In an interview with Vatican media, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, S.J., said he believes Church blessings for same-sex unions, which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ruled against, is not a settled matter.
The cardinal’s answer came in response to an interview question about the decision last month by Belgium’s Catholic bishops to support the possibility of blessings for unions of same-sex couples — in defiance of the Vatican.
“Frankly, the question does not seem decisive to me,” Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg, told L’Osservatore Romano in an interview also published on Vatican News Oct. 24.
The Vatican’s doctrine office weighed in on the issue in March 2021, clarifying that the Church does not have the power to bless the unions of same-sex couples.
In defiance of this declaration, Catholic bishops in Belgium published Sept. 20 a text for blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples in their dioceses. The bishops of Flanders — the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium — also published a liturgy for the celebration of homosexual unions.
In the interview, Cardinal Hollerich pointed to the etymology of the Italian words for “to bless” and “to curse”: benedire and maledire.
“If we stay with the etymology of ‘bene-dire,’ [‘say good’] do you think God could ever ‘dire-male’ [say bad] about two people who love each other?” Hollerich said.
“I would be more interested in discussing other aspects of the problem,” he continued. “For example: what is the conspicuous growth of homosexual orientation in society driven by? Or why is the percentage of homosexuals in ecclesial institutions higher than in civil society?”
The cardinal did not cite any source for the claim that there are more people with same-sex orientation in Church institutions than in civil society.