Belgium’s Flemish bishops published on Tuesday a text on the pastoral care of Catholics who identify as LGBT, including a prayer for the “love and fidelity” of same-sex couples widely understood as a text to be used for blessing for gay relationships. The francophone portion of Belgium’s episcopal conference is expected to issue its own version of the text soon.
The prayer is predictably controversial, with critics maligning it as a repudiation of Vatican guidance on the subject.
Will Pope Francis intervene on the matter? That’s not yet certain.
But its publication could signal the beginning of a public battle in the Church over the legacy of Pope Francis. And whether the pope will step in to define that legacy for himself remains an uncertain – but pressing – question.
Just more than one year ago, the then-Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document which explained that the Church has no power to bless same-sex unions, even while emphasizing the…