Glennon Doyle is sharing a message of acceptance after the Vatican said the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex marriages last week.
On Monday, the author posted a gorgeous photo on Instagram, showing her and her wife soccer player Abby Wambach kissing at a chapel in Vatican City. In the caption, Doyle opened up about visiting the religious center, which she said made her feel uneasy at first.
"A few years ago, Abby and I visited the Vatican. It was strange, all the gold and gilt and emphasis on worldly power and riches," Doyle, 45, wrote. "I had a hard time finding Jesus in all of that. I felt kind of queasy there, actually."
She continued, "We made it to the front of a massive chapel and a large crowd. We decided to kiss there, as our joyful loving resistance. At that moment, Chase took this picture of us. As we kissed and our boy snapped the shot, a ray of light sliced through the ceiling toward us. We felt the heat from the light warm our lips. We actually felt it. We heard Chase say: Whoa."
Doyle said her experience at the Vatican was a reminder that "God doesn't care about the walls we build to keep others out."
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On March 15, the Vatican released a statement saying that the Catholic Church will not bless same-sex unions because God "does not and cannot bless sin."
While the Vatican said that the community should welcome gay people with "respect and sensitivity," their unions would not receive the same embrace, as under Catholic teachings, marriages as per "God's plan" should be between a man and a woman to create new life.
"For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage, as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex," the statement said.
However, Doyle said she doesn't think same-sex unions need to be blessed by the church in order for God to "bless" them.
"She doesn't consult the self-appointed gate keepers who profess to speak for Her. Her light reaches us everywhere. She blesses Love everywhere."
The caption continued, "You do not need a Pope to tell you whether your love is blessed. Look inside. Do you feel love for your beloved? That love within — that IS God's blessing. That internal tenderness for your beloved is your proof you've already been blessed. Her light has already found you."
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She concluded: "As for the gatekeepers issuing declarations and decrees about right and wrong and what God and love are and are not? Ha. Heal Thyself, Church. We're good."
Doyle married Wambach, 40, in May 2017. Wambach is now a "bonus mom" to Doyle's three children — Chase, 18, Tish, 15 and Amma, 13 — whom Doyle shares with her ex-husband Craig Melton.
Last year, Wambach told PEOPLE, "the kids and Glennon have taught me everything."
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Being a parent, or "bonus mom" to the kids, "has changed my perspective," says Wambach. "I didn't know how to be one. I had the instinct but I grew up in a very different family than the one that Glennon and I are creating."
Ultimately, "Craig gave me the biggest gift in allowing me into the family dynamic," says Wambach. "He gave the kids permission to love me."
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