Germans defy Vatican ban on same-sex blessing

A same-sex blessing service at the Youth Church in Würzburg, Germany, on Monday. (Gehrig/CNA Deutsch).

Priests and pastoral workers in Germany have defied the Vatican by conducting blessing ceremonies attended by same-sex couples. Source: CNA.

Organisers held a day of protest on Monday in response to the Vatican’s recent declaration that the Church does not have the power to bless same-sex unions.

The ceremonies, known as “Segnungsgottesdienste für Liebende,” or “blessing services for lovers,” were promoted using the hashtag “#liebegewinnt” (“love wins”). Organisers said that the services were open to all couples, including -- and in particular -- those of the same sex.

CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner, reported that ceremonies took place in abound 80 cities in Germany as well in Zürich, Switzerland’s largest city.

But it said that it was difficult to calculate the precise number of blessing services.

In the Bavarian city of Würzburg -- but also in other locations such as Aachen, Berlin, Frankfurt, Mainz, and Cologne -- several services were held at the same time.

About 130 participants gathered in the Augustinian Church, not far from Würzburg Cathedral, while about 40 people attended a ceremony in the youth church at the same time.

Observers in Cologne, Munich, and Würzburg said in many places a “modest number” took part in the campaign.

In many places, a general blessing was given at the end of the service, which, however, explicitly included homosexual couples and their relationships. Sometimes individual blessings were offered after the ceremony.

According to the organisers of a service at the Liebfrauenkirche in Frankfurt, “At the end of the Mass ... Capuchin friars were available to all couples for personal blessings”. The church, dedicated to Mary, belongs to the Diocese of Limburg, led by Bishop Georg Bätzing, chairman of the German bishops’ conference.

FULL STORY

German Catholics defy Vatican with blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples (Catholic News Agency)

RELATED COVERAGE

German Catholic churches defy Vatican edict not to bless same-sex couples (ABC News)

In defiance of the Vatican, Catholic priests in Germany are now blessing same-sex couples (SBS News)

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