20 Dec Nigeria: Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria Affirms Unchanged Principles Amid Pope’s Same-Sex Marriage Blessing
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, Mamos Nigeria
In response to the Vatican’s recent decision allowing blessings for same-sex couples, the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) has underscored that the fundamental teachings of the Church on the sacrament of marriage remain unaltered. Despite the Pope’s directive, the CSN asserts that marriage within the Church is still defined as a lifelong union between a man and a woman.
While the CSN official, speaking anonymously due to the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria’s lack of public reaction, acknowledged the Vatican’s decision, they emphasized that it doesn’t alter the Church’s stance on same-sex marriage. The move to permit blessings for same-sex couples under specific circumstances is seen as an acknowledgment of individuals’ lives and experiences while maintaining the Church’s core beliefs and teachings.
The CSN official clarified that these blessings for same-sex couples should not be equated with the sacrament of marriage and should not be part of civil union or wedding ceremonies. Priests will discern each case individually, ensuring that the Church’s accessibility to people in diverse situations is not hindered.
Elaborating on the essence of a blessing, the official emphasized that it aims to foster people’s trust in God, irrespective of their circumstances. The Church sees its role as guiding and blessing its members rather than passing judgment.
In conclusion, the CSN encourages viewing this development as an opportunity to promote greater understanding, compassion, and unity within the Church and the broader community. The Church remains a place of refuge, love, and blessing for all, embracing its members in various life situations.