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Catholic Church LGBTQ Policy Evolves

By Charlotte Robinson, December 19, 2023

As Massachusetts celebrates the 20th anniversary of Marriage Equality in 2024 Pope Francis continues LGBTQ policy changes in the Catholic Church now allowing priests to bless same gender unions. In a document released by the Vatican the Pope confirms an expanded definition of “blessing” that clears the way for recognition of same gender couples. Though the new policy change stops short of allowing priests to perform marriage ceremonies or civil unions it does makes clear that blessings should not be denied outright to couples seeking them. Perhaps the new policy will prevent some sectors the Catholic Church from demonizing our LGBTQ community but they’re still running about 20 years behind. Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of DignityUSA stated, “It is clear from this statement that sacramental recognition of same-sex relationships is not yet on the table. However, the Pope has expressed support for civil unions & legal protections of same-sex couples & our families. Perhaps even more importantly, significant majorities of Catholics in many countries already believe that same-sex couples’ relationships are holy, blessed & equivalent to marriage. It may take time, but we fully expect that the official church will achieve this recognition, as well. We encourage pastors across the country & around the globe, to take advantage of this new permission to bestow blessings on same-sex couples who ask for this sign of affirmation. It will help many feel more supported by our church.” DignityUSA has blessed same-gender relationships since the 1970s & has called for equal access to marriage for LGBTQ people for over 25 years. 

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