Don't go breaking Elton John's heart, Catholic Church.
On Monday, the gay rock star slammed the "hypocrisy" of the Vatican, which released a statement this week forbidding priests from blessing same-sex unions, as God “does not and cannot bless sin.”
"How can the Vatican refuse to bless gay marriages because they 'are sin', yet happily make a profit from investing millions in 'Rocketman' - a film which celebrates my finding happiness from my marriage to David?? #hypocrisy," John, who is married to David Furnish, wrote on Instagram.
John's Instagram post juxtaposed the recent Vatican headlines with coverage from 2019 about the Holy See's investment in his biopic.
Fact-checkers at Newsweek confirmed that, indeed, the Vatican did invest about $1.2 million in Rocketman. In 2019, the Catholic Church's governing body made a payment of $4.3 million toward the musical production, which was split with another blockbuster, Men in Black: International.
The investment is tied to Centurion Global Fund in Malta, the majority of which (two-thirds) is funded by the Vatican's Secretariat of State department. Additionally, a portion of the investment is from Peter's Pence, donations to the Vatican from individual members of the Catholic Church.
Despite profiting from the distribution of a gay film, the Vatican made pains to paint same-sex unions as sinful in its Monday announcement, which received the blessing of Pope Francis.
“It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (ie, outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex,” the announcement reads.
“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 announcement pleased conservatives and disappointed LGBTQ+ Catholic advocates, who had been pushing the Catholic Church toward more inclusivity. Francis has long sent mixed messages on the subject. He famously declared "Who am I to judge?" regarding gay priests, but recently said same-sex unions are not "even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”