Following an announcement by the Vatican on Monday that the Roman Catholic church cannot bless same-sex unions, a rogue group of priests have vowed to defy the church and to continue blessing same-sex couples.

The Austria-based group of priests, who call themselves the Parish Priests Initiative expressed their outrage following the Vatican’s announcement that same-sex unions cannot be blessed because God does not bless sin.

The Parish Priests Initiative released a statement in which they said that they were “deeply appalled” by the decision. The group also said declared that it would “not reject any loving couple who ask to celebrate God’s blessing,” according to Reuters.

Part of the statement released by the Parish Priests Initiative reads,

“We members of the Parish Priests Initiative are deeply appalled by the new Roman decree that seeks to prohibit the blessing of same-sex loving couples. This is a relapse into times that we had hoped to have overcome with Pope Francis.”

“We will — in solidarity with so many — not reject any loving couple in the future who ask to celebrate God’s blessing, which they experience every day, also in a worship service.

 Catholic Priests Defy Vatican, Vow To Continue Blessing Same-Sex Unions
Austrian priest Helmut Schueller the leader of the Parish Priests Initiative (Image Credit: REUTERS/Dominic Ebenichler)

The Austria-based group was founded in 2006 and is led by Father Helmut Schueller. The group has been advocating for the Roman Catholic church to change some of its rules so that it becomes more inclusive. The Parish Priests Initiative has called on the church to remove the vow of celibacy and to allow priests to marry. The group has also called on the church to abandon centuries-old traditions and allow women to serve as priests.

It has said it will break Church rules by giving communion to Protestants and divorced Catholics who remarry.

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