Pope Francis shuts down any hope for same-sex marriage in Catholic Church once and for all

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has again shut down any hope of same-sex marriage in the Catholic Church, declaring the church has “doesn’t have the power to change sacraments”.

On Wednesday (15 September), speaking to reporters after arriving back at the Vatican from Slovakia, the Pope was asked about marriage equality.

He said: “I have spoken clearly about this, no? Marriage is a sacrament. Marriage is a sacrament. The church doesn’t have the power to change sacraments. It’s as our Lord established.”

Pope Francis insisted that there were already civil “laws that try to help the situation for many people of different sexual orientations”, and that marriage equality advocates should not be “imposing things that by nature do not function in the church”.

He did not address the fact that many countries in which the Catholic Church has significant power, for example Poland, do not offer legal recognition to same-sex couples.

Pope Francis said gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married, but should not be ‘condemned’

Pope Francis insisted that refusing to allow same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples “does not mean condemning” them.

He continued: “Marriage is marriage, but this does not mean condemning [homosexual] people… No, please, these are our brothers and sisters and we need to be close to them but marriage as a sacrament is clear.”

In March this year, the Vatican ruled that the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions because it “does not and cannot bless sin”.

A note, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s top doctrinal office, told church members that same-sex couples must not be given blessings as doing so would be an affront to God.

The ruling, approved by Pope Francis, said some churches have begun offering blessings to same-sex couples due to “a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons” into their institutions.

However, the Vatican argued that a blessing can only be conferred on a couple’s relationship when they live according to “the designs of God inscribed in creation”.