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Pope defends same-*** blessings declaration, says it is misunderstood

Pope Francis on Sunday defended a landmark decision approving blessings for same-*** couples, suggesting that those in the Catholic Church who have resisted it have jumped to "ugly conclusions" because they do not understand it.

In a television interview, Francis made his first public comments since the Dec. 18 declaration sparked widespread debate in the Church, with bishops in some countries, particularly in Africa, refusing to let their priests implement it.

"Sometimes decisions are not accepted, but in most cases when decisions are not accepted, it is because they are not understood," Francis said in response to a specific question about the December declaration.

"The danger is that if I don't like something and I put it (the opposition) in my heart, I become a resistance and jump to ugly conclusions," he said during a link from his Vatican residence with the "Che Tempo Che Fa" program on Italy's Channel 9.

"This is what happened with these latest decisions on blessings for all," he said, referring to the declaration known by its Latin title Fiducia Supplicans (Supplicating Trust). It was issued by the Vatican's doctrinal department and approved by him.

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