A priest from St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Chicago issued an apology after a video surfaced of him blessing a same-sex couple in a manner that resembled a wedding.

In the video, Father Joseph Williams asked the couple if they “recommit themselves to love each other as holy spouses,” and later said, “The rings that they have exchanged are the sign of their fidelity and commitment.”

Father Williams expressed regret over the language used during the blessing and the use of priestly vestments, acknowledging these actions violated Church norms.

“I wanted to do it well,” he said. “A week or so after the fact, I viewed the video. I immediately realized that I had made a very poor decision in the words and visuals captured on the video.”

The blessing took place on April 21, after the couple approached Father Williams for a meaningful moment of God’s grace. Although the Vatican’s December 2023 document Fiducia Supplicans allows pastoral blessings for same-sex couples, it specifies these blessings should not resemble a wedding.

Father Williams admitted, “I am deeply sorry … particularly for the People of God.”

The Vincentians’ Western Province, which administers the downtown Chicago parish, released the apology, saying that Father Williams performed the blessing with the intention of providing grace but recognized the mistake in its execution.

Photo credit: xbrchx / Shutterstock.com
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