No blessings for same-sex unions in Nigeria, Catholic bishops insist.


The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, has declared that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions and activities.

They stated that such actions would contradict God’s law. They said it was also against the teachings of the Church, the laws of Nigeria, and the cultural sensibilities of the Nigerian people.

In an unequivocal statement issued on Thursday, the Catholic Bishops reiterated the Church’s teaching on marriage. The Catholic clergy said marriage is an “exclusive, stable, and indissoluble union of a man and a woman”.

This clarification from the CBCN follows a recent reaffirmation by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN.

CSN said the Church’s teachings on the sacrament of marriage remain unchanged, despite the Vatican’s recent decision to allow blessings for same-sex couples.

An official from the Secretariat spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity. The official noted, “It’s crucial to reiterate that this does not change the Church’s teaching on the sacrament of marriage. The Church’s view on same-sex marriage remains unaltered.”

The Catholic bishops made their stand known in a statement by Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, Archbishop of Owerri and President of CBCN, and Donatus Ogun, Bishop of Uromi and Secretary of CBCN.

It was issued in response to the Vatican Declaration, ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ (i.e. pleading with courage).

“The Declaration seeks to clarify the different forms of blessing that can be given to persons and objects in the Catholic Church. Including the possibility of blessing persons in irregular unions,” the CBCN stated.

The CBCN statement identifies irregular unions as including, but not limited to, divorced and remarried couples whose previous marriages had not been annulled. Also, those in same-sex unions, those in polygamous unions, and those in concubinage, among others.

Nevertheless, the Church maintains a clear stance that the blessing of individuals in irregular unions can only be performed in a non-liturgical manner to prevent confusion.

The bishops further clarified that such blessings should not be conducted during or in connection with a civil wedding ceremony. Nor should they incorporate attire, language, or symbols associated with a wedding.

CBCN urged those in irregular unions to remain hopeful and open to conversion. However, the Catholic bishops insisted that the Church does not possess the authority to bestow a blessing on irregular unions such as same-sex marriage.

“The Declaration also reinforces the truth about God’s mercy. Asking for God’s blessing is not dependent on how good one is. Imperfection is the reason for seeking God’s grace,” they added.

The Catholic Bishops reassured Nigerians that the teachings of the Catholic Church on marriage stay the same. They thanked all the priests for their support of married couples.

They urged the priests to continue in their efforts to uphold the sanctity of holy matrimony. Also, they asked the priests never to do anything that would detract from this sacrament’s sacredness.

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