Updated December 23rd, 2023 at 17:20 IST
Same-sex couples can now get 'blessed' in Meghalaya churches, writes Archbishop Lyngdoh to priests
However, the Archbishop emphasised that the declaration doesn't change the Catholic Doctrine of Marriage and the blessing doesn't signify approval of the union.
In a first of its kind move, the Archdiocese of Shillong has opened the doors of the churches for same-sex couples. This, however, doesn't signify approval of the union.
Days after approval of blessings to same-sex couples, Victor Lyngdoh, the Archbishop of Shillong, has written to all the priests, approving the same.
However, as instructed by Pope Francis to the churches, the blessings will be without any kind of rituals that resemble a conventional marriage.
Archbishop letter on same-sex union in Meghalaya
In the letter, Archbishop Lyngdoh wrote, "The Catholic Church issued the declaration 'Fiducia Supplicans' on the 18th of December 2023 through The Dicastery of the Doctrine of Faith and approved by Pope Francis. With this, it will be possible for a Catholic Priest to bless the same-sex couples but without any type of ritual of the Church that resembles marriage rite."
He said that the declaration stresses on the pastoral meaning of blessings, which is a spontaneous prayer of a priest with informal words. "This should not be mistaken as the official liturgical and ritual blessings of the Church during marriage," he said.
"The declaration doesn't change the Catholic Doctrine of Marriage and the blessing doesn't signify approval of the union," Archbishop Victor added.
Netizens hail 'loving acknowledgement' of LGBTQ couples
However, the move by the Archbishop of Shillong, who commands a major part of Meghalaya with over hundred Catholic churches and over 2.5 lakh faithfuls, has been welcomed overwhelmingly by the people. Netizens have praised the move terming it as a 'loving acknowledgement'.
It may be mentioned that while giving the declaration on same-sex unions on December 18, 2023, Pope Francis made an appeal to the bureaucrats of the Vatican to side away from the rigid ideologies of the past and be more logical keeping in view of the present context.
Published December 23rd, 2023 at 17:17 IST