The Vatican has asserted that the Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions as the God “does not and cannot bless sin.”

“The blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit,” the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) said in a statement on Monday, responding to question from pastors and the faithful.

“It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” the Vatican’s top doctrinal office added.

Pope Francis also approved the publication of the statement.

The Vatican said that the decision does not constitute discrimination and does not specify a judgment on individuals.

Last October, in comments for a documentary, Francis endorsed legal same-sex unions under the law, but not within the church.

Catholic teaching disapproves of homosexual acts but stresses dignity and respect for gay people.

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