Local Supporters On Pope's Approval Of Same-Sex Union Blessings

Local supporters of same-sex marriage call the Pope's announcement a step in the right direction but want to see even more change.

Monday, December 18th 2023, 6:23 pm

By: Cal Day


Catholic priests are now able to bless same-sex couples after Pope Francis made a big change in the church’s policy. Local supporters of same-sex marriage call this a step in the right direction but want to see even more change.

“It still hasn’t changed anything in terms of church doctrine itself,” said Dorothy Ballard, executive director of Oklahomans for Equality.

Ballard spends a lot of her time supporting the marriage rights of same-sex couples. When the Pope announced priests could bless same-sex unions, she says she felt joy but also lingering disappointment.

Dr. Michelle Loris is a professor of Catholic Studies at Sacred Heart University. While the doctrine did not change, Loris says the move expands and deepens the understanding of a pastoral blessing.

“For a Catholic gay couple for whom that is important, I think this is very, very meaningful and significant,” said Loris.

Ballard believes Pope Francis has made progress in bringing unity to the church. She hopes to see all places of worship evolve fully into accepting same-sex marriages.

“People want to be accepted within their faith circles; they want to be accepted within their municipalities and their counties, and of course, this nation,” she said.

News On 6 reached out to the Diocese of Tulsa, which declined to comment on the announcement.

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