Answering the question: “does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?,” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded “no.”
“The Church recalls that God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, because for Him ‘we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit. But he does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact ‘takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are.’ For the above-mentioned reasons, the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex.”
Quoting Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia, the CDF said despite “the presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”
“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.”
The CDF further clarified that their ruling “does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations, who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching.”
“Rather, it declares illicit any form of blessing that tends to acknowledge their unions as such. In this case, in fact, the blessing would manifest not the intention to entrust such individual persons to the protection and help of God, in the sense mentioned above, but to approve and encourage a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God.”
In their ruling and accompanying note, both signed by Pope Francis, the CDF didn’t not say where the question, known as dubium, came from, except that “in some ecclesial contexts, plans and proposals for blessings of unions of persons of the same sex are being advanced.” Some have said this in reference to certain German bishops who have publicly voiced support for the blessing of same-sex unions.