Catholic cardinal: We will never bless same-sex couples

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A leading Catholic cardinal has said that the Church will “never” bless weddings for same-sex couples.

The Catholic Church is currently in the midst of an ‘extraordinary synod’ – a meeting of over 200 Catholic bishops, which is expected to reaffirm the church’s teachings on homosexuality.

The synod will evaluate the Church’s response to a range of family issues, from divorce and contraception through to unwed couples with children and homosexuality, following up on a consultation which found the Church was out of touch with ordinary Catholics on issues involving sex and sexuality.

However, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio – one of the Catholic Church’s most senior figures on doctrine – has confirmed that there will be no conciliatory moves towards blessing same-sex relationships.

He said: “We have to be honest. For us, and not just for us but for human culture in general, marriage is between a man and a woman.

“To bless this type of union… to say that they are like [heterosexual] marriages, never.

“This is simply for reasons of logic and identity. To bless them is not part of the way we see Christian doctrine.”

Pope Francis earlier this week urged bishops to speak “without concerns of human respect” at the synod on gay rights.

He said: “You have to say what you feel the Lord tells you to say, without concerns of human respect and without fear.”

Currently, the Vatican is restricting public information about what is said during the course of the two-week meeting.