The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has assured the catholic community that the recent pronouncement of the Pope on same-sex marriage does not in any way change the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage.

This comes days after Pope Francis formally approved allowing priests to bless same-sex couples, but reaffirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The group in a statement signed by Archbishop Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji of Owerri, and Bishop Donatus Ogun of Uromi, the President and Secretary respectively of the CBCN, said that the clarification became necessary following the confusion the Fiducia Supplicans released by the Vatican has created among Christians and the Catholic faithful.

According to them, blessing same-sex marriage will go against God’s Law, the teachings of the Church, “the laws of our nation and the cultural sensibilities of our people”.

The Catholic Bishops also explained that the declaration on the Pastoral meaning of blessings, “Fiducia Supplicans”, by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith only seeks to clarify the different forms of blessings that can be given to persons and objects in the Catholic Church.

The Bishops also assured the entire People of God that the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage remains the same.

The CBCN explained that although the Declaration reiterates the Catholic Church’s perennial teaching on marriage as an “exclusive, stable and indissoluble union of a man and woman, naturally open to the generation of children”, it, however, stated clearly that the Church does not have the power to impart a blessing on irregular unions.

The Bishops added that the document also explains the different forms of blessings that can be given to persons, including the possibility of blessing in irregular unions.

“The Declaration acknowledges and carefully distinguishes between ritual, liturgical, and informal blessings.

By Ekene Arodiogbu

Ekene Arodiogbu is the CEO of Excedel World. He loves to listen to good music and watch movies in his spare time.

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