Briana Heaney Published

W.Va. Diocese Said It Will Continue To Bless Gay Catholics

Rainbow flags, a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and queer pride and LGBT social movements, waving in the breeze outside the Stonewall Monument in New York City on June 7, 2022.
The pope affirmed that LGBTQ people are welcome in the church, however he reaffirmed that homosexuality is considered a sin by the church.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis announced on Monday that he formally approves allowing priests to bless same-sex couples, as long as they are not for marriage or a blessing of communion. 

The announcement comes as there are growing tensions between some conservative U.S. Catholics and the Pope. However, Mark Brennan, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s Bishop, said this is not a radical change for the church. He said blessings for gay people is something that parishes in West Virginia are currently doing, and will continue to do. 

“I guess the change is widening the scope of our consciousness of who can receive blessings,” Brennan said. “But all the way along I think people have received blessings whether they were in any kind of union they were in, heterosexual or homosexual.”

Brennan said the document also reaffirms that homosexuality is a sin, and same sex marriage is not supported by the Catholic Church. 

“The Holy Father’s Declaration today in his Fiducia Supplicans On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings confirms the church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Marriage,” Brennan said. “Which is the exclusive, stable, and indissoluble union between a man and a woman, naturally open to the generation of children.”  

As for the blessings of communion Brennan said that no couple engaging in same-sex sexual activity should receive communion. 

“If they’re, they’re living in a union in which they’re sexually active, and if it’s not a union the church can recognize, then they should not receive Holy Communion. They are welcome to come to mass, they are welcome to pray,” Brennan said.