Can same-sex couples get a church blessing in France?

With church blessings approved by the Church of England, can you get one in France also?

We look at how you can find out from your local church if you can get a same-sex blessing
Published Last updated

Published March 29 2023

Reader question: Following news that the Church of England has approved blessings for same-sex couples, what are the options in France?

The Church of England has voted to offer blessings to same-sex couples but stopped short of approving same-sex marriage.

The decision will “enable same-sex couples to come to church after a civil marriage or civil partnership to give thanks, dedicate their relationship to God and receive God’s blessing”, the C of E said.

Anglican churches do exist in France and the Diocese of Europe has confirmed that blessings will be possible in France.

French protestants are in general flexible on the issue. In 2015, delegates to the United Protestant Church of France (EPUdF) voted to allow pastors to bless same-sex marriages.

The Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace and Lorraine followed suit in 2019. In 2021, two female pastors had their civil marriage blessed in a EPUdF church in Montpellier.

Read more: ‘We wanted to show women pastors (and lesbian ones) exist in France'

As with the Church of England, pastors in France can choose to opt out and not offer this possibility.

Catholic priests do not have the option at all. In March 2021, the Vatican’s doctrinal office published a statement that “the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit”.

There have been movements in opposition to this in some countries, however, notably in Germany and in Belgium’s Flanders region.

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