Catholic Church: Priests shouldn’t perform weddings on cruise ships

The Catholic News Service is reporting the Catholic Church plans to issue new guidelines for priests serving on cruise ships that, among other things, forbid them from performing weddings while at sea.

The news service says regional directors of the Church’s Apostleship of the Sea program meeting at the Vatican on Feb. 9 ratified the new guidelines, which authorize priests to offer blessings for newlyweds or couples celebrating wedding anniversaries on ships but not to marry them outright.

The document also says priests serving as chaplains on cruise ships can and should offer daily and Sunday Masses, as well as ecumenical prayer services when required, the news service says, and it encourages priests to make themselves available not just to passengers but to cruise ship crew members.

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