Stephen P. White
The Flemish bishops of Belgium published a document this week on pastoral care for homosexual persons. The most notable aspect of the document is its inclusion of a text for blessing same-sex couples. The bishops plan to present the text to Pope Francis when they travel to Rome for their ad limina visit later this year.
One of the more exasperating particulars in this case is that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published a response to questions about the blessing of same-sex unions just last year. That document, published with the express approval of Pope Francis, makes clear that, “the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex.”
If one were to read the CDF’s document and the Flemish bishops’ side by side, not knowing which was published first, it would be very easy to assume that the former was a direct response and rebuttal of the latter. That the Flemish bishops felt they could…