The Catholic Bishops of the Lagos Ecclesiastical Province have unanimously rejected the blessing of same-sex marriages.
The Lagos Ecclesiastical Province comprises the Lagos Archdiocese, Ijebu Ode, and Abeokuta Dioceses.
The bishops made their stance known in a communique signed by their chairman and secretary, Archbishop of Lagos and Bishop of Ijebu-Ode, Most Rev Alfred Martins, and Most Rev Francis Adesina, respectively, after their plenary meeting on Thursday, Feb 8, in Lagos.
The clerics said they were in total agreement with the position of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, CBCN, that declared no to the blessing of same-sex unions.
Aligning with the position of the CBCN and that of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar concerning the blessing of homosexual unions or same-sex couples, the bishops said: “We affirm that the teaching of the Catholic Church on marriage as the union of a man and a woman in a stable and exclusive relationship, open to bearing children, remains the same. We also affirm the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and urge the faithful to be guided by it.”
The Vatican had on December 18, 2023, approved a landmark ruling to allow Catholic priests to administer blessings to same-sex couples as long as they are not part of regular church rituals or liturgies, nor given in contexts related to civil unions or weddings.
A document from the Vatican’s doctrinal office approved by Pope Francis, said such blessings would not legitimise irregular situations but be a sign that God welcomes all.
However, Pope Francis’ approval was met with criticism.