Episcopal Conference of Malawi’s (ECM) stands to disrespect head of Catholic Church Pope Francis’ controversial decision to allow priests to bless gay and lesbians will affect the church in Malawi with funding sanctions.
Pope Francis’ decision to let the church’s priests to bless gay and lesbians was received with mixed reactions with most of the Western World accepting while the third world countries, including Malawi, condemned it.
Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa in his homily during the Epiphany at Mwanza Parish, he said they don’t regret their decision although it will have a repercussion on funding.
“Our priests should not bless gay and lesbians because it is against Biblical teachings. As bishops of Episcopal Conference of Malawi, we were the first in the world to respond in condemning this order. What is surprising is that the declaration did neither quote any verse in the Bible nor previous declarations from other Popes like it has been the case before.
“We say no to this and our relationships with some of our benefactors, for example in Germany, have soured. We had a good relationship with our benefactors in Germany who used to give us money to buy cars for our priests. But I would like to say, let us work hard on our own rather than accept money because they want us to do something contrary to the Biblical teaching.”
Archbishop Msusu went on to say that the church should pray for its leadership to come up with a decision that will not create confusion and controversy.
In the statement that the ECM released the bishops signed said: “The declaration is not about the blessing of same-sex unions and sacramental endorsement of the same as marriage couples, no.
“This is the document promoted by the questions to the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith regarding whether or not the blessings of God through His Ministers can be extended to anybody regardless of their state. Not on the blessings of the same sex unions.
“The teaching of One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church on Marriage remains the one indicated as exclusive, stable and indissoluble union between a man and a woman, naturally open to the generation of children.”
Through the doctrinal declaration that the Vatican released on December 17, the Pope approved same-sex couples could be blessed but without any type of ritualisation of offering the impression of a marriage.
The Vatican declaration said when a couple in an irregular situation of same-sex couples asks for a blessing “it should never be imparted in occurrence with the ceremonies of a civil union”.