Pope Francis Announces “Radical Change in Vatican Policy”

Another layer of progressive change from the Vatican on same-sex unions leaves the faithful once again confused about policy.


John Stonestreet

On Monday, a document released by the Vatican doctrine office announced what the Associated Press called “a radical change in Vatican policy.” In it, Pope Francis formally approved allowing priests to bless same-sex couples as long as it was not done “liturgically” nor could otherwise be confused with the Sacrament of Marriage.  

If he hoped to avoid confusion, he failed. Confusion is, unfortunately, a standard part of Francis’ tenure, who tends to lead and speak in ways less than clear. In fact, the announcement took the same two approaches that have long characterized moves made to liberalize Christianity to a progressive vision of sexuality and marriage. The first approach is to separate doctrine from love, as if clarity on a doctrinal point is incompatible with love of God and love of others. The second approach is to separate doctrine from pastoral practice, as if telling the truth about something core to who we are as human beings isn’t one of the most important aspects of pastoring. 

This kind of confusion never comes from God. 


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