Catholic Church Touts Priest in Rainbow Stole Blessing Same-Sex Couple on Social Media, Cites Pope

Catholic Church Touts Priest in Rainbow Stole Blessing Same-Sex Couple on Social Media, Cites Pope

A Lexington, Kentucky, Catholic Church has been blowing its own horn after giving a blessing to a same-sex couple, insisting it is only doing what Pope Francis wants.

“History was made Sunday at Historic Saint Paul Catholic Church. This same-sex couple, civilly married for 22 years, asked for a blessing which Fr Richard freely offered according to the guidelines in Fiducia Supplicans,” the church posted on Facebook.

A Vatican press release, however, stated that the doctrine referenced reflects the fact that “the Church does not have the power to impart blessings on unions of persons of the same sex.”

The church later issued a Facebook post pushing back against any critics, such as journalist and editor Michael Matt, who objected in a post on X.

“This is not the private blessing for individuals that some would argue is the intended target of the new Vatican document. This is a ‘married’ lesbian couple getting a public blessing in church,” he posted.

“But these are the optics they must have known would be populating around the internet as soon as the ink was dry on the papal signature. Out and Proud in the sanctuary. The priest even busted out his rainbow stole for the occasion. This looks like approval, doesn’t it? And that’s the whole point,” he wrote.

The church’s follow-up post said it was following the rules.

“’There is no room to distance ourselves doctrinally’ from the Declaration about the blessings ‘or to consider it heretical, contrary to the Tradition of the Church or blasphemous,’ said a statement by the office, formally called the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith issued today,” the post read.

Catholic philosopher Edward Feser wasn’t buying it.

“What was the actual intended message of Fiducia Supplicans? What is really going on in the minds of those who defend it? One way to help determine this will be to compare responses to criticism of the Declaration with responses to abuses of the Declaration, such as this,” he wrote on X.

According to WKYT-TV in Lexington, St. Paul’s Pastor Richard Watson saw the chance to bless same-sex couples as a positive.

“Our doors are open to everyone and we will walk with them, no matter their circumstances, and we will try to help them to become closer to each other, closer to God,” he said.

Reflecting the crosscurrents within the Catholic Church about the document, Bishop William F. Medley of the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, posted what he called an official reaction on “Fiducia Supplicans- On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings”

Medley wrote that “the new declaration does nothing to change Church teaching regarding the sacrament of marriage as a union of a man and a woman in a permanent covenant of life and love. In fact, the declaration goes to great lengths to establish that any blessing of persons should not be presented as such, in order not to confuse the Church’s teaching on marriage or be attached to a civil ceremony that might celebrate another such union or wedding.”

“From the Old Testament traditions to the life of Jesus and the early Church p01irayed in the New Testament, we see God’s desire to bless his people and peoples’ desire to be blessed. The Church’s latest declaration is meant to affirm the importance of God’s desire to bless all creation,” he wrote.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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