Catholic Bishops in Africa and Poland Reject Vatican's Same-Sex Blessings Policy

Catholic Bishops in Africa and Poland Reject Vatican’s Same-Sex Blessings Policy

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Pope Francis’ recent approval of blessings for same-sex couples has received strong opposition from Catholic bishops in Africa. The policy directly contradicts long-held teachings on marriage and homosexuality in many African countries.

Rejection from Zambia, Malawi, and Poland

Bishop conferences in Zambia, Malawi, and Poland publicly stated that same-sex couple blessings will not be permitted. Zambia and Malawi criminalize homosexuality with punishments of up to life in prison. The Polish bishops also reaffirmed marriage as only between a man and woman.

Fear of Accepting Homosexuality in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya

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Bishops in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and other African nations want clarification from the Pope, concerned the policy implies acceptance of homosexuality. Most African societies and 31 countries’ laws condemn same-sex relationships.

Criticism from Cardinals Müller and Peta

Conservative cardinals Gerhard Müller and Tomash Peta criticized that the blessings contradict Church teaching on marriage being a union of a man and woman. They said priests should not perform such blessings.

Mixed Reactions in Southern Africa

While some Southern African bishops welcomed the policy, they said blessings are done with hope of conversion. LGBT activists in Zimbabwe are skeptical of any impact due to strong societal opposition to homosexuality.

In summary, Pope Francis faces a major backlash from Catholic bishops in Africa strongly defending traditional teachings on marriage and homosexuality.

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