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Priest refuses to bless palms in protest against gay ban

'If I can't bless gay couples then I won't bless palms'

(ANSA) - LA SPEZIA, MAR 29 - An Italian priest on Sunday refused to bless the palms for Palm Sunday in protest against a recent Catholic Church ruling that gay unions cannot be blessed because they are sinful.
    Father Giulio Mignani of Bonassola near La Spezia has been vocal in the past in his support for gay marriage.
    "If I can't bless couples formed by persons of the same sex, then I won't bless palms or olive branches either," he told his flock in his homily for Mass Sunday.
    Palm Sunday is celebrated by the blessing and distribution of palm leaves representing the palm branches which the crowd scattered in front of Christ as he rode into Jerusalem in triumph, a week before his death on Easter Sunday.
    Father Mignani described as "absurd" the recent ruling by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the Church (CDF) cannot bless gay unions.
    The CDF said on March 15 that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions.
    In response to a 'dubium' question put to it, the CDF said such blessings cannot "be considered licit".
    So priests should not bless homosexual couples who ask for some type of religious recognition of their union, it said.
    The CDF said Pope Francis "gave his assent" to the publication of its response to the dubium.
    Shortly after he became pope in 2013 Francis issued his famous "who am I to judge" statement on gays but continues to uphold Church doctrine against active homosexuality.
    Pop superstar Elton John, who has been happily married to a gay partner for years, accused the Vatican of hypocrisy in upholding the ban after putting money into his biopic Rocketman. (ANSA).


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