Following viral news on Pope Francis giving priests permission to bless same-sex couples, Catholic Trends organized a webinar on Tuesday, December 19, seeking to provide clarity on the Vatican’s recent declaration, Fiducia Supplicans.
The webinar assembled President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Most Rev. Matthew Gyamfi. Mr. Peter owusu Ansah, a lay minister of the Church in Ghana. Dr. Linus Kweku Labik , Convener of the Ghana Cohort, Digital Faith influencers. As well as the Ghana Coordinator of the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability Africa, Francisca Ziniel.
Bishop Gyamfi clarified that Pope Francis has not directed or approved Catholic priests to bless marriages of gays and lesbians.
“What people do not understand is that if a gay couple goes to the priest to bless them, and the Pope says yes, you are blessing the people and not the union. We have different sets of prayers, different liturgies, and different blessings for marriage. But when they are coming for the normal, ordinary blessings that we give to everybody, they should all receive this blessing. So, we should make a clear distinction between gays and lesbians who have gone to a priest for blessings and these same people going to the priest and saying, ‘We want you to bless our union as a marriage,” Bishop Gyamfi said.
For his part, Dr. Linus Kweku Labik, Convener of the Ghana Cohort, Digital Faith Influencers emphasized that many Catholics engage in debates about the declaration without thoroughly understanding it. The webinar was designed to create an opportunity for individuals to interact with and comprehend the document.
Francisca Ziniel, Coordinator of the Catholic Youth Network for Environmental Sustainability in Africa (CYNESA) in Ghana, noted that the Vatican’s declaration did not come as a surprise to her. She highlighted the importance of understanding that the document addresses various groups, including single mothers, cohabiting individuals, and those in traditional marriages, urging a broader perspective beyond the focus on same-sex relationships.
Mr. Peter Owusu Ansah called for clarity in Vatican communications to avoid confusion among Catholic populations.
Watch the webinar below