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Ukrainian Catholic Church Rejects Vatican Document on Same-Sex Marriages

The leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, declared on Saturday that a Vatican document endorsed by Pope Francis, which allows blessings for same-sex couples, does not apply to his church or its doctrines. He specified that the Vatican's guidance referred only to the practices of the Roman Catholic or Latin Church, therefore it holds no legal weight for the members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Archbishop Shevchuk emphasized that blessings should align with the church's teachings, and must uphold the Catholic definition of family as a permanent, faithful, and fruitful union between a man and a woman.

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which follows traditions akin to the Orthodox Church but maintains unity with the Vatican since a 16th century agreement, was suppressed during Soviet times. It has now resurfaced with approximately 4.5 million followers, representing about 10% of Ukraine's population.

The Vatican's directive, issued by its doctrinal office, proposes that while same-sex couples can receive blessings, these should not be mistaken for the church-sanctioned heterosexual marriage and should not be conducted as a part of official church rituals.

As for broader LGBTQ+ rights, Ukraine is seeing a gradual advancement, diverging from Russia's stance. The country's President, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has shown support for LGBTQ+ rights, but has ruled out constitutional amendments for same-sex marriage during ongoing conflict.

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