“Not a question of will”

Cardinal Marcello Semeraro has rejected accusations of discrimination by the Vatican's ban on blessings for same-sex couples. The same ban would also apply to heterosexual cohabitation outside marriage.

The dogmatist and prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints told the Italian newspaper "Corriere della Sera" (Tuesday). Unlike state legislation, the church is "subject to the will of God".

"Not a question of will"

Semeraro compared the ie of homosexual unions to the debate on the admission of women to the priesthood. It is "not a question of will". The Catholic Church is "bound to the Holy Scriptures, to the Word of God". Whether a person is sinful cannot be deduced from his or her community of life; one must not "judge the inner situation," Semeraro stressed.

Nevertheless, the church "cannot recognize a connection that is not provided for by the Holy Scriptures," the cardinal said.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had said Monday that the Catholic Church had no authority to bless homosexual partnerships. While such initiatives show "a sincere will" to "accept homosexual persons, accompany them and offer them ways of growing in faith," the paper says.

Not in accordance with the divine will

But since the unions of homosexual couples were not in accordance with the divine will, they could not be blessed. Individual theologians criticized the decision as backward-looking and out of step with science.

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