The Vatican’s doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), issued the ruling in response to questions and moves in some parishes to impart such blessings as a sign of welcome to gay Catholics since the Church does not permit homosexual marriage.
Pope Francis approved the response, the CDF said, adding that it was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite”.
It said such blessings were not permissible even though they were “motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons” and help them grow in the faith.
The CDF note said that since marriage between a man and a woman was a sacrament and blessings are related to the sacrament of marriage, they could not be extended to same-sex couples.
“For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” it said.