CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Vatican reiterated its stance on blessing same sex relationships, saying homosexual unions do not have its blessings because God "cannot bless sin” and it is not God’s plan for marriage or family.
It was contained in a two-page explanation published in seven languages and approved by Pope Francis. The document was issued as a formal response to a question about whether Catholic clergy have the authority to bless gay unions.
The Diocese of Corpus Christi said in a statement that they are grateful for the Vatican's clarification regarding the Church blessing same-sex couples and reflects the same beliefs.
The Coastal Bend Pride Center, on the other hand, said they wish the Catholic Church would allow same-sex marriage but also respects its teachings.
"We encourage them to continue to practice their own faith, to go to their religious places of worship and to consider how the church intersects with their life,” Barton Bailey, the center’s director said.
The Vatican distinguished between the church's welcoming and blessing of gay people, which it upheld, but not their unions.
The Coastal Bend Pride Center said they host bible study once a year to help people struggling with their LGBTQ and religious identity.
“We just chat with them and of course partner with local non-affirming churches that are happy to assist those in the LGBT community,” Orlando Narvaez, the center’s program specialist said.
Pope Francis said the Church doesn’t give blessings to same sex-couples because it mimics the marriage ceremony, but said the Vatican doesn’t mean to unjustly discriminate against LGBTQ people.
“I hope that the church can move towards more acceptance and more inclusivity of the LGBTQ population especially when it comes to individuals…but even more so with same-sex marriage,” Bailey said.
Just last year the pope opinionated that same-sex couples are children of God and should be able to enter a civil-union, but the Catholic church did not change its doctrines or teachings.