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Belgian bishop claims papal approval to bless same-sex unions

May 25, 2023

» Continue to this story on National Catholic Register

CWN Editor's Note: Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp has said that Pope Francis does not oppose the decision of the Flemish Catholic bishops to offer church blessings for same-sex unions.

Bishop Bonny said that he had twice discussed the Flemish bishops’ policy with the Pontiff, and— although he did not reveal the content of those conversations— noted that the Pope has not spoken publicly against that policy.

Taking the Pope’s public silence as an indication of tacit approval, the Belgian bishop said that the Pope’s response was “very important for me and for the other bishops of Flanders.”

Questioned about the March 2021 statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which said that the Church could not offer a blessing to a same-sex union, Bishop Bonny dismissed the authority of that statement, saying: “Not every man in Rome is Pope.”

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