosexual “couple” necessarily approves their relationship, in contradiction to Catholic teaching. “Indeed, if one blesses the couple qua couple, that is, as united by a sexual relationship other than marriage, then one is approving that union, since it is the union that constitutes them as such a couple,” he wrote in a recent essay. 

Other prominent prelates, theologians, and canon lawyers have made similar statements, such as Cardinal Robert Sarah and Father Gerald Murray.

As expected, the “discreet” ceremony garnered national and international media attention.

Troccoli acknowledged “that the media coverage of the situation may have hurt the sensitivity of some and may have confused others.” However, he justified the decision to allow the “blessing,” citing Fiducia Supplicans. 

“The novelty of the document and its pastoral implications mobilizes us all,” the bishop said.

According to Revista Gente, Perciavalle and Castilhos decided “to rent a surrogate womb,” i.e., to acquire a child via surrogacy, a practice that the Catholic Church condemns as gravely sinful and contrary to natural law.

Regarding homosexuality, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

Accordingly, the heterodox Vatican declaration Fiducia Supplicans, which was approved and signed by Pope Francis, has sparked opposition from orthodox Catholic prelates, priests, and lay people worldwide, including Uruguay’s Cardinal Daniel Sturla, who condemned Fiducia Supplicans for its contents and its deliberate confusion.

READ: FULL LIST: Where do bishops stand on blessings for homosexual couples?