Meghalaya Catholic priests can ‘bless’ same sex-couples sans marriage rite | Shillong News

GUWAHATI: The Archdiocese of Shillong on Friday allowed Catholic priests in Meghalaya to bless same-sex couples, but clarified that the blessing will be in “informal words” and won’t signify approval of the union. This development comes days after Pope Francis approved this historic change in Vatican policy.
The Shillong Archdiocese is the first diocese of the Northeast.In a letter to the priests, Archbishop Victor Lyngdoh wrote that the blessings to same-sex couples will be without any type of ritual of the Church that resembles a marriage rite. It will be a “spontaneous prayer of a priest with informal words,” the Archbishop wrote, underlining that “this (the blessing) is not to be mistaken as the official liturgical and ritual blessings of the Church during marriage”.

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The Archbishop referred to ‘Fiducia Supplicans‘, Pope Francis’s declaration issued on December 18 which “stresses on the pastoral meaning of blessings”.
“Pope Francis has urged us not to ‘lose pastoral charity, which should permeate all our decisions and attitudes’ and to avoid being ‘judges who only deny, reject, and exclude’. Let us then respond to the Holy Father’s proposal by developing a broader understanding of blessings,” the ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ declaration states.

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