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Catholic Bishops reject blessing same-sex unions

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The Catholic Bishops of the Lagos Ecclesiastical Province, which includes the Lagos Archdiocese, Ijebu Ode Diocese, and Abeokuta Diocese, have stated that they will not bless same-sex marriage.

The bishops’ opinion was outlined in a communiqué issued on Thursday following their January 26 plenary meeting in Lagos.

This position is thought to contradict Pope Francis’s explicit permission for Catholic priests to bless same-sex marriages, which was previously held to violate Catholic Church dogma.

In the Catholic Church, a blessing is a prayer or supplication made by a minister to God to look favourably on the person(s) being blessed.

The bishops proclaimed, 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, “No to the blessing of same-sex unions.”

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The Bishops said they were in “total agreement with the position of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and that of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar concerning the blessing of homosexual unions or same-sex couples.

“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,” they said.

In 2021, the Vatican declared that the Catholic Church would not approve gay marriages because God “cannot bless sin.”

However, in 2023, Francis intimated that the Catholic Church could bless same-sex unions.

Meanwhile, Dr. Isa El-Buba, a clergyman based in Jos, Plateau State, has urged President Bola Tinubu to handle Nigeria’s present food issue before it worsens and snowballs into an implosion.

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El-Buba, the Convener of a Better and Brighter Nigeria, issued the demand in a statement in Jos on Thursday.

He bemoaned that the high cost of food and other commodities in the country had continued to climb on a daily basis, with no action taken by the government to reverse the trend.

“Despite the’state of emergency on food security’, efforts to curb rising food prices have not yielded results. A foreign exchange rate is rapidly turning the naira into a currency that is not worth the paper on which it is printed.

“The government should release grains from its strategic reserve depots and ensure the grains get to hungry Nigerians at affordable prices, as it crashes the astronomic costs of grains in the market. Previous releases have not reached the majority of poor Nigerians,” he said.

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