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Warsaw. The clergy blessed same-sex couples. The first such gesture in Poland

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Ten same-sex couples were blessed in the Evangelical Reformed parish in Warsaw. – Our blessing is a way of telling these couples that their love is not worse than the love of heterosexual people, that their love also pleases God – says the priest of the Evangelical Reformed parish, Fr. Michał Jabłoński.

The blessing took place on Friday during a service on the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), organized by the Evangelical Reformed parish in Warsaw and the Wiara i Tęcza Foundation.

– We sang songs and read fragments of the Holy Bible. Father Halina Radacz from the Evangelical Augsburg Church gave a sermon. We were also with Fr. Adam Świeżyński from the Roman Catholic Church – provided by Fr. Jabłoński.

He noted that after the prayer, together with Fr. Halina Radacz and Fr. Adam Świeżyński, blessed ten same-sex couples gathered in the church.

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– Of course, the blessing is not tantamount to these people getting married – he said.

SEE: “Historical meeting” on civil partnerships. “The fact that we were heard, that's a big change.”

A gesture without legal consequences

He emphasized that the gesture of blessing does not entail any legal consequences. – Our blessing is a way of telling these couples that their love is not worse than the love of heterosexual people, that their love also pleases God if there is responsibility, respect, joy of giving and offering oneself to the other – he noted.

He added that the clergy wanted to tell same-sex couples through the gesture of blessing that they “appreciate their love and value it equally with the love of heterosexual couples.”

Fr. Jabłoński noted that some couples had previously declared that they wanted to receive a blessing, but during the service they were spontaneously joined by other couples present in the church.

– It was very moving, I saw the joy on the faces of those people who said that they had finally experienced it, that the Church, in the person of a priest, sees their love as a gift from God – he said.

SEE: Same-sex couples with children in the prime minister's office. “We save ourselves with notarial deeds.”

He noted that it was the first such gesture, the first such event in Poland. However, more are planned.

– Our Church has not yet developed a clear position on blessing same-sex couples. It all depends on the particular priest, how he sees it, how he understands it. This is a very individual matter. I am an open person and my theology allows me to bless same-sex couples, I do not see any opposition to Christ in this, but I know that the attitudes of other clergy from my Church are very different – from very strict to more liberal – he said.

He emphasized that at the end of the service, the head of the Faith and Rainbow Foundation, Marcin Dzierżanowski, quoted a fragment of the Vatican declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith “Fiducia supplicans”.

Beyond the ritual

The declaration “Fiducia supplicans” on the pastoral importance of blessings, announced on December 18, 2023, by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, allows for the possibility of blessing couples in the Catholic Church “in an irregular situation and of the same sex”, but with the express reservation that this is to be done outside any ritual. – so that this gesture is not identified with the blessing of the sacrament of marriage. Therefore, such a blessing is not included in the liturgical rite.

The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith emphasized that a gesture of blessing is possible towards those people who “considering themselves to be in need and in need of God's help, do not claim legal recognition of their own status, but implore that everything that is true, good and humanly important in their lives and relationships, was embraced, healed and uplifted by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Main photo source: GoogleMaps

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