Even though Pope Francis has barred Catholic priests from participating in same sex marriage ceremonies, many German priests are openly defying the Pope’s orders by blessing the civil marriages of LGBTQ couples, the Washington Post reports.
The priests are so brazen that they’re livestreaming their blessing ceremonies online. The Vatican’s doctrinal body issued the decree, signed off on by Francis, reaffirming the church’s ban on blessing same sex relationships, saying the church cannot “bless sin.” Francis’s own words, however, have been more accepting of LGBTQ relations, famously commenting, “Who am I to judge?”
“The rainbow is a political sign,” one priest, Hans-Albert Gunk of the Dominikanerkloster St. Albertus Magnus, told congregants at one of the first events in the multiday procession of ceremonies, culminating Monday. “God excludes no one from his love.”
The actions of the rogue priests come as the church is holding a series of meeting among its leaders to address things like women’s role in the church and the church’s teaching on sexuality.