The Church won’t bless same-sex union. So what? | OPINION

Posted by Shane | Posted on March 17, 2021
Photo from New Ways Ministry

On March 15, 2021, Pope Francis of the Catholic Church announced that the Church cannot and will not bless same-sex unions since they cannot “bless sin”. This statement of the “progressive” Pope made it to various leading news outlets garnering different reactions and responses.

So what if the Church won’t bless gay unions? No big deal, actually.

I may be naïve, but in my few years of involvement in LGBTQ advocacies, I haven’t encountered a group nor an individual who advocates for the same-sex union under the Catholic Church since it would be stupid to do so. Why would you expect an institution to recognize your marriage when in the first place, it invalidates your very existence and sees you as an abomination?

The Progressive Pope

Pope Francis should be given enough credit for his strong and “radical” stance on LGBTQ acceptance. In 2013, he was named the Person of the Year by the LGBTQ magazine Advocate for another newsworthy statement in July 2013, wherein he said:

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?”

The Catholic LGBTQ community welcomed this pronouncement of the Pope himself. Even I myself was happy to hear the Pope fulfilling the promise of the Catholic Church to nurture the last, the least, and the lost of our society.

Aside from LGBTQ-related statements, I also personally admire Pope Francis for his radical encyclical letter on climate change and environmental protection “Laudato Si or Care on Common Home”. In this letter by the Pope, he showed that the Church and science could go hand in hand in criticizing an anthropocentric and technocratic paradigm that destroys and pollute the environment, attacks biodiversity and excludes the poor and indigenous from living a dignified human life.

Pope Francis is so progressive that he is even called a “third-worldist and communist” by both members of the clergy and the lay faithful.

Institutionalized homophobia

Hypothetically, let’s assume that Pope Francis wants the Church to recognize and officiate same-sex union. Can he? Maybe. But what we know is he will be faced by a massive chunk of Catholic conservatives who will try their best to lobby against it.

Like other major religious denominations, the Catholic Church is built in hundreds, if not thousands of years of homophobia. It is deeply rooted in their ecumenical dogma of their moral theology and social teachings.

What I always say to idealist and aggressive LGBTQ activist friends who want to destroy the Catholic Church’s social teaching, is that they cannot easily change a tradition that is extremely institutionalized and deeply etched into Church teachings.

State recognition

While there are certain sects that officiate gay marriages in the Philippines, the government does not recognize it. LGBTQ groups around the world aim for a state that a.) respects their identity and b.) recognizes their love and marriage.

The recognition of the state of the union of two persons of the same sex goes beyond the abstract concept of love and affection. It is a fulfillment of basic human right and the fundamental freedom to marry and build a family.

Moreover, it will allow gay couples to enjoy the privileges that heterosexual couples enjoy, such as laws concerning property, affinity, and family. It will allow them to live a life of dignity with the promise of a secure and enjoyable future.

In the Philippines, the struggle of LGBTQ+ advocates is really far from the finish line. The country has yet to pass a bill that prohibits discrimination, a bill that recognizes the diversity of sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression, and of course, a law that recognizes gay unions (not for lack of trying).

To conclude, first, let me say that I respect and I validate the sentiments of some Catholic members of the LGBTQ community. Secondly, let me emphasize that gay unions don’t need “church blessings” but “state-recognition.” Third, the LGBTQ+ community deserves better as active contributors in our ever-evolving and ever-developing society.

If you’ve made it this far and decided to share this article, please use the hashtag #PassSOGIEBillNOW and #PassCivilUnionNOW.

Other good reads...

The Quezon City Pride March 2018 – Championing LGBTQ+ Rights and HIV/AIDS Awareness

Hotel Rembrandt, Tomas Morato, Quezon City December 8, 2018 (Alvin Kasiban / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) The Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI) once again graced the annual celebration of rainbow colors in the city of Quezon City. Campaigning for HIV/AIDS prevention and human rights, Quezon City traditionally holds this event in the Tomas Morato area. […]

Finding Humanism

Finding Humanism by Herb Burdeaux September 19, 2017 6PM (-8 GMT) Seattle, WA, USA We all have our story of how we found humanism, or like me, stumbled into it. Humanism being the great outlook of thought that attaches prime importance to human beings, rather than divine or supernatural entities. I was raised on an […]

HAPI Jr Celebrates International Human Rights Day 2018

  Every 10th of December, we get to celebrate the declaration that protects us, unites us, and makes our shared humanity more noble – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This is where we get our written leverage for Human Rights from. This year will focus more on education. HAPI Jr started it early, as […]

Godless Grace Essay Contest and Our sponsors, Affiliates and Friends for the Asian Humanist Convention and HAPI Con 2017

Integrity, generosity and kindness emanate from the HAPI Core officers and members.  Indeed, kindness begets kindness. Our supporters  are expanding worldwide, being an international nonreligious society with chapters all over the world. In preparation for the HAPI con, we are launching a Godless Grace essay contest sponsored by our affiliates and those who have helped […]

October 2017 HAPI Bacolod Meeting

hapi-bacolod-team

Last Sunday, Humanist Alliance Philippines International (HAPI) Bacolod Chapter has conducted its last meeting for the month of October 2017. The meeting was held at Tom n Toms Coffee despite the crowded venue the meet-up went on smoothly.

Not an Armchair General

  5th Annual International Day of Protest Against Hereditary Religion – January 23, 2016   Our very own HAPI Chairperson based in NYC, USA joined this event. ” In our own little way, we are creating a dent in the religious landscape in the Philippines, the next generations to come will prefer computers to bibles.”  […]

HAPI Junior One With The Youth In Calling For A Cleaner MassKara Festival

HAPI Junior One With The Youth In Calling For A Cleaner MassKara Festival Bacolod City, Negros Occidental October 10, 2018 MassKara Festival is one of the best things you can encounter and experience in the City of Smiles, Bacolod.This celebration almost last about a month.This year it officially started last October 8 and will end […]

About The Author

Joshua Villalobos

Joshua is an 18-year old Sociology student and human rights activist. He is part of the trio that organized the second and so far the largest Pride Parade in Bacolod City, Philippines. He is interested in human rights, environmental activism, policy advocacy, and research. He is a HAPI Scholar and member of HAPI Bacolod.

Scroll to Top