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German priests to defy Pope Francis by blessing same sex marriages

Catholic priests in Germany have announced they plan to defy the Vatican rules and publicly bless homosexual marriages.

Last month, the Vatican´s office for orthodoxy, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said Catholic clergy cannot bless gay unions because God "cannot bless sin".

“He [God] blesses sinful man, so that he may recognise that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him," the Vatican said in a statement.

In response, more than 200 professors of Catholic theology in Germany protested against the Vatican´s decree saying it was marked with “a paternalistic air of superiority and discriminates against homosexual people and their life plans."

Now, a group of clergy have committed to breaking the rules. In a statement, the priests said they “will continue to accompany people who enter into a binding partnership in the future and bless their relationship".

The statement continues: “We respect and value their love, and we also believe that God's blessings are on them. Theological arguments and knowledge gained are sufficiently exchanged. We do not accept that an exclusive and outdated sexual morality is carried out on the back of people and undermines our work in pastoral care.”

The group has also compiled a list of churches that will live stream the ceremonies taking place across the country on 10th May.

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