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Pope Francis authorises blessings for same-sex couples

Pope Francis formally permitted Roman Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples on Monday, December 18, 2023, in a significant shift in Vatican doctrine. Photo: CNN
UK Lord Michael M. Cashman (L) and his partner. Cashman on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, introduced in the House of Lords a bill to legalise same-sex marriages in British Overseas Territories, including the Virgin Islands, where they’re currently banned. Photo: Provided
UK Lord Michael M. Cashman (L) and his partner. Cashman on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, introduced in the House of Lords a bill to legalise same-sex marriages in British Overseas Territories, including the Virgin Islands, where they’re currently banned. Photo: Provided
The BVI Christian Council (BVICC) came out in condemnation of the Bill introduced in the United Kingdom (UK) parliament in July 2022, seeking to legalise same-sex marriages in the British Overseas Territories, including the Virgin Islands (VI). Photo: Facebook
The BVI Christian Council (BVICC) came out in condemnation of the Bill introduced in the United Kingdom (UK) parliament in July 2022, seeking to legalise same-sex marriages in the British Overseas Territories, including the Virgin Islands (VI). Photo: Facebook
ROME, Italy- In a surprising and significant shift in Vatican doctrine, Pope Francis has formally permitted Roman Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples.

The blessings may be carried out providing they are not part of regular Church rituals or liturgies, nor at the same time as a civil union, according to a Vatican document approved by the pope on Monday, December 18, 2023.

According to CNN, the latest ruling fleshes out the opening the pope made to blessing same-sex couples last October and marks a shift away from a 2021 ruling from the Vatican doctrine office which barred any blessings saying God “cannot bless sin.”

The new ruling says it is opening “the possibility of blessings for couples in irregular situations and for couples of the same sex” although says it is leaving decisions to “the prudent and fatherly discernment of ordained ministers.”

UK pushing to legalise same-sex marriage in OTs

While there are many Catholics in the [British] Virgin Islands, same-sex marriage is illegal in the territory, even as the United Kingdom (UK) has been pushing for the Overseas Territories (Ots) to legalise it.

In 2019, a report by the UK House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee advised the United Kingdom (UK) government to force the 14 British Overseas Territories (OTs) to legalise same-sex marriages.

But the UK government responded by saying it had no plans to do so, instead pledging to continue encouraging OTs to “recognise and protect same-sex relationships.”

In July 2022; however, a Private Members Bill seeking to legalise same-sex marriages in the British Overseas Territories was introduced in the House of Lords by gay rights pioneer Lord Michael M. Cashman.

The proposed bill extends to six Overseas Territories; Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, [British] Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. It will seek to introduce equal civil marriage for same-sex and different-sex couples.

‘Ideological colonialism’

Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), as well as the BVI Christian Council (BVICC) had condemned the bill.

The BVICC had said the attempts to force the OTs to legalise same-sex marriages is nothing short of ideological colonialism.

Premier Wheatley had said he did not agree for any legislation to be imposed on the people of the Virgin Islands from the United Kingdom parliament.

‘We can make & amend laws for ourselves’- Premier Wheatley

“We have our own parliament, and we can make and amend laws for ourselves,” Dr Wheatley had stated to Virgin Islands News Online.

Meanwhile, the Premier had promised a referendum on same-sex marriage for this year but the plan fell through due to what the Premier said were legislative changes needing to be made to the Elections Act.

“We are committed to the referendum moving forward,” Dr Wheatley had said.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Christian Concern and UK lawyer Mrs Andrea M. Williams had said in March that the VI, being a nation based on a belief in God as stated in its constitution, should not even consider a referendum on same-sex marriage.

41 Responses to “Pope Francis authorises blessings for same-sex couples”

  • the end (18/12/2023, 13:17) Like (20) Dislike (5) Reply
    .... Is very near. Closer than we think.
  • Lucifer morningstar (18/12/2023, 13:17) Like (8) Dislike (5) Reply
    I OWN the POPE LOL nice.
  • So... (18/12/2023, 13:31) Like (37) Dislike (5) Reply
    How does this work he can just declare that killing and stealing are ok as well? If homosexuality is viewed as something bad in the bible who is the pope to declare that its ok now? did god change his mind on this?
    • @So... (18/12/2023, 16:04) Like (12) Dislike (16) Reply
      Killing and stealing impinge and infringe on the rights of other people. Two adults, whether same sex or different sex, consenting to a sexual relationship or marriage, does not infringe on the rights of any other human being. The words of the Bible need to be used and kept in context at ALL times.
      • @@So… (18/12/2023, 16:27) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
        If you pay attention the argument is not whether gays should be allowed to marry or not. The question is how does a ‘Christian’ or Christian organization that supposed to be striving to live and operate in accordance with what the Bible says agree that something is ok that the Bible and by extension their deity explicitly says is not OK.
      • To @So (18/12/2023, 16:29) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
        Sin is sin the same way stupid is stupid. He might as well also bless drunkenness, adultery, pedophilia as long as we make sure they are not infringing on the rights of others. Some people have a first class seat on the train to hell and I do not want to be on that train. The root and growth of homosexuality is found in the catholic church. Check the history of cases. It would be hypocritical for him to decide otherwise.
    • Native Senior Citizen of the British Virgin Islands (18/12/2023, 16:56) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ So...
      No, God certainly wouldn't change His mind on same sex marriage and indulgences in sex of the same gender. Many minds have changed, but God has not, and will never changed His, rest assured.
  • Styles. (18/12/2023, 13:32) Like (18) Dislike (20) Reply
    Whoops.... really no good arguments left really....

    1. Your religion shouldn't affect anyone else. (Marriage is not a religious invention, it existed prior to christianity adopting it)
    2. Even the Pope is in favor.

    Shut up, move on. Let people be and find something more important to work on.
    • THINK1 (19/12/2023, 17:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The Pope can go to hell and take many with him just like preachers that also teach against the Bible will as well.
  • Real Talk (18/12/2023, 13:33) Like (19) Dislike (6) Reply
    Bless all he want he will be accountable on judgement day not man but to god.
  • Well Sah (18/12/2023, 13:33) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    Thank Francis is not God. God have already settled the issue . So let Him be true and every man a liar.
  • Vortex (18/12/2023, 13:45) Like (21) Dislike (10) Reply
    There is absolutely NOTHING our Premier or the Christian Council can do or say when the UK legalize same sex marriage in the BVI. All they can do is condemn it.

    You know what this will mean if it is legalized? Law suits and strict penalties will be put in place to protect those who feel as if they are being discriminated and look down on for their choice of living. Some persons will go against their conscience to please their customers and clients knowing well they don't support that kind of lifestyle. But to get business, they will give in.
    Just imagine for a while when the rubber hit the road and we see them up and down town holding hands, kissing and want to marry here. You gon see who is the real from the fake. Some of us behind our computers blogging against it, but I want to see what our leaders will do, what the residents will do. What you will do when they enter your business places and want to rent your homes.

    I am reminded of Sodom and Gomorra. It was not a parable, it was for real. God is against and condemn homosexuality, that's why he destroyed those cities.

    in life you must have one male and one female to produce.

    Even mechanical parts have a male and female part. A screwdriver cant screw into itself. you must screw it into something or out of something. Think about it

    Leviticus 18:22 ~ You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 ~ If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

    Jude 1:7 ~ Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    Stand for righteousness BVI!!

    • @vortex (18/12/2023, 15:07) Like (13) Dislike (16) Reply
      Stop quoting Bible verses when it is suitable to your beliefs. Y’all have a bunch of older greedy people here like landlords and employers or some in high positions who think they can abuse, humiliate and threaten the normal law abiding people who are struggling everyday. What is a bigger sin that that?. Y’all here busy studying same sex marriage. Are those people a threat to you guy? Leave the people alone. It is their sin to pay for and the consequences are theirs to bear. Go siddung with that “stand for righteousness” stupidness. Fix ayo dutty mind towards others.
  • WOWO (18/12/2023, 13:48) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    so who is surprised?? the same ones who keep messing with little boys are more than happy to marry men. Sick those people are sick and hid behind God and lead people astray.
  • vex (18/12/2023, 14:01) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    The Catholic Church has a history of being in opposition to the ways of the bible. I'm not surprised because nothing is holy about that church and it would be judged and found wanting.
    • Truth (19/12/2023, 10:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Do mislead the people about the Catholic Church. I think we need to understand what Pope Francis statement meant " BLESS" he did not say unite them. My thinking tells and take from this statement is that You can bless them and condemn the sin "Bless the sinner and condmn the sin they do"
  • people remember Sodom and Gomorrah (18/12/2023, 14:09) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    well, What Can One say, I guess every Priest will be celebrating and going on honey moon this Christmas? TEHEY RE NOW BEING SET FREE

    However, let me hasten to say Pope or POPE NOT. They are not above God. at the final analysis. They ALL even that Pope MUST I Mean MUST stand before Almighty God to give an account, God's word will never change. Catholic word and Law can change a million time over, but remember what God says to one, He says to all, REPENT, His Kingdom is at hand. though the vision tarry, wait for it. his coming today is nearer thsn it was yesterday.
  • What and See (18/12/2023, 14:22) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Good Book says Adam and Eve not Steve.
  • Just Sayin' (18/12/2023, 14:23) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
    i remember when Black couldnt marry White. people were killed for it !
    thank goodness times change...people move on..acceptance comes with time...Imagine how life would be if it didnt.

  • Rasta man (18/12/2023, 15:16) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    Fire for the pope, he can’t chat blessing cause it nah come from he , nobody should have respect for this low life don’t put god in your dirty mix
  • foxy (18/12/2023, 15:18) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply
    What a sad day for humanity
  • smh (18/12/2023, 15:22) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
    Them Catholics been liking lil boys a long time now anyway… not surprised, it would be hypocritical for them to be against it with the track record they have.
  • Truth (18/12/2023, 15:28) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    Last days events, but wait for what the end will be for those practices such gross sin
  • FIRE (18/12/2023, 18:29) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Fire for that type of behaviour
  • Yes (18/12/2023, 18:36) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    That’s not nothing new, man having male partners since back in the Roman days.
  • question (18/12/2023, 19:10) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    How can the pope bless something that the Bible speaks against? Where is the power of this blessing coming from the same god who don’t approve of it?
  • Real People (18/12/2023, 19:23) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    And they call them self Christians
  • Sell Your Soul (18/12/2023, 19:57) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Y'all reject the truth so tek wah yo get.
  • Commish (18/12/2023, 21:14) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    The pope has lost his mind. Time for retirement.
  • @vortex (18/12/2023, 23:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Vortex are you seriously quoting Leviticus?

    Have you read the rest of it? I hope you don’t have any interest bearing accounts (Leviticus 25: 36-37), and despise the disabled who aren’t worthy to go to church (Leviticus 21:16-23) and consider women to be less than men by 2 fifths (Leviticus 27:2-4), all women who give birth to daughters are unclean for 66 days (Leviticus 1:2-5), if you disobey God you have to eat the flesh of your sons and daughters (Leviticus 26:27-30).

    Please keep stones handy and a good lawyer to explain to the police all the stoning of people you are going to have to be doing

    Let’s add some Deuteronomy 23:2 bastards can’t enter the church. I hope your parents were married.

    All the best buddy
    • You better becareful (19/12/2023, 13:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Your comment can lead a lot of people astray with how you interpret the Bible. Do not follow this person and agree with what they put in this comment. Go and read the Bible for yourself like I did. (Leviticus 25:36-37) speaks against lending money with high interest rates ("Usury" better known as 'loan sharking' or 'extortionate moneylending') to the poor causing them to be in more debt especially if it's your brother, of whom you shouldn't even be asking him for what you lent to him. (Leviticus 21:16-23) speaks to the Israelites who have any deformity and request that they do not present sacrifices at the altar of the Tabernacle, which was a requirement for everything with God. He also asked for Cain and Abel to offer back 10% of the "best" (undeformed) of what they had to God and He also asked for the (undeformed) lamb to be sacrificed which was done symbolically through an actual lamb and literally through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. (Leviticus 27:2-4) states in regards to tithe and offerings, that men should give back more than women by 2 fifths. Not that they are any less valuable than men. I don't know where you are quoting (Leviticus 1:2-5) from because it surely does not say that. It does talk about the process of sacrifices for bullocks/cattle, which again the Israelites were asked to bring an unblemished bullock to be sacrificed. (Leviticus 26:27-30) does say that if you disobey the commandments of God, and refuse to repent then you will feel the full wrath of God which is rather reasonable as He is the Creator and you should obey His commands as does every parent requires of their child. All of this was in the times when people had to answer for themselves, for their own sins before the time that Jesus (the Lamb of God) died for each of us. And if we don't repent after the final sacrifice of Jesus, we will be doomed to eternal death, which will be worse than eating the flesh of your sons and daughters. And (Deuteronomy 23:2) does say that bastards can't enter into the congregation of God. This is moreso a punishment to the fathers, as the sins of the father affect the children but after the times in Deuteronomy, Jesus' sacrifice which came many years later, allowed for us all to have the chance at eternal life..bastard or not.
  • Interested (19/12/2023, 02:49) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    The Bible plainly states that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination.The pope is just a man and cannot bless what God has already cursed.
  • Paul VS Peter. (19/12/2023, 08:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The moat wicked man Saul turn to into Evil false prophet Paul. That's he and Peter could not get along, they both live fighting each other and died as enemies because Peter was warned to beware of this man, he is false and he is Fake. Peter was warned because peter was the most faithful and gangster, never scared. Peter told him to his face " You call yourself Paul the Christ chosen but I am here to tell you that you need to stop, you are false and fake". The same as the Popes today and most preachers..
  • ras (19/12/2023, 08:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • peace (19/12/2023, 13:05) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Just so everyone’s aware, homosexuality occurs naturally in the animal kingdom. There are tons and tons and tons of examples if you care to search google for a moment. Have you also considered that if you were born in India, you would not be Christian right now. It’s funny what we decide to believe in and to such an extreme some times. It’s a shame we all can’t get along. If it doesn’t affect you, then let people believe in what they like.
  • The King (19/12/2023, 13:21) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I think you people fail to understand how much power the catholic churches have. (2) things that create power, either or both
    - Being rich
    - Selling out
  • Tadow (19/12/2023, 19:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Go to HELL pope.
  • RedStorm (19/12/2023, 21:43) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sorry, each day we move further from the lord. Pop cannot blessed same sex marriage.
  • Fundamentalist (20/12/2023, 09:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The slave owners had many weapons to keep the people down. Whips, dogs, torture, rape, etc.
    What was the most effective off these tools of pure wickedness?
    The white man's religion.
    And look at the Caribbean. People bursting with righteous belief. People who think they are smart. People who think they have seen through the curtain and understand the wickedness of the colonial oppressive system, act like they are heroes for their people - and yet very few question/notice the link between this vicious christian fundamentalism with control over slaves and the centuries of colonialism.
    Wake up. Or just be decent to other humans and stop pretending your accident of birth makes you chosen by God.
  • Staying in my lane straight (21/12/2023, 20:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It’s in those Catholic Churches they be molesting them lil boys so what you expect, it’s not for us to judge but for God…he placed man and woman, but now it’s a crazier world we live in trying all kinda shit. For the few of us that’s straight stay strong cause when the crooked attack they coming on with force.

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