The Congregation For The Doctrine Of Faith, the Vatican office founded to safeguard the Catholic church from heresy and to promulgate her doctrines, issued a document on Monday in response to a question on the blessing of same sex unions.

"Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?" was the question proposed.

To which, the Catholic Church responded, "Negative."

According to a report by Christian Headlines, the Vatican has barred the blessing of same-sex unions because God "does not and cannot bless sin," citing the document released by the Congregation For The Doctrine Of Faith as basis for such statements. The Christian Headlines said the Vatican referred to what is written in the Bible and the Church's centuries of teaching that states it does not have the power to bless same-sex unions.

The official document, entitled "Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex," is posted in the Vatican's website and signed by the Congregation For The Doctrine Of Faith Prefect His Emminence Luis F. Cardinal Ladaria, S.I. and notated by the Congregation's Secretary Archbishop Giacomo Morandi.

According to the National Catholic Register, Pope Francis was informed by Morandi on the document and has approved the document's publication.

In its Explanatory Note, the Responsum clarified the Catholic Church's "sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons" so that they can "'understand and fully carry out God's will in their lives'," because "'God loves every person and the Church does the same', rejecting all unjust discrimination."

The document went on to elaborate that denying homosexual persons the blessing of their same sex union is not discriminatory but rather "a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals" and that it is "not licit" to do so since blessings "belong to the category of the sacramentals."

The document added that sacramentals are actually means that call a person to live a life of holiness and to "praise God" while asking His protection so that one can live that call to holiness. More importantly, sacramentals "'have been established as a kind of imitation of the sacraments, blessings are signs above all of spiritual effects that are achieved through the Church's intercession."

"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[6]," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith pointed out.

The Responsum stressed that same sex unions are relationships that can not be rendered "legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing" because the context of such a union is "not ordered to the Creator's plan", which is a man and a woman joined in union for procreation that God established since the beginning of time. The Catholic Church therefore has no power to supersede what God has established as what marriage should be and as His plan for mankind.

"Furthermore, since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit," the Vatican's office added. "This is because they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact "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."

The Responsum comes with a supporting document for better understanding of the general public, entitled, "Article of Commentary on the Responsum ad dubium, 15.03.2021," that's also posted in the Vatican website together with relevant resources on the matter such as the catechetical information from the Papal Audiences, notice of press conference in live streaming on the matter set on March 18, 2021, and Holy See Press Office Communique during an Audience with the Captains Regent of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino.

A concise and layman's version of the Responsum, the Commentary identified three reasons why the Catholic Church does not possess the power to bless same-sex unions. These are: "the truth and value of blessings," "the order that makes one fit to receive the gift given by the 'designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord'," and "to avert an error into which one would be easily lead: that of assimilating the blessing of unions of persons of the same sex to that of matrimonial unions."