Belgian bishops published Tuesday a new document on the pastoral care of Catholics who identify as LGBT, which includes a text allowing for a ritual blessing of same-sex couples.
The bishops of Flanders said that the three-page document, entitled “Being pastorally close to homosexuals: For a welcoming Church that excludes no one,” aims to “structurally anchor [the Church’s] pastoral commitment to homosexual persons and couples.”
The document was signed by the Flemish bishops, who belong to Belgium’s majority ethnic group. They are led by Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, president of the Belgian bishops’ conference, which also includes bishops from the country’s French-speaking minority.
The Flemish bishops’ text said that homosexual couples who choose to live “in lasting and faithful union with a partner” deserve “appreciation and support.”
“This relationship, although not a Church marriage, can also be a source of peace and shared happiness for those…