The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) has reiterated its long-held stance that priests cannot bless same-sex unions. This follows the
The Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) has reiterated its long-held stance that priests cannot bless same-sex unions.
This follows the huge public uproar and controversy that greeted the publication of a document from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled “Fiducia Supplicans” ( Supplicating Trust: “On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings”).
The Vatican document encouraged priests of the Catholic Church to offer pastoral blessings to those in irregular situations and to same-sex couples.
Amidst calls for the Catholic Bishops in Ghana to speak on this development, a statement issued and dated Thursday, December 21, 2023, clarified that Catholic priests have not been granted permission to bless same-sex marriages.
The statement signed by Most Rev. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the Catholic Bishop of Sunyani and President of the GCBC, said the Vatican declaration made a clear distinction between liturgical (sacramental) blessings and pastoral blessings which may be given to persons who desire God’s loving graces in their lives.
“The Declaration says that these pastoral blessings “are meant for everyone; no one is to be excluded from them” (par. 28). It also notes that in “a brief prayer preceding this spontaneous blessing, the ordained minister could ask that the individuals have peace, health, a spirit of patience, dialogue, and mutual assistance—but also God’s light and strength to be able to fulfil his will completely.”
“The blessing which the Declaration says could be given to everyone refers to prayers that
people may request for. For those in a state of sin, the prayers are meant to lead them to
conversion. Therefore, the prayers for persons in same-sex relationships are not intended
to legitimize their way of life, but to lead them on the path of conversion (cf. paragraphs
38, 42-45). In conclusion, we wish to reiterate that priests cannot bless same-sex unions or marriages,” portions of the statement read.