The Flemish bishops of Belgium announced Sept. 20 the creation of a specific liturgy to bless homosexual couples, as well as the establishment of a “contact point” in parishes for homosexual Catholics.  

It’s a project that some theologians consider deeply harmful to the spiritual life of homosexual believers, as well as being in contradiction with the content of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), on which it claims to be based.  

The three-page document, entitled “Being Pastorally Close to Homosexuals: For a Welcoming Church That Excludes No One,” also directly contradicts a March 2021 opinion from the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, which stated that the blessing of homosexual unions “cannot be considered licit.” 

This initiative of the bishops of Flanders, which has crystallized the current dissension in the Church over the ways in which the same-sex attracted should be welcomed, was somehow foreseeable. Indeed, the outcry that the Vatican congregation’s document caused last year among a very large part of the Belgian episcopate suggested that the debate was far from being closed in that country. 

“I feel a vicarious shame for my Church,” Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp wrote in an