Pope Francis Reaffirms Catholic Refusal to Allow Same-Sex Marriage

In a media pool interview, the Catholic pontiff once again issued a firm stance against same-sex marriage. Pope Frances said that “Marriage is a sacrament. The church doesn’t have the power to change sacraments.”

The interview happened during the pope’s September 15 Alitalia flight back to Rome from his pilgrimage in Hungary and Slovakia. Pope Francis responded to a group of journalists who coaxed him to talk about pro-choice politicians who received the communion.

Pope Frances was generous with his response but declined to provide a hardline response to politicians who openly support abortion. He stated that “the communion is not a prize for the perfect,” instead, he continued that it is a “gift, the presence of Jesus in his Church, and the community.” The conversation eventually arrived at the topic of same-sex marriage.

In March of this year, Pope Francis, through a Vatican statement, made it clear, to the disappointment of pro-LGBTQ Catholics, that the church cannot bless same-sex Marriage. The response was a decisive one-word - ‘negative.’

Pope Francis’ continued refusal to support or even acknowledge the possibility of same-sex marriage comes amidst a cacophony of church policy changes. In July this year, UK’s Methodist Church, the second-largest Christian church in England, voted to allow same-sex marriage.

In the in-flight interview, Pope Francis continued explaining that the church “doesn’t have the power to change a sacrament as it was instituted by the Lord.” The pontiff, however, stated that he is supportive of civil unions, adding that governments have “the possibility to give them safety, stability, inheritance.”

Pope Francis also added that he does not support discrimination against the LGBTQ community despite his lack of support for same-sex marriage. “No, please, they are our brothers and sisters,” he added.

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