By Ana Faguy, Forbes. Pope Francis has formally approved same-sex blessings in a statement that clears the way for Catholic priests to bless people without subjecting them to “an exhaustive moral analysis.”
The document, released on Monday by the Vatican, reaffirms marriage as a lifelong sacrament that can only be between a man and woman, but says that blessings can be offered under some circumstances and that priests should use “pastoral charity” when it comes to blessing requests.
The announcement indicates the blessings must be non-liturgical — which means informal from regular church practices — and shouldn’t be given at the same time as a civil union using set rituals, clothing and gestures that accompany a wedding.
The announcement is the latest in a string of radical changes to the church under Francis’ tenure.
Monday’s announcement reverses a 2021 Vatican ruling that condemned the blessings of same-sex unions saying God “cannot bless sin”.
“Ultimately, a blessing offers people a means to increase their trust in God,” the document said.
“The request for a blessing, thus, expresses and nurtures openness to the transcendence, mercy, and closeness to God in a thousand concrete circumstances of life, which is no small thing in the world in which we live.”
Monday’s announcement is not a total surprise as the Pope had hinted he might formally approve same-sex blessings in October.
In the fall, the Vatican released Francis’ response to conservative cardinals who had written to the Pope about the possibility of same-sex couples being blessed. The conservative cardinals strongly opposed the idea, but Francis suggested the approval of the blessings was a possibility.
The church has long opposed same-sex marriage as it has said it believes marriage is a union between a man and woman, and because is also opposes homosexuality.
Since Francis was appointed Pope in 2013, he’s made more accepting statements about same-sex couples. Four months after becoming Pope, Francis said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”
Earlier this year, Pope Francis described homosexuality as a sin, “but isn’t a crime,” in criticizing anti-LGBTQ laws.
His statements starkly contrast with remarks from his predecessor, Benedict XVI who wrote in 2005 that homosexuality is “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil.”
Public Notice from Samoa Tourism Authority:
Public Notice from UTOS
PUBLIC NOTICE: CLOSURE OF OFFICE DURING PUBLIC AND COMMISSION HOLIDAYS 2023 – 2024
The Unit Trust of Samoa hereby advises its Unitholders and the General Public that the UTOS Main Office will be CLOSED for this Festive Season 2023. Please note that our main office will officially close for all
trading on Friday 22nd December 2023 at 4pm and will reopen on Monday 8th January 2024 at 9am.
CLOSED: 22nd December 2023 at 4pm
OFFICE REOPENS: 08 January 2024 at 9am.
You may apply online through our website to open an investment account, or purchase units through Vodafone M-Tala, Pacific 40 – Talofa Voucher, ANZ Billpay, and Digicel MyCash. Please email us
email@example.com for any inquiries regarding your investment.
On behalf of the UTOS Board of Directors, Management and Staff, we wish Samoa all our unitholders and the people of Samoa a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Sincerely, UTOS Management
FA’ASILASILAGA FA’ALAUATTELE: TAPUNIA O LE OFISA MO ASO MALÓLÓ FAAPITOA MO LE KERISIMASI MA LE TAUSAGA FOU 2023 – 2024
I le ava male fa’aaloalo e faasilasila atu al i sui fai-lunite uma a le UTOS, fa’apea le mamalu lautele o le atunu’u e faapea, o le a TAPUNIA le tatou FISA AUTú mo Aso malóló o lenel tausaga 2023 – 2024.
O le à tapunia le tatou ofisa mai le Aso 22 o Tesema 2023 1 le 4pm i le afiafi, a faatoá toe tatala i le tatou Aso Gafua 8 lanuari 2024.
TAPUINIA LE OFISA: Aso 22 Tesema 2023 i le itula e 4 i le afiafi
TOE TATALA LE OFISA MO FEEAATAUAIGA O LUNITE : Aso 8 lanuari 2024 i le itula e 9 ile taeao.
E mafai pea ona talosagaina se teugatupe teufaafaigaluega fou e ala i auaunaga tau Upega Tafailagi, po’o le fa’atau foi o unite fa’aaopo’opo e ala i auaunaga a le Vodafone M-Tala, Pacific 40 – Talofa Voucher, ANZ Billpay poo le Digicel MyCash. Mo nisi fa’amatalaga poo se faafesili, faamolemole imeli mai i le firstname.lastname@example.org
Mai le Komiti o Fa’atonu, le Pulega ma le Aufaigaluega a le UTOS, mo le Aufai-unite uma fa’aapea Samoa atoa. la maua se Kerisimasi fiafia ma se tausaga fou manuia.
Ma le fa’aaloalo tele
Pulega a le UTOS