ROME — A Catholic church outside Bologna bestowed a public blessing on a gay couple last week with the permission of Bologna’s Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, a leading candidate for the next papal election.
On June 11, Pietro Morotti and Giacomo Spagnoli were joined civilly in the Municipality of Budrio in the province of Bologna, after which they processed from the Town Hall across the square into the Church of San Lorenzo for a special Mass concelebrated by 7 Catholic priests.
“It was a blessing of two men just civilly united,” said Father Antonio Bai, pastor of the church of Budrio, but then again, “a blessing is not denied to anyone, right?”
The main celebrant of the thanksgiving Mass — which included all the typical wedding trappings such as flowers, tuxedos, and a photographer — was Father Gabriele Davalli, who has been providing pastoral care for the two men as part of his LGBT outreach and who declared that Bologna Archbishop Cardinal Matteo Zuppi had been informed of the special celebration.
In March 2021, the Vatican’s doctrinal office (CDF) reiterated the Church’s prohibition of blessings for same-sex couples, insisting that God Himself “does not and cannot bless sin.”
The Church does not have the power to give a blessing to unions of persons of the same sex, the Vatican text stated, since blessings require “that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace.”
It is not licit to impart a blessing on unions between persons of the same sex because the union itself is “not ordered to the Creator’s plan,” the text declared.
The denial of the possibility of blessing a homosexual couple “does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations,” the text clarified, but only “any form of blessing that tends to acknowledge their unions as such.”
The case of a Church blessing for a gay couple outside Bologna has raised quite a stir because the archbishop of Bologna was personally appointed by Pope Francis last month as president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI).
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.