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The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, has clarified that Pope Francis has not directed or approved Catholic priests to bless marriages of gays and lesbians.
Reports of Pope Francis formally granting Roman Catholic priests permission to bless same-sex couples surfaced over the weekend, sparking varying opinions on social media.
In an interview with Umaru Sanda Amadu on Eyewitness News, Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi explained that the blessings for gays and lesbians that the Pope spoke about are the kind of blessings meant for all Catholics, which is different from blessings meant for couples or blessings for unions.
“The Vatican was explaining what, in the Catholic Church, we call blessings and which category of people or saints should be blessed. Somebody asked if same-sex couples can also come to receive blessings, and the Pope said yes, just like any other Catholic goes to the priest for blessings or prayers. We don’t ask what sin he is in or does, but once the person asks for blessings, you give the blessing, and it is an expression of humility. The Church understands blessings as a gift that God gives for people to become holier.”
“What people do not understand is that if a gay couple goes to the priest to bless them, and the Pope says yes, you are blessing the people and not the union. We have different sets of prayers, different liturgies, and different blessings for marriage. But when they are coming for the normal, ordinary blessings that we give to everybody, they should all receive this blessing. So, we should make a clear distinction between gays and lesbians who have gone to a priest for blessings and these same people going to the priest and saying, ‘We want you to bless our union as a marriage.’”