The bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg in Austria have commissioned a book to teach that gay love comes from God, and reveals God’s “goodness and humanity”.

The book, titled The Benediction of Same Sex Partnerships, calls on the global Catholic church to change its teachings on homosexuality.

Marriage equality was legalised in Austria in 2019, and the Catholic bishops are calling for “official blessings” of same-sex couples within the church.

The catechism of the Catholic church states that same-sex relationships are “acts of great depravity”, and adds: “Under no circumstances can they be approved.”

But liturgical scholar Father Ewald Vollger, who contributed to the book, said that changing Church’s teaching on homosexuality “can be not only discussed, but also demanded”.

Archdiocese of Salzburg Publishes New Book on Church Blessings for Same-Gender Couples – New Ways…

Austria’s Archdiocese of Salzburg has published a new book which explores the blessings of same-gender unions, an important step towards formal recognition of LGBTQ+ relationships in a country where…

In an interview with KirchenZeitung Diozese Linz, the diocesan newspaper of Linz, Vollger said that providing official blessings to same-sex couples would “of course” require a change to the catechism.

He said: “There has been movement in the topic. The teaching of the church is receiving less and less resonance in society and within the church, and moral theology in particular is in favour of new approaches to evaluating same-sex relationships.”

Although Vollger accepts that marriage within the Catholic church is not yet on the cards for same-sex couples, he said: “Benediction… is an official act of blessing.

“Just as marriage between a man and a woman is an image of God’s creative love, so is a same-sex relationship an image of God’s attention to human beings.

“If partners live the gift of mutual love in faithfulness to one another and live their lives with the spiritual gifts of God such as kindness, forbearance, patience, reconciliation, etc, their relationship is also an image of God’s goodness and humanity.”

The book describes the legal situation for same-sex partnerships in Austria, and discusses biblical tradition, ethical and moral theology and liturgical science.


Gay relationships, based on love, committment and mutual support should be blessed in church, if couples so desire.

In the Bible we are told: “God is love. Wherever there is love there is God.

I am not arguing for the RCC to extend the Sacrament of Marriage to gay couples.

But there is precedent in the church for the blessing of gay unions.

It might also help gay people to concentrate on the live aspect of being gay – and move away from the emphasis on promiscuous sex and partying.

And, if priests and seminarians, openly, had committed partners it might stop the whole current scandal.


Sadly, Aaron took his own life the other day. He was from UK and lived in Larne. I had several long chats with him.



Patrick, Why do you care what a church you hate and despise thinks or teaches about anything? This same Church regards you as excommunicate. You have a strange fascination with what this church thinks and teaches. I wonder why? Elaborate please…….


I do not think my “fascination” is strange.
Without my having any say in the matter I was promised to the RCC 68 years ago.
The RCC shaped my whole youth and life and was responsible for decades of my suffering through guilt, repression.
The RCC replaced the British Ascendancy in controlling my nation and destroyed millions of lives.
I have compassion for the millions trapped in RCC robotary.
Why am I interested in the RCC?
For many of the same reasons I care about what the Chinese Government is doing to their population and to the people of Hong Kong.
Jesus has told us we are our brother’s keeper.


”I care about what the Chinese Government is doing to their population and to the people of Hong Kong”
And you’ve written how many blogs to highlight the brutality of the Chinese government?


Morning all hi. The auld padre is engaged in a war o words. It is God who blesses The efficacy of the blessing is evidenced in the quality of people’s lives .


9.20: I agree with you….there is much invidia clericorum in the post at 9.01 and indeed much of it too in Pat’s narratives and invective! In sim0le words – envy/hatred of clerics…we are forever being condemned….


Father, how could I envy a group of people who, with rare exceptions, have shown me that they are cynical liars who respect neither God or man?

Currently, anticlericalism, is a virtue until the clerics reform themselves and their totally corrupt corporation.


I’m bored with this subject of the Church and its attitude to homosexuality. I, and it seems most of the world, even within the Church, have moved on and beyond the outdated, unjust and vindictive theology of sexuality that the Church puts forward. It is irrelevant to me. I am so far beyond it and living and working in a completely different culture and atmosphere of life where this issue has already been settled. The Church is fighting a rearguard action, supported only by small groups of angry and disgruntled fanatics, and countries where there is injustice and hatred. By discussing this matter we only give oxygen to these homophobic, embittered, nasty people.


If you are a Catholic and gay and you feel that you are prejudiced / discriminated against in your Church, then it is time to leave, because the Church is not going to change in your lifetime. You will only continue to suffer. So, go somewhere you will be welcomed and appreciated. There are other Christian groups who value gays. This is what I have done, and I do not regret it one bit. I was fed up being told in all sorts of overt and subliminal ways that I was not really welcome. Remember also that in most Western European states there are legal protections for gays, with access to justice and rights. That is where I put my loyalty, not to a Church that wants me not to exist. So, if you are suffering, do something about it. Walk. Go and find where you are welcome. It is liberating. It’s what you have done, in essence, + Pat, isn’t ?


Absolutely I have. It is so freeing.

When you cast off the shackles you realise how heavy they were and how they slowed you down.


Actually, the boot is now on the other foot. To retain their credibility the churches has to prove they are benign to lgbtq people. Giving blessings to same-sex unions would be a step in that direction.


Only if you become a catholic priest out of your own free as you could be a doctor, bar tender or a Cabaret dancer, not because of the fake honour and hypocrisy… of being gay!!!


I’d love to see one of those videos of Littleprick laying out the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, and watch him turning somersaults in order to sound in any way credible ! And, all delivered in that high pitched campuses which is his hallmark.


If you want a blessing for a same sex relationship, I’m sure Fr D’Arcy CP would jump in to his Merc and drive to you and give you one. For a nice fee, of course. It wouldn’t be a quiet affair, because he would make sure to publicise it far and wide for his own publicity purposes, and to be seen to be hip and cool and up with the times…..


9:20 reminds me very much of my old parish priest who was full of his own dignity because he was a priest. He once said in a homily that you can get excommunicated for striking a priest and so I pointed out afterwards that that is only if it is out of contempt for the faith, and not if you strike the priest because he is a dick.


You can all dream on it will never happen in Pope Francis time as Supreme Pontiff.

And Pope Francis will be watching the situation of his future successor and if need be appoint more Cardinals.

The Anglican Church awaits all the Gay and Divorced.

It certainly will not be happening any time soon.

I know clergy who refuse the Eucharist to Gay and Divorced people.

So it will be at least another decade before this issue is seriously addressed. (if ever)


But Jim, as a gay man yourself, you surely cannot approve of what the RCC says and does about gay people?


It is the Church Teaching so you either abide with them or leave.

That is why I live a celibate life.

It is about love and you do not need sex to love someone.

As it was stated on your blog the other day very few gay people have 121 they have open relationships.

Love is His word Love is His way.

I see we have the Father Littleton stalker on straight away everyday.


Actually Jim, the C of E may be welcoming to the divorced – indeed how could it not be given its origins? – but gay people continue to feel stigmatized and disrespected. It is little different from the RCC in that respect: you may find a friendly parish but don’t expect much in terms of public policy. One reason I have no respect for female bishops is that, far from enabling a reformed and inclusive Church, their concentration has been on their own rights. Take any one of them when she is questioned about gay rights and see how she evades giving an answer.
The truth is that most people don’t give a monkey’s what a bishop – whether male or female, RC or Anglican – thinks, and that is wholly a good thing!


Does Pope Francis has any plan how to clean the name of the other Pope, or we are ending up three Popes…
In the way he is cleaning the names of priests, Bishops and Cardinals…


A blessing is a sign of approval, or at the very least, tolerance of something that the Church teaches to be intrinsically disordered, and also a grave sin if given genital expression.

It would be Alice in Wonderland territory to bless that which you strongly disapprove.

It’s not confined to the gays. The Church does not bless irregular straight unions eg the divorced remarrieds, people living in sin, bigamists or polygamists.

I know that gays play the victim card, sometimes just, but it’s not right to do it on this.

Finally, looking at his photo, I suggest that the priest declare an interest: he is clearly of the antique disposition.


He is and he married his partner openly and publicly recently.

As far as I know he never had sex on an altar.

We will leave that to the real PPs and to the good Catholics.


I have been blessing so called “irregular unions” for 36 years now.
“God is love. Where there is love,, there is God”.


So he looks gay or as you say, of the antique disposition.How do you fighter that one it? What a stupid remark.

Jesus, is it any wonder the world is in the state it’s in.


Gay people are as much entitled as others to be in love and have their love formally and publically accepted and celebrated.


@11:50 so what if it turns out to be true. That is not the point. Do you judge everyone’s sexuality on how they look?

The remark is, simply, homophobic. He/she looks a particular way so they must be gay.


Very sorry to hear that the young man Aaron in the photograph took his own life. It would be good if all of us on this online community could lay off sniping for a moment and pray for the repose of his soul, and for his family and friends. RIP Aaron. There is a rather lovely line, if I remember correctly, from the prayers for the dying: “May the angels lead you into Paradise, where with Lazarus, once a poor man, may you have eternal rest. Amen”


It wouldn’t be a United Kingdom if we weren’t all united!
I pray every day for the Republic to see sense and rejoin the union. We’re better together!


I largely agree with at 8:58am and Pat’s response at 10:01. In democratic countries at least we no longer have to bow and scrape, doff our caps, touch our forelocks, mind our Ps and Qs and be bossed around in our work and social lives, so why on earth should we remain beholden to the last organization on earth claiming divine right to legislate for our lives?

Walk away if you wish, or, if, as with a lot of us oldies, the RCC has been so much part of your life and formation for better or worse, then for Heaven’s sake, stand up for yourself and make your own decisions in good conscience. Whatever Father is squeaking away about from the lectern, it is absolutely certain that the majority of the congregation – even in so-called bastions of tradition – have long made up their own minds on the usual issues and will simply ignore him, along with the “timeless” and “infallible” teaching of the Church.

Actually the daily image of Father Littleton addressing an empty church is highly apt, don’t you think? Nobody is listening and nobody cares – except for those checking out his maniple.

And should anyone know of a priest who refuses communion to divorced, gay or co-habiting couples, please name him and his parish and bishop on this blog, so we can turn the spot-light on him and see what we find. Should be revealing! They don’t like it up’em!


I like that approach a lot since the more they plug their ridiculous sexual ethics the more I wonder what they are doing. There is of course the odd increasingly rare example of a priest who actually believes what the church teaches so of course they will live it and there won’t be any dirt to find.
It’s more amazing to me that anyone would listen to this crowd of dysfunctional weirdos about sex or any other subject!


May the Angel’s lead you into paradise and where Lazarus is poor no longer may you have eternal life.


Reflecting on the comments above – it is very plain that the clerics you are faced with cannot abide anything other than unconditional adulation.
I did comment the other day that these people are on a mission to shut you up (or shut you down) and they may appear at times to be peaceable but it’s all fake.


+Pat, I will light a candle and say a prayer for Aaron and his friends and family today.
I would just like to thank you for being a very caring and supportive Bishop and for helping me to realise their is newness and richness of life and faith at the end of the tunnel over the emotional and psychological abuse I was subjected to and the systematic cover up which I had so brutally received upon my attempting to raise the alarm and protect others.
— “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
God bless you +Pat.


I was one of those commentators the other day who said we should leave off Father Littleton. However, there is no doubt that he does set himself up for ridicule. In reply to the comment at 09:00am, there is unfortunately no video of him delivering his thoughts on homosexuality from the pulpit, which would be so hysterical as to go immediately viral.
However, walking straight into it as is his wont, you may find Father’s wise words in an apparent answer to a query on his own blog site. Try not to piss yourself!


Fans of Father Littleton will be disappointed, as there is a standard Mass from St Anselm’s today. Wot, no maniple? Possibly he has trolled over the river to The Oratory as it’s their big day. They used to have a procession attended by such worthies as the Abbot of Farnborough, but I daresay the usual scares have scuppered that particular fandango.


All this talk of Littleton has made me remember JP Lyttle. What’s happened to him ? All gone quiet there ? Maybe they should put Littletit and JPL together and let them come go an accommodation. I’m sure they would find something in common ?!


I imagine JPL is laying low, trying to find his real self, trying to imagine a future and if wise, reconsidering his relationship with sex and alcohol. Both sex and alcohol are wonderful things – but very destructive when they become addictions.


“….because Christ needed us to know Him and His teaching without error, we can be sure that when the official Church teaches definitively on Faith and Divine Law, which is Her field of competence, She knows about that which She speaks!” So says Littltwit. I love the capitals for Her and She when talking about the Church ! What an affectation. I am not sure there are many of us these days who do believe that the Church in Her Wisdom (!) necessarily and always is absolutely right in all things pertaining to faith and divine law. Do you ? When Littletwat grows us, he might have a more discriminating and nuanced understanding and view on these things. In the meantime, he continues to pontificate about pretty much everything. And continues to make a prat of himself.


It isn’t “invidia clericorum” on Pat’s part. Every one of us are victims of the Roman church’s contradictions of over 60 years but the rest of us have been pitched against (weaponised against) those mentioned by Pat, in an artificial war.

A vital point where I disagree with the largely implied but occasionally spelled out assumption of (perhaps Pat as well as) all the commenters so far is, no way should “communion” be thrown in.

We all need more blessing, during covid, and standing 6 ft apart. Surely an end must be called to sacramentolatry in God’s eyes.

Communion is as communion does – in any country. We should all be “denied communion” and it is not about us, it is about the basis of the ceremony (which Rev Littleton, among others, being “orthodox”, talks up, as fake protest against lockdown).

We all need Liturgy of the Word, Office, sermon and prayers – and we non-axe grinders are well able and trustworthy to do it 6 ft apart, ventilate well, sanitise door handles, etc. Arbitrary rule versus fashionable token whinges, are a false dichotomy.

Communion ceremony IS a weapon, altogether. Bear the burdens of (pray for) sincere authorities, but don’t carry the baggage of those various crooked ones who seem to be here and there.

(Pat’s ceremony is non-Roman; personally I am uncomfortable – on behalf of onlookers’ consciences – with any mistakable resemblance but that’s just me.)

A big risk is that people like the man with the horrible creepy eyes are just out to make political capital anyway.


My experience of Same Sex Weddings is that those present from the very oldest to the very youngest are overjoyed for the couple.

At a recent SSW one of the partner’s had two nun aunts in their latest 80s.

I was very pleasantly surprised when the two sisters volunteered to distribute Hoky Communion with me to the 300 present.

The “sheep” are away ahead of the “shepherds” on this one.


Bernard Haring wrote ” No Way Out” along time ago now….he applied a new way of thinking to the conceptualisation of what Catholics call ” Sacrament.” The critique he applied will as time passes be applied to all relationships , we humans are always lagging behind the inspiration that constantly comes knocking…………


I would like to expand the point: Haring essentially posits that if the marriage works there was/is “sacrament”, if it doesn’t there was/is not….his thinking not mine. I find it rather confined for where the human family is going. Basil Hume said that ; Love is love no matter who it happens between. If you put the two premises together and complete it as a syllogism, you would have a wonderful ethic for relationship.


If the Bible says that marriage is between one man and one woman and we decide to adjust this to apply to same-sex couples where do we draw the line? Is God’s law not an eternal law? If in the future polygamy became the norm, would we just go with that?


The Bible is the Word of God written down in the thoughts and words of men.

The biblical writers brought all their assumptions, prejudices etc as well as all their insights to what they wrote.

The Bible was created and constrained by the cultures in which it was written.

If God is God, he does not contain assumptions, prejudices and cultural baggage within himself.

The Bible must be read with knowledge and sensitivity to the writers cultural limitations.

My partner who was brought up speaking American English asks me to open a window with the words – “Crack the window”.

I dont pick up a hammer 😀


For starters, it’s advisable to check whether what you think the Bible is saying is what it actually is saying.
So, locate the passages one by one and i terpret each separately.


Further to 12.30, while it is hoped government will apply principle, we can’t guess whether the large Roman institution will amend its emphases: probably the best those of us who realise, can do is adjust our own degree of attachment (you don’t have to “communicate” in oder to attend a liturgy and sermon).


Polygamy is the norm if you take the sweep of history and society…at any juncture. Its just not what humans own up to…..Maybe thats why the notion of ” Sin” is so apt for the Zeitgeist.
The Trinity is quite a tangled web for our confined comprehension ? Freud, and he was not at all well-adjusted liked the idea of triangle as the basis of all relationships. Nothing good or bad..only thinking makes it so….Othello…..not mine !


I was wonderfully helped in grasping the notion of the Trinity in this verse I recently had sent to me

The Gods that are Three-in-One said
to the God that is One-in-Three
We must be parted for a time,
me from me from me;

but one of the One-in-Three said
to the Gods that are Three-in-One
What is to become of us
when all of this is done?

For a God that is man will know of things
that a God should never know
and will eat of the tree of knowledge
where the fruit of despair will grow.

Then the God that is the Father said
to the God that is the Son
You know I am with you always
for you and I are One

but the God that is man must somehow know
that the God that is God may not be,
so I must hide myself enough
to disbelieve in me;

and the God that was now a dying man
cried out all-knowingly
my God my God my God
why have I forsaken me?

© Godfrey Rust 2003


Great poem, Pat! Thought-provoking, stylish and ambiguous as all poems should be. Thank you!


Pat. It’s a little off topic from usual but I would like to hear your opinion on the recent suspension of Katie Hopkins from Twitter. I know you are firmly against censorship.


I had not watched it at all. I suppose social media cannot approve unacceptable things like racism?


+Aul Doll has welcomed the opening of churches in Northern Ireland on June 29. The +Aul Doll went on to say, “I expect that we will be beginning in a cautious way at first, and there will be a need for ongoing patience and careful monitoring of the situation”.

Bp Pat, will +Aul Doll’s announcement apply to the Oratory as well? I wonder.


The Oratory does not follow + Aul Doll’s instructions 😀

But our folk are eager to return when we can.


If they believe in the Tabernacle then they can come in for private prayer.
You just need to follow the Covid 19 and HSE regulations it is on the Gov web sites.


I don’t understand why liberal Catholics stay in the RCC. I can understand why conservatives do, because they think that it is the true Church and that the truth and aids to salvation are found there most fully, compared with other churches.

But what is in it for liberal Catholics? It’s not as if they believe in the one true church theory. Is it for ethnic reasons, habit, fear of the unknown, an unacknowledged sense of superiority over Protestants Staying to try to change from within is sometimes given as a reason, but I think that’s lacking in integrity and is treating the church like its a political party with a set of policies.

My mother-in-law, now in her 80s, goes to Mass every week but for the last 50 years she has read the Tablet and fulminated against Rome, the Curia, JPII, Benedict XVI (red rag to a bull) and she is disappointed in Francis. It all seems very intra. I often wonder would she have been happier becoming an Anglican – I think her theological desires will not be met in the RCC in her lifetime, but she could have been more contented in the CofE.


Surely the answer lies in your mother-in-law‘s engagement over the last 50 years? She was inspired by the Council and let down by what it failed to deliver.


She seems depressed by it all. I’m bewildered because I would not stay if I felt that way. She thinks the Anglicans are great and have valid sacraments etc but she stays in a church which seems to enrage, anger and frustrate her.


This blog is about RCC ism and not about International politics. My answer knocked you off your perch 😁


Sorry to hear about poor Aaron. I hope he is at peace now, it must sad and hopeless for his nearest and dearest. RIP.


In the Stormont Assembly other day they said that suicide is now the biggest single cause of death among 8-18 year olds. Imagine how awful and tragic a child suicide must be.

I am sure Pat, that like most if not all priests you have ministered a lot to the suicidal, and to the bereaved left behind. I think readers would like a blog from you about your experiences and how you cope with such difficult situations.


I suppose people might as well have sex before marriage, because there’s precious little of it after marriage.


I don’t know whether it is true or not but people are saying a cleric has been kidnapped in NW England. Has anybody else heard this rumour?
People are very tetchy and there is a bizarre atmosphere one has to say.


4.07: A very good idea but sharing and thoughts should be reflective, sensitive and kind. Probably all priests have officiated at the funerals of those who die by suicide which require a particular sensitivity and approach. Family wishes must always be respected. Since mid March from the beginning of the pandemic I have officiated at 3 funerals through suicide. Devastating and traumatic for families with the restrictions imposed for Churches. After visiting families recently with caution, I see huge grief but also I too have felt very challenged myself to the point of seeking counselling to help me cope with enormous emotions. Of all funerals to officiate at, death by suicide is most difficult. I lost 2 very good friends to suicide in past 4 years and still feel impacted by the memory of their deaths and in one friend’s case, I saw her body a few moments after she took her life. It haunts me still and I can only imagine what her family must still feel. I think every priest should attend courses or seminars on suicide bereavement. It is essential.


My sister took her life when she was 24. She had been unwell for a while and she’d been unsettled and restless since childhood. The doctors couldn’t do very much for her. She diagnosed with personality disorder, which they told her was untreatable.
We always sensed her life would end the way it did. There was always a far-away, dreamy aspect to her life punctuated by rage, self-harm and yearning. She considered herself old at 24.
My brother, who had to identify her body, was never the same again. Our parents died shortly afterwards, and my siblings and I look to blame her, which causes more guilt.
The clergy were kind, caring and helpful to her in life, and to us afterwards.
May she rest in peace and may it never be visited on any of you.


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