Priest blesses gay husbands with this simple prayer after Pope Francis gives go-ahead

Priest blesses gay husbands with this simple prayer after Pope Francis gives go-ahead

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A gay couple hold hands as they wed
Posed by models (Photo: Shutterstock)

Pope Francis recently made the historic announcement that it was OK for Catholic priests to offer blessings to same-sex couples. He stressed this was not the church endorsing same-sex marriage, and that such blessings should not resemble wedding ceremonies.

Even with those caveats, the news was welcomed by some Catholics and gay worshippers around the world. And even if you’re not a believer, it’s an undeniable move in the right direction. For the Catholic church to offer blessings to same-sex couples will chip further away at religious homophobia.

Some priests and bishops have been unhappy with the move. However, one person overjoyed by it is the Rev. James Martin in New York. He has long been an advocate for the church embracing LGBTQ+ parishioners and written a book on the subject.

It’s therefore little surprise that Rev.Martin was possibly the first Catholic priest in the world to take advantage of the change in teaching. On Tuesday, he blessed a married pair of gay husbands. The New York Times was there to witness the event.

It reported how Damian Steidl Jack, 44, and his husband, Jason Steidl Jack, 38, received the blessing in Martin’s Jesuit residence on the Upper West Side.

Father Martin later said on Facebook that many people had asked him what prayer he’d used for the men. 

“It was a simple and traditional prayer taken from the Book of Numbers, which can be used for anyone,” said Martin. 

“May the Lord bless you and keep you.

“May the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.

“May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

“And may Almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.


Damian and Jason Steidl Jack

Damian and Jason married at Judson Memorial Church in the West Village in 2022. Both are Catholics. 

In an article for Outreach, Jason expanded on the importance of his faith. He said his and Damian’s marriage was already “blessed”, and their wedding ceremony had been witnessed by their friends and family.

However, “Our faith community is central to our shared life, and it’s fitting that the church also be a public part of our relationship. A formal blessing is a sign of the church’s openness to us and our openness to the church.”

He also said he and Damian were aware of the impact images of the blessing would have around the world.

“Damian and I show that it is possible to be a thriving, married, gay Catholic couple. I hope that we can share God’s light with LGBTQ folks who have only experienced darkness in religious spaces, and I believe that our presence in the Catholic Church is helping Catholics be less homophobic.”


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