Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.
The Vatican said Monday that the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions, in a combative statement approved by Pope Francis that threatens to widen the chasm between the church and much of the LGBTQ community.
Explaining their decision in a lengthy note on Monday, the Holy See referred to same-sex unions as a “choice,” described them as sinful and said they “cannot be recognized as objectively ordered” to God’s plans. The stance is certain to disappoint millions of gay and lesbian Catholics around the world.
“The blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit,” the Vatican’s top doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote in the statement.