African bishops reject blessing same-sex couples

The Catholic Church in Africa will not bless same-sex couples. Last year, the Pope granted permission for the blessing of same-sex couples, which sparked outrage in Africa. To address concerns among African ecclesiastical leaders, the Vatican clarified that they are not required to perform blessings for same-sex couples.
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In Zambia, there were particular concerns since homosexuality is legally prohibited there. Other African bishops also argued that blessing same-sex couples goes against national legislation, where homosexuality is sometimes punishable by death.

Last Thursday, the president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar met with the Pope to discuss the matter. According to the African bishops, blessings for homosexual couples would go against the "cultural ethos" of the African continent. Guinean Bishop Robert Sarah previously stated that the Pope's declaration has "overshadowed Christmas with confusion and a lack of clarity."

According to African bishops, blessing same-sex couples would create "confusion" among believers, as the Pope's statement on blessings includes many conditions. For instance, same-sex couples can only receive a blessing outside the traditional church service. Furthermore, the ceremony must not resemble a wedding or take place during a same-sex marriage.

The president of the African Symposium stated that Pope Francis emphasized the need to resist the "cultural colonization of Africa." These words are often used by African politicians, arguing that homosexuality is "un-African." Historians frequently point out that the condemnation of homosexuality was introduced to the African continent by Europeans.

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