The Catholic Bishops in the Lagos and Ogun States area have come together to unanimously reject the idea of blessing same-sex marriages.
This group, known as the Lagos Ecclesiastical Province, includes the Lagos Archdiocese, Ijebu Ode, and Abeokuta Dioceses.
In a statement released after their meeting on Thursday, February 8th, the bishops, led by Archbishop of Lagos Most Rev Alfred Martins and Bishop of Ijebu-Ode Most Rev Francis Adesina, affirmed their alignment with the stance of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) against blessing same-sex unions.
Aligning with the position of the CBCN and that of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar concerning the blessing of homosexual unions or same-sex couples, the bishops said: “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.”
The Vatican had on December 18, 2023, approved a landmark ruling to allow Catholic priests to administer blessings to same-sex couples as long as they are not part of regular church rituals or liturgies, nor given in contexts related to civil unions or weddings.
A document from the Vatican’s doctrinal office approved by Pope Francis, said such blessings would not legitimise irregular situations but be a sign that God welcomes all.
However, Pope Francis’ approval was met with criticism.