The Pfarrer-Initiative, a group of priests formed in 2006 which now has 350 members, has denounced a recent Vatican ruling which said the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex marriages as God “does not and cannot bless sin.” The Pfarrer-Initiative is known for advocating for women’s rights and LGBTQ+ equality in the Church, and hoped Pope Francis would do so when he was elected in 2013.
However, the Pope approved the anti-LGBTQ+ Vatican ruling, leading the Pfarrer-Initiative to release a statement where it said it was “deeply appalled” by the attitudes towards same-sex couples. It continued: “This is a relapse into times that we had hoped to be overcome with Pope Francis. In solidarity with so many, we will not reject any loving couple in the future who wants to celebrate God’s blessing, which they experience every day, in a church-service.”
The collective of priests also argued that “reality has long since shown that same-sex couples connected in love can very well celebrate God’s blessing in church.” Other religious LGBTQ+ advocacy groups have spoken out against the Vatican ruling, with the New Ways Ministry referring to it as “disappointing”. US president Joe Biden, who is a devout Catholic, also vowed to continue supporting same-sex marriage despite Vatican statement.