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Controversial act Coming out to bless same-sex couples

A Swiss priest was dismissed last year for blessing a lesbian couple. Other priests have since begun to speak up. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

Priests are increasingly torn over whether to strictly follow church laws or to give blessings to same sex couples. Many feel that all believers require the blessing of the church.

Georg Schmucki has given his blessing to several homosexual couples, first in secret, but eventually began conducting the blessing within the church. He was reported to the-then bishop of St Gallen for his actions, who reprimanded him for his disobedience. So far there have been no further consequences. 

St Gallen bishop Markus Büchel claims that civil weddings aren’t a problem, but he opposes church blessings of same sex couples. He said it goes against the church’s understanding of marriage as a sacramental union between a man and a woman.

Lesbian couple Brigitte Rösli and Manuela Uhlmann received a blessing not long ago. They are strict church believers, so taking wedding vows in church was important to them. During their ceremony the church was packed. But some also stayed away, calling it blasphemy.