Filipino LGBT Catholics elated over Vatican’s same-sex couple blessing

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Filipino LGBT Catholics elated over Vatican’s same-sex couple blessing

Vatican’s New Decision Welcomes LGBT Community

The Filipino LGBT community, particularly Catholics, have expressed their joy regarding the Vatican’s recent decision to permit Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples. This new rule, however, stipulates that such blessings must not align with the Church’s traditional doctrines and liturgical rites related to marriage.

Positive Reaction from Filipino LGBT Members

Gio Costuna, a 23-year-old member of an LGBTQ Pride group in Tacloban City, Leyte, views this development positively, considering it a significant step towards acknowledging the needs of the LGBT community. He expressed hope for a more inclusive Church in future years. Another Filipino, a 31-year-old educator and LGBTQ member, sees this move as progressive, fostering inclusivity and understanding amidst longstanding debates over human sexuality, morality, and tradition. This person believes it could lead to more open discussions on evolving social norms, moving away from dogmatic and exclusive perspectives.

Read also : Vatican approves blessings for same-sex couples

Individual Voices Supporting the Church’s Inclusive Approach

Wendell Astrero, 48, highlighted in a UCA News report, believes the Church’s inclusive approach towards LGBTQ individuals is commendable, emphasizing their right to practice any religion. Redemptorist priest Ferderiz Bacong Cantiller, CSsR, from Cebu City, noted that he has been blessing same-sex couples even before the new Vatican ruling. He emphasized that blessings are a means of channeling God’s grace, and that every Christian, including priests, should act as conduits of these blessings.

Continued Advocacy by Reverend Crescencio Agbayani Jr.

Reverend Crescencio Agbayani Jr., a pastor at the Quezon City-based LGBTS Christian Church Inc., continues to advocate for the holy union rites for LGBT couples, despite opposition from the Catholic Church. Following the Vatican’s new ruling, Agbayani Jr. predicted a potential increase or decrease in the Roman Catholic Church’s membership and expressed his readiness to bless more LGBTQ couples.

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Educational Background and Optimism of Agbayani Jr.

Educated at the Union Theological Seminary in Cavite, Agbayani Jr. has conducted almost 6,000 same-sex holy union rites since 2006 in the Philippines and Asia. He remains optimistic about marriage equality for LGBT couples in the Philippines in the coming years.

Clarification from Bishop Pablo Virgilio David

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, clarified the intent of the Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s declaration, approved by Pope Francis. The document, focusing on the pastoral meaning of blessings, is considered clear in content and intent, requiring little explanation. The declaration reinforces the Church’s traditional stance on marriage and avoids any liturgical rites that might cause confusion. Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, Prefect of the said dicastery, pointed out the unique value of the document in enriching the classical understanding of blessings.

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