BY: FERDZ M. BRIZO
Despite the celebration of Christmas, a heated discussion emerged regarding the Blessing of Mercy for the LGBT community following Pope Francis’s direct statement on same-sex marriage. This stirred controversy as laypersons interpreted it as the Church possibly allowing same-sex marriage.
According to priests, this is not the intended meaning of the Holy Father. Here is an article from the website of the United States Catholic Bishop Conference.
Pope Francis, in a letter to Jesuit Father James Martin, clarified remarks he had made during an interview with the Associated Press published on January 25.
Pope Francis reiterated that homosexuality is not a crime, and any sexual act outside of marriage is considered a sin, responding to a request for clarification about his recent interview. In the interview, he expressed disapproval of laws criminalizing homosexuality and urged church members to show “tenderness” to all.
Father James Martin wrote to the pope seeking clarification on media reports that suggested the pope had labeled being gay as a sin. The pope’s written reply, published by Father Martin, emphasized the importance of distinguishing between a sin and a crime, clarifying that Catholic moral teaching views any sexual act outside of marriage as a sin.
Meanwhile in the Philippines, despite no official statement from the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines, Reverend Fr. Randy De Quiros explained in an interview that Bishop Socrates of Lingayen’s initial statement implied that the “Blessing of Mercy” does not signify approval or a reversal of the church’s stance on same-sex marriage.
In summary, the church aims to be inclusive, not condemning the LGBT community for their identity, but recognizing them as human beings. Waiting for the official pronouncement from CBCP, the intention seems clear – the church’s role is to be inclusive, emphasizing that being part of the LGBT community does not equate to a crime.
In the context of the Philippines’ constitution, a Justice notes that there is no categorical prohibition on same-sex marriage. However, the Civil Code, which limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman for reproductive purposes, poses a constraint.
On behalf of our entire family, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ in simplicity, signifying a humble life without arrogance. Whatever we have achieved in life is a blessing that can be taken away at any moment by the Almighty.
“May your home be filled with love, your heart with warmth, and your life with joy this Christmas.” “Sending wishes for a peaceful Christmas, wrapped in love and adorned with goodwill.” “May the holiday season bring you moments of reflection, joy, and the company of those you cherish.”
MERRY CHRISTMAS MGA KAPERYODIKO!