Rev. Franklin Graham Criticizes Pope Francis for Approving Same-Sex Blessings

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Photo: Twitter Screenshot - JoeMyGod

In a passionate Facebook post on Monday, the Rev. Franklin Graham, President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse, sharply criticized Pope Francis for approving a measure allowing Roman Catholic priests to offer blessings to same-sex couples. 

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Graham, the son of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, asserted that such blessings would not “save you from the judgment of God.”

The controversy stems from a recent declaration by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith titled “Fiducia Supplicans.” The document aims to broaden and enrich the traditional understanding of blessings in a liturgical context. It explicitly allows priests to bless same-sex couples without endorsing their unions or altering the Church’s long standing teachings on marriage.

Graham responded vehemently, stating, “So-called ‘blessings’ from religious leaders won’t save you from the judgment of God!” He further criticized the Pope’s decision, asserting that no one, including the Pope, has the right to bless what God deems as sin. Quoting Isaiah 5:20, he warned against calling evil good and good evil.

The Vatican’s declaration emphasized that when people seek a blessing, an exhaustive moral analysis should not be a prerequisite, and those seeking a blessing need not demonstrate prior moral perfection. The document clarified that while blessings for same-sex couples are permissible, they should not validate the couples’ status or promote a ritual for couples in irregular situations.

The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, in a 2021 declaration, asserted that churches cannot bless same-sex marriages as God “cannot bless sin.” The official stance of the Catholic Church maintains that same-sex attraction is not sinful, but engaging in homosexual acts is.

In the United States, a 2019 survey revealed that approximately 61% of Catholics support the idea of allowing gays and lesbians to marry. This disparity in opinion within the Church adds complexity to the ongoing debate on issues related to LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance.

The declaration also touched on another controversial topic related to transgender individuals. Last month, the same Vatican body issued guidance stating that individuals who have undergone transgender surgical procedures or taken cross-sex hormones can be baptized. However, this is contingent upon avoiding situations that may cause public scandal or disorientation among the faithful.

Graham concluded his Facebook post by emphasizing the importance of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, reiterating biblical warnings against forsaking the Lord. 

The clash between traditional religious teachings and evolving societal views on LGBTQ+ issues continues to pose challenges for religious institutions worldwide, highlighting the ongoing struggle to reconcile age-old doctrines with the changing attitudes of contemporary society.

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