Pope Francis: Critics of blessings for same-sex couples are hypocrites

Former president Donald Trump MAGA hat Pope Francis side eye lesbian brides queer couple marriage
Former president Donald Trump MAGA hat Pope Francis side eye lesbian brides queer couple marriage
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Pope Francis has made his strongest statement yet against critics of his decision to allow Catholic clergy to bless same-sex couples.

“No one is scandalized if I give a blessing to an entrepreneur who perhaps exploits people, and this is a very serious sin,” the pope told Italian magazine Credere. “Whereas they are scandalized if I give it to a homosexual. ... This is hypocrisy! We must all respect each other. Everyone!”

Francis announced in December that priests could conduct blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples, although he said these relationships shouldn’t be considered equal to marriage, and the blessings shouldn’t resemble marriage ceremonies. He has received much criticism from church conservatives for this move. He recently said the blessings are not for the relationship but for the people in it. The church considers sexual relations between people of the same sex to be a sin, and it expects people with same-sex attractions to avoid acting on these feelings.

“I do not bless a ‘homosexual marriage’; I bless two people who love each other, and I also ask them to pray for me,” the pope said in the interview, which will be published Thursday by Credere. The Vatican’s news service published excerpts Wednesday.

“Always in confessions, when these situations arrive — homosexual people, remarried people — I always pray and bless,” he said. “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.”

The pope also discussed the role of women in the Catholic Church, which does not allow them to be ordained as clergy. He said men and women have different roles, but the church has benefited from having women in high-ranking positions, such as posts in the Roman Curia, which handles administrative matters for the Vatican.

“There are several women, and there will be more, because they do better than us men in certain positions,” Francis said.

Asked by Credere if he has brought “an epochal change” to the church, the pope replied, “No, really! … Yes, I go ahead as I can.”