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LGBTQ+ Catholic Westminster group have issued a statement in response to the Vatican barring the blessing of same-sex unions.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has declared the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex unions.

On Monday (March 15), the Vatican ruled that Catholic priests cannot bless same-sex unions as homosexual partnerships are “not ordered to the Creator’s plan”.

In response to being asked whether priests can bless gay couples, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a two-page statement on the subject of same-sex unions.

The CDF said “the Christian community and its pastors must welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations”, but these relations cannot be blessed.

Following Catholic teachings, same-sex relations and unions defy the religious teaching that marriage can exist only between men and women, as a part of God’s plan, and is intended for the creation of children.

The Vatican does call for gay people to be treated fairly and with respect, however, the Catholic Church still teaches that same-sex relations and homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”, which highlights some level of hypocrisy in the institution’s attitudes.

The decree declared same-sex unions cannot “be considered licit” as they are not between a man and a woman, the Vatican ruled on Monday.

In response to the Catholic Church’s ruling, Thomas Lofaro, the Chairperson of LGBTQ+ Catholics Westminister Pastoral Council called the Vatican’s ruling “disappointing”.

“The church has again issued a very negative statement regarding blessings for same-gender couples. The conferring of a blessing is the smallest acknowledgement that the Church can give to our identity and to the holiness of same-sex relationships. It appears that even this is to be withheld from us,” he said in a press statement.

He added: The Church goes on to state that same-sex relationships are a “choice”. I suppose they are – as much as a heterosexual relationship with one person and not another is a “choice”.

“However, there is no admission that orientation and gender identity are not choices, and that the need for love and human contact are part of our biology.”

Related: Vatican bars blessings of same-sex unions as God “cannot bless sin”