Written December 26, 2023, at Alma, Colorado.

This last week I happened upon a post written by a minister. It vilified as a betrayal of Christ the permission given by Pope Francis to Catholic priests to grant blessings to same sex couples. The post troubled me. Why the outrage? What is the harm in such a “blessing”? Was this minister really speaking in defense of Christ or just disguising his own prejudice? Would Christ, who favored love over all else, have been offended by such blessings?

I had encountered this minister years ago when his assignment included ministering to inmates on death row. It occurred to me that his calling included bestowing blessings upon society’s worst criminals, those convicted of taking the life of another in cold blood. Why then the rejection of two people who do nothing worse than profess their committed love for one another.

Does any human, by the act of granting a “blessing”, bind the hand of God? If so, then the Creator of the Universe is subservient to the will of man. Alternatively, if the favor of the Creator is exclusively the Creator’s to grant, then the act of granting a “blessing” is just a human gift of acceptance and a wish in favor of the recipient.

Tradition, dating back beyond written history, found recognition in the practice of “blessing” not only people but inanimate objects. In modern times it is commonplace to “bless” farm fields, crops, animals, food, houses, buildings… our bicycles in 2010, and before a church congregation in 2013 our backpacks were blessed (along with us) as Christine and I prepared to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. What is the purpose of “blessing” soulless objects? Perhaps it is a petition that these things may better serve us and our purposes.

The “blessing” of ships, civilian or military, is ancient and commonly accepted. Earlier this month in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the Naval assault ship USS Bougainville was christened with the words, “God bless this ship and all who sail on her!”

Which brings me to the biblical Christ who was a spokesperson for the poor, hungry, powerless, and marginalized. He spoke against oppression in every form but never against love.  He said that the second of the two greatest of God’s Commandments was to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Christ further declared that those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.

It is likely that Christ would have chosen to confer blessing upon companions professing their love and not on a warship. The former is the model of one of the two greatest Commandments, and the latter is a very large and lethal 21st Century sword.

Peace Everyone. Pete


26 thoughts on “Blessing or Blasting Same Sex Couples

  1. Sharon Gulley says:

    Of course. Your “minister” was a crappy example of a follower of Christ. Better yet, let us bless one another and not rely on the intermediary.

  2. Well said, Pete! Pope Francis is extending compassion and love as a servant of Christ. To do otherwise is not following his teachings and will.

  3. Hmmm… here we jump into a seething cauldron of debate – eh? Having been raised Catholic, I made a decision as an adult to no longer practice my religion. That is not to say that I hold any judgement toward anyone that practices a particular religious affiliation. I have very strong beliefs, I just have not found a building that houses a like ideology to mine. I like you – if I understand you correctly, believe that Christ (who at the very least was a great prophet) would want us to err on the side of love – always. I believe that with the best of intentions (and maybe some that were strictly about controlling the masses) men have tried to interpret the Word of God and share it with their followers. However we all – no matter where we are housed (like the Vatican), or what vestments we wear, are flawed – are we not? That being said, would not my “teachings” have my view ideas woven in and therefore be flawed also? I don’t think it matters who you love or how you love; but that you love everyone, that we should try to find God in everyone we meet, that each of us has goodness (or Godness) inside of us and we should be allowed to love who we want . In that love – are we all not blessed? Love IS the answer, labels and hatred are not. Okay – full disclosure this has been composed on a sleepless night and two sips of coffee… forgive me! ha ha. Blessing to all in the New Year!

  4. Well Pete, now you know why I’m a buddhist – really got tired of the nuns trying to beat their god into my behind! The “minister” simply hides his racist and homophobic essence behind the cloth. All the rhetoric and logic in the world will not change the heart of man. You offer a lovely and compelling perspective on this subject. We need only to sit quietly and be nice to each other. So easy – best – Bob Calder

  5. Joanna Satorius says:

    THANK YOU! And “Bless you,” for it is God’s Spirit who reveals the evidence of God’s love in our relationships – with one another, and indeed the whole of the created sentient order.

  6. What a wonderful blessing message for the New Year, Pete. Many of my favorite influences-Jesus, the Beatles- had it right: all you(we) need is ❤️!

    • Hi Regina and Happy New Year! You came up yesterday in pleasant conversation with one of my grandchildren. I was telling him (15yo) that we are not limited to a single path in life. I recounting to him people I knew who had enjoyed more than one rewarding career, and you were given by me as a prime example. Peace.

  7. What do I think? I think Christ is the only one that can bless. he was the only one with authorization. So; priest, pastor, friend or neighbor; a blessing only carries import of those who give it importance. I will not presume to say how Christ views those who SAY they have the power to speak for Him.

    Not saying Asking CHRIST to bless someone or thing isn’t valid. Just saying not I — or any other human has qualification to actually bless. In the end no matter how many men or officials ask Christ to bless a union or refuse to bless a union – that decision will be made by Christ, whether I ask or not.

What Do You Think?