19 Dec 2023

Vatican tells priests they may bless same-sex couples

From Nights, 10:45 pm on 19 December 2023

Pope Francis has approved a major shift in Vatican policy allowing priests to administer blessings to same-sex couples as 'a sign that God welcomes all'. However, it stops short of the Church allowing priests to perform marriage rites for same-sex couples. This is the latest in a series of moves that indicate the Church may be moving in a more liberal direction, which has caused some conflict between the liberal and conservative adherents of Catholicism. Catholicism remains the single largest religious group in New Zealand, with nearly 500,000 people identifying as Catholic in the 2018 Census. Mark Leishman discusses the development with Peter Lineham, a retired professor of history who specialises in religion.