Pope Francis calls out ‘hypocrisy’ of same-sex blessing critics

Pope Francis has denounced those who criticise and scandalise same-sex blessings as hypocrites in a new interview.

The pontiff made global headlines in December when he announced that people in same-sex relationships could be blessed by the Catholic Church.

It was a landmark decision from Pope Francis and one that was celebrated by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups worldwide – despite the fact that these same-sex blessings are not an approval of homosexual relationships by the church, nor are they to be performed in relation to weddings or civil unions.

Pope Francis trans sex workers
Pope Francis has condemned the criticism of same-sex blessings as “hypocrisy”. (Alessandra Benedetti – Corbis/Corbis)

Still, going hand-in-hand with all of the praise and celebration was a wave of backlash and rejection from more conservative bishops and dioceses.

But Pope Francis has held strong in his decision and warned those who disagree with it that their “hypocrisy” is showing.

In a new interview with Italian magazine Credere, seen by Vatican News, Pope Francis said: “I do not bless a ‘homosexual marriage’; I bless two people who care for each other, and I also ask them to pray for me,” 

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He continued: “Always in confessions when these situations arrive – homosexual people, remarried people – I always pray and bless.

“The blessing is not to be denied to anyone. Everyone, everyone. Mind you, I am talking about people: those who are capable of receiving Baptism.”

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Pope Francis gestures as he meets with attendees during the weekly general audience
Pope Francis approved same-sex blessings back in December. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty)

Pope Francis went on to say that the “gravest of sins” one could commit was not homosexuality, but being someone who “disguises themselves with a more ‘angelic’ appearance.”

To that point, he added: “No one is scandalised if I bless an entrepreneur who perhaps exploits people: and this is a very serious sin. 

“Whereas they are scandalised if I give it to a homosexual… This is hypocrisy! We must all respect each other. Everyone! The heart of the document is welcome.”

This isn’t the first time that Pope Francis has publicly defended his decision to approve same-sex blessings.

Last month, the head of the Catholic Church issued a statement recommending anyone who opposed same-sex blessings to take “an extended period of pastoral reflection.”

He pointed out once again, that the Church “does not have the power to impart” blessings on same-sex unions or weddings, but it can impart informal blessings that will allow priests to be closer to their congregations.

“We will all have to become accustomed to accepting the fact that, if a priest gives this type of simple blessing, he is not a heretic, he is not ratifying anything nor is he denying Catholic doctrine,” the statement said, before adding: “Even if they are great sinners.”

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