The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement Monday claiming that the Catholic church cannot bless same-sex unions, mentioning that God can’t “bless sin.”

The decree, approved by Pope Francis, followed a question on the topic, in which the Vatican issued the two-page explanation in seven languages in response, according to the Associated Press. While the Vatican says it is welcoming of gay people and that they should be treated with respect, it claims gay sex is “intrinsically disordered” and that same-sex unions are not to be blessed, insisting that God’s plan is for the sake of creating life.

“The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan,” the response said.

The document read that God “cannot bless sin: He blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him.”

This follows a previous 2019 interview with Pope Francis, in which he said gay couples should have legal protections in unions. The interview was released in a later documentary. He then said that “homosexual people have the right to be in a family” and that “they are children of God,” but was not referring to the church, according to the AP. 

The same office also issued a similar statement in 2003, claiming that the church being accepting of gay people “cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions.”