LGBTQ Catholics in the United States say they weren’t surprised by the Vatican’s pronouncement that same-sex unions are a sin and can’t be blessed by the church. But Monday’s announcement stung nonetheless. One veteran Catholic activist says her organization’s membership includes same-sex couples who have been together for decades, persevering in the face of bias and family rejection, and the church’s refusal to bless their unions is tragic. Another activist says some priests are already are blessing same-sex couples. He said that if those priests they now stop, lay Catholics might find a way to step in and perform rituals recognizing and accepting those couples.

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