Families with Dignity statement on Vatican ruling that priests cannot bless same-sex unions

DETROIT (March 18, 2021) – Families With Dignity, a group of parents, allies and LGBTQ+ people, is deeply saddened, disappointed and grieved by the March 15th statement by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith saying that priests may not bless same-sex unions.

“We know – we do not need the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to tell us – that our children’s committed, loving relationships are a blessing to them, to us and to their communities,” said Linda Karle-Nelson, founder of Families With Dignity, in a statement endorsed by its board. “The fact that the institutional Catholic Church will not share its blessing with faithful queer families and, in fact calls them sinful, shows its moral blindness. We are disappointed and -- truth be told -- angry that the Church rejects our children.”

“We have tried to remain hopeful for our families’ eventual full inclusion in the Church and have heard previous kind words of Pope Francis with joy. But the Church appears determined to reject the gifts of our LGBTQ+ families, and it is difficult to feel hopeful today,” Families With Dignity said. 

“While the Church tries to soften its pronouncement by insisting that congregations may not discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, let us not pretend that gay people are welcome to worship if their love is rejected and condemned, or if married gay couples cannot hold hands in church without fear. This untenable mixed message has led to crisis, broken families and suicide for countless Catholic families. It has led to persecution and violence against gay and gender nonconforming people across the world.”

“We call on the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith and Pope Francis to rescind this ruling and for the Catholic Church to include LGBTQ+ people in its practices, schools and ministries. We will remain steadfast in celebrating the love our children have found, whether they are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual, cisgender, transgender or non-binary. We remain open to sharing our experiences and stories with the institutional Church. We demand that our voices and those of our LGBTQ+ families be heard.”

Families With Dignity is a caucus of DignityUSA, which has pledged to continue marrying same-sex couples and other LGBTQI people, and to work for the time when the rest of the Church does so as well.