CATHOLIC LGBT HISTORY:  Parish Blessings for Lesbian and Gay Couples 

The recent news that at least two German bishops have called for looking into the possibility of church blessings for legally married lesbian and gay couples holds great promise that a dream long held by many may actually become reality.  The quest for such blessings has been going on for a long time, and I was combing the New Ways Ministry archives, I learned about a case where a Catholic parish in California had actually been doing such blessings, until a small group of conservative parishioners protested to the local bishop.

On January 15, 1999, the Gay and Lesbian News Page of, carried a story entitled “Petition Sets Parishioners Against Priest’s ‘Friendship Blessings.’ ”  The story explained:

“A Catholic priest’s ‘friendship blessings ‘ are not the perfect blend-ship in the eyes of some parishioners, who are asking the diocese for his removal.

“A Pleasanton, California parish priest who has authorized the blessing of three lesbian and gay couples and who says he will continue to do so is under investigation by the Diocese of Oakland following athe filing of a complaint against him by 15-20 church members.  The Rev. Dan Danielson of St. Augustine’s parish has not officiated at any of the ceremonies himself, but the petition calling for his removal charges him with ‘the performance of homosexual weddings.’ “

More:  New Ways Ministry

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