Catholic bishops in Africa have rejected Pope Francis’ declaration to bless homosexual couples, asserting that it is “contrary to the will of God”.
The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (Secam) – the umbrella body for Catholic bishops across Africa – said in a statement the Vatican’s approval of same-sex blessings is “not appropriate”.
“The constant teaching of the Church describes homosexual acts as ‘intrinsically disordered’ and contrary to the natural law,” it read.
President of Secam, Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo, said the message had been approved by Pope Francis and they will continue their communion with the head of the Catholic Church.
Last month, Pope Francis declared that priests should be permitted to bless same-sex couples.
This has sparked mixed reactions from both the Catholic Church and the LGBT community.
But the Vatican said blessings should not be part of regular Church rituals or related to civil unions or weddings.
It added that it continues to view marriage as between a man and a woman.