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Spanish bishop to Belgian bishops: The Church doesn’t have authority to bless gay unions

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff

(Images: Hand: Nadine Shaabana; rainbow graphic: Jasmin Sessler |

Denver Newsroom, Sep 23, 2022 / 14:00 pm (CNA).

The bishop of Orihuela-Alicante in Spain, José Ignacio Munilla, reminded the Belgian bishops that the blessing of gay unions goes against the teaching of the Catholic Church.

“It’s not that the Church doesn’t love. It’s that she has no authority to do such a thing,” he cautioned.

The prelate underscored in his Sixth Continent program on Radio Maria in Spain that the Belgian bishops’ prayers for the blessing of gay unions are “clearly not compatible” with the declaration of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on this issue that was published March 15, 2021.

Munilla stressed that this incompatibility is manifest “no matter how much they’ve tried to force (the meaning of) words to the maximum,” calling the Belgian bishops’ initiative a “moment for prayer.”

In this respect, the spokesman for the Belgian Bishops’ Conference, Jesuit Father Tommy Scholtes, defended the blessing of same-sex couples since “it has nothing to do with marriage.”

In a statement to the Associated Press, Scholtes said that it’s “an opportunity for homosexual couples to pray together and for others to pray for them as well.”

Munilla noted that the Belgian bishops’ blessing includes “expressions of commitment” between the homosexual persons who receive it and the commitment of ecclesial community to them.

“Let’s not play with words,” the bishop reiterated, pointing out that “we must be sincere and transparent and say that it absolutely contradicts” what was affirmed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Munilla emphasized that what the Vatican dicastery has stated “is not that the Church doesn’t love. It’s that she has no authority to do such a thing” as bless homosexual unions.

Blessings are sacramentals

The Church has no such authority because a blessing is a sacramental. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1667, sacramentals “are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church.”

The text continues: “By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy.”

The Spanish bishop explained that blessings, therefore, “must be objectively and positively ordered to the will of God” and that “the good will of those who receive them is not enough.”

There is no ‘unjust discrimination’

Thus, “it’s not lawful to impart a blessing on these relationships, even if they are stable, because they imply a sexual relationship outside of marriage,” the bishop explained, in line with what was stated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

For example, Munilla pointed out that the Church cannot bless the union between a man and a woman living in adultery.

Thus, it’s not about “unjust discrimination” against people with homosexual inclinations, but about reclaiming “the truth of the liturgical act.”

“You can bless people with homosexual inclinations, but not a union that is not in accordance with the design of nature and God’s design,” the prelate stressed, because “it’s one thing to bless the sinner and another thing to bless the sin.”

Munilla said that, unlike the sacraments, sacramentals “can be received without being in the state of grace, but they call for conversion.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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  1. To simulate marriage through sexual expression with someone or something with whom/which one is not truly married is against natural law. God created man for woman (that’s obvious) and for a man to act sexually with another man is contrary to God’s design.

    If, however, any person justifies his unnatural act by saying that there is no God, or that God did not create man, or to say that, if God created man, He did so without purpose, then it is a sacrilege to attempt to bless something that profanes God.

    The Belgian bishops are in error and are leading others into error and sin. And to lead another to sin – wittingly or unwittingly – is wrong and sinful in itself. The bishops should admit to their sin publicly, seek sacramental forgiveness or resign.

  2. The madness that has been evident since 2013, shows an sense of decency is only to be found in the dictionary. As young Catholics in Ireland recently started that compromise with the world is a no brainer, the world must give way to Christ!

  3. Obviously,the Spanish bishop is speaking to the deaf (Flemish bishops). Nevertheless, he is doing a service to the rest of us who need to hear his articulate refutation.

    • Notice,too, that the spokes”man” for the Belgian bishops is a Jesuit. It’s high time once again for the suppression of the Jesuits.

  4. The spirit of lie , seeing such persons as being beyond help – would that be what lead to ‘blessing’ something into which God is ever desiring to bring deliverance, health and healing , even when it requires much warfare .. same being in other areas in spiritual life , including forgiveness , holiness .. Glad to have come across just the other day the site below with video presentations for on line deliverance and prayers where in Msgr.Rossetti educates about themes related to exorcism and prays along with the attendee , adding own prayers as an exorcist to ‘ratify’ the prayers in the authority of The Church .

    Mentions how forgiveness and deliverance all can take time ,to say the prayers often enough .. that there are many into witchcraft , one site alone having 400,000 viewers use of astrology , magic etc all can have negative effects ..curses affecting persons holy life is the way to be protected …
    Hopefully The Church would use such resources more and more ,to bring the kind of help needed in many realms .. instead of – ? inviting in agents of curses and lies.

  5. The danger with Catholics trolling Catholics is that it could be a blaspheming of the Holy Spirit. I do not know the history of Jesuits being suppressed but it could be something of this was involved that brought about such a harsh measure.

    The mixing in now of the homosexual agenda issues would make it worse!

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