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Vatican officially OKs Catholic blessings for gay couples


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Communiqué of the Ukrainian Bishops' Conference on the Declaration of the Dicastery of the Faith "FIDUCIA SUPPLICANS" on the Pastoral Significance of Blessings.

The document of the Vatican's Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith examines the different types of blessings that can be given by clergy outside the liturgy. The document also emphasizes that only those who want to live a life pleasing to God and ask for a blessing can be blessed liturgically. Instead, it expands the understanding of extra-liturgical blessing, which is usually given to all people, by introducing the possibility of "blessing same-sex couples." It is this possibility that has caused a storm of reactions and misunderstandings about the moral and doctrinal issues in the Catholic Church regarding this kind of blessing.

And this is because the concept of "blessing" is perceived by many as "permission", especially as "permission to sin". While the entire document makes it clear that there is no "permission" or "blessing" for homosexual cohabitation or any life of sin, nor any change in the Church's traditional teaching on marriage, the notion of blessing same-sex couples, or sacramentally unregulated couples, can be perceived as legalizing these relationships.

The document seeks to emphasize the boundless love of God for all people, sinners included, and in this regard to show that the Church does not reject these people, namely, persons with homosexual tendencies or even actions. However, it seems that the text does not clearly distinguish between a person and his or her situation, mercifully accepting this person and expressing disagreement with his or her sin.

At the same time, the document focuses mainly on two categories of people: those living in sacramentally unregulated relationships (men and women) and same-sex couples. Thus, the document treats the situation of sacramentally unregulated male-female couples and same-sex couples equally. Both situations are in a state of grave sin, but they should be treated separately.

We see the danger in ambiguous wording that causes divergent interpretations among the faithful. What we missed in the document is that the Gospel calls sinners to conversion, and without a call to leave the sinful life of homosexual couples, the blessing may look like an approval. However, we emphasize that the document repeatedly emphasizes that the blessing of same-sex couples is in no way a legalization of such cohabitation, and the teaching of the Catholic Church on the Sacrament of Matrimony, which is the union of a man and a woman, remains unchanged.  

Conference of Roman Catholic Bishops of Ukraine

English Source: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2023/12/ukraine-bishops-conference-chooses.html?m=1#more

Original Source: https://rkc.org.ua/blog/2023/12/19/yepyskopat-ukrayiny-nemaye-blagoslovennya-na-zhyttya-u-grisi/

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Müller: Blessings for gay couples are blasphemous

Quote from his letter

"The difficulty of blessing a union or couple is especially evident in the case of homosexuality. For in the Bible, a blessing has to do with the order that God has created and that he has declared to be good. This order is based on the sexual difference of male and female, called to be one flesh. Blessing a reality that is contrary to creation is not only impossible, it is blasphemy. Once again, it is not a question of blessing persons who “live in a union that cannot be compared in any way to marriage” (FS, n. 30), but of blessing the very union that cannot be compared to marriage. It is precisely for this purpose that a new kind of blessing is created (FS 7, 12)."



Source: https://newdailycompass.com/en/mueller-blessings-for-gay-couples-are-blasphemous

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20 hours ago, dUSt said:

You implied Luigi would go to hell if he just tried to be obedient and give money to the church. Where does Scripture or Tradition say someone would go to hell for this?

My comment was in the context of the overall conversation.  The implication of the original statement was basically, "even if my priest supports blessing homosexual couples in their sin ("problematic to say the least" - which is correct), I'm not going to speak up, nor will I withhold my money".   I implied that a person who "keeps their mouth shut" and their "wallets open", in a time when it's imperative to take a stand, will ultimately go to hell.  

That is not being obedient, it is the opposite of obedience; it is, in fact, complicity with the sin in question. 

But you're looking for a Bible verse.  Here's one: 1 Corinthians 6, 9-10.  Follow that up with Ezekiel 3:18-19, and Isaiah 58:1.  You can also look to CCC 1869 and the surrounding, the Summa Theologica treats with this, multiple encyclicals, etc...  We are NOT to be silent about ongoing, public, widespread sin, and especially not to bless those sins.

20 hours ago, KnightofChrist said:

Luigi may have had a pinch of sarcasm when he said it

I assumed as much, as well.  I don't think @Luigi is going to hell.  Quite the opposite - he made some really good points in his initial post on this thread.  I agreed with 90% of his post.  At the very least, as he said, this is problematic, for a number of different reasons, not the least of which is the fact that people (including some bishops and priests) are taking this as explicit permission to approve same-sex relationships.

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Random thoughts: 

1. The average lay person can't understand Vatican documents prima facie. Several people, on this board and in other media, have said, "Don't overreact. Read the original document." There's wisdom in that, of course. And let me tell you that I have excellent reading (English) credentials: BA in linguistics; 99th percentile on the English section of the Graduate Record Exam; master's in English (teaching of writing); grad certificate in teaching of writing; grad certificate in teaching of English as a second language; certified & licensed professional interpreter; decades of teaching experience in language-related topics.

But all of my excellent English reading skills are not still not enough for me to understand this Vatican document - or any Vatican document - correctly. These are specialized documents; the target audience is primarily clergy (rather than laity); the primary purpose is pastoral (rather than educational); the terminology (properly called 'jargon' when related to a specialized topic) has specialized meanings - usually very narrow and specific - that are related to philosophy, theology, and centuries of other Church documents, and I have no training those related topics. 

So, yes, I did read the original document. Next, I'm going to read the federal tax code (or some Supreme Court opinions, or the engineering standards for earthquake-proofing existing buildings) - and I'll come away from that with a just-as-muddy understanding, even though I can define all the words on the page. Which is why I say... 

2. Thanks to everyone who has posted analyses-explanations-interpretations of Fiducia supplicans. Each one has provided valuable background, insights, clarifications, etc. (I do feel like I'm taking a three-credit-hour graduate class in Fiducia supplicans - who knew you could spend this much time try to figure out eight pages of your native language?!)

3. God loves us even in our sin, but also calls us all to holiness. A number of commenters have mentioned that the intent of the document is to stress God's unbounded love for all people, including those in irregular and/or same-sex relationships. And I believe that absolutely. Being a sinner of the old school myself, I know that God loves us while we are yet sinning. So the concept of God's infinite love for each person is an essential foundational concept for any discussion of this topic. 

But it's only a foundational concept, and it's not the only concept that applies. A paraphrase of "God loves all people" would be "God wants what is best for all people." And according to the revealed Word of God, "what is best" for people is celibacy for single people and traditional marriage for the rest. 

In other words, God does indeed love us completely, even while we are yet sinning, but doesn't want us to stay stuck in our sin. "You shall be holy, for I am holy" (Lv 11:45) and "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). 

It seems to me that blessing an irregular relationship recognizes God's infinite love for the couple, even while yet sinning, but doesn't recognize the individual call to holiness that follows from it. And it seems to me that the Church (through its bishops, priests, and deacons if not its lay people) has a responsibility to proclaim that call to holiness. 

4. Don't we bless things so that they'll lead us to God? My workaday definition of "to bless something" is "to dedicate it to God's use; to use it for God's purposes." Here we get into the lay person's generic understanding of 'blessing' compared to the theologian's understanding of the technical meaning of the word. And what's the difference between my version of 'blessing' and synonyms such as 'consecrate'? Let's set that aside for the moment. As a practical example, when a young married couple buys a house and asks Father to bless the house, with the whole family present, they're saying to each other, to their children, to their neighbors, and to the Church, "We dedicate this house to God and God's purposes; everything we do in this house will be done with God in mind." 

I realize that God can bring good out of bad situations, even out of evil - I've experienced that myself. But it seems to me to be ... what? .,.. presumptuous? ... to say to God, "Use this bad/immoral situation to lead these people closer to you." Would any of us ask God, through a blessing by a cleric, to "Bless my alcohol addiction; use it to lead me closer to you," "Bless my pornography habit; I dedicate it to your purposes," "Bless my physical abuse of my children; I do it always with You in mind"? It seems like a contradiction in terms (or purposes?) to dedicate something of which God disapproves to God's use and purposes.

5. The inspiration of the Holy Spirit led to Pope Francis' election. Francis is the pope. He was elected by the duly constituted College of Cardinals, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So I'm just sitting here trying to figure out how to synthesize Fiducia supplicans with what I already know of Catholicism. At the moment, to quote Mark Twain, "It's too many for me." 

6. What are the effects of Fiducia supplicans on me personally? Nothing.
- I can't cancel Fiducia supplicans; I can't withdraw it; I can have no effect on it whatsoever. And I accept that. - I'm not in a same-sex relationship. Therefore, I'm not going to ask a priest to bless my same-sex relationship.
- Will I attend the blessing of a same-sex union (or a celebration afterward) if invited? No. 
- I will continue praying for the conversion of sinners. 

That is all.


(For now)

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Now we see why Pope Francis removed all Africans from any leadership roles in the Roman Curia.

Africa may well help save the Church, they don't play stupid or play word games like many in Western nations are doing.


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12 hours ago, Anomaly said:

I don’t intend to hijack this thread, but comparing the harm as not having it part of society as a recreational pursuit, or accepting it as inevitable and not worth the pain of trying to exclude it’s use?

Which is most corrosive to society?

That is also the question on the blessings.    Will the hoped for benefits out weigh the potential abuse?



@tinytherese  interesting opinion from Fr Longenecker     Thanks


Catholics don't think of anything that's culturally based as "inevitable." Aztecs thought of human sacrifice as inevitable, Chinese thought of foot-binding as inevitable, and so forth. But Catholics base their understanding of human beings on God, and God's Word-teaching-law, and our relationship to God; that's the only stuff we consider to be inevitable. And we consider that all the other 'evitable' stuff should be dropped in favor of conformity to the truly inevitable. 

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Here is a letter from Bishop Erik Varden, OCSO, of Trondheim, Norway to the priests of his diocese. He titles the letter "On Fiducia Supplicans." A priest whose opinion I trust calls it "A sane, balanced, calm, measured, spiritually sound reaction by the inimitable Bishop Erik Varden." I found it readily comprehensible. But it still illustrates my earlier point that the average lay person can't come to a proper understanding of any Vatican document prima facie - note all of the references the bishop includes in his letter, from a whole slew of diverse sources, none of which would have occurred to me when I read the original document.   https://coramfratribus.com/archive/on-fiducia-supplicans/


Edited by Luigi
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Wow, please pray for the Church in predominantly Islamic nations. I had not thought of the dangers Catholics there will face because of FS.



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On 12/21/2023 at 2:40 PM, Luigi said:


1. The average lay person can't understand Vatican documents prima facie.


You hit the nail right on the head.  Although the intended audience may be clergy, what about the "Joey Bagadonuts" in the pews who will have to field comments and questions from both sides - the aggressive anti-Catholic proselytizers as well as those who think the Church is changing the teaching?  Also, what about people who have family members in same-sex "situations" - I have a cousin's daughter in such a "situation" and I'd be surprised if this isn't a topic of conversation at the annual Christmas ZOOM call later today.  I've read through it as well (through all the "filler" and "theobabble") and took notes in the hopes I can show paragraphs that actually reaffirm the Church's teaching.


On 12/21/2023 at 2:40 PM, Luigi said:

Next, I'm going to read the federal tax code (or some Supreme Court opinions, or the engineering standards for earthquake-proofing existing buildings) - and I'll come away from that with a just-as-muddy understanding, even though I can define all the words on the page. Which is why I say... 


I was joking with the priest after Mass Saturday that if he wanted to be mean when assigning a penance, he should assign the document to read (even worse would be a USCCB document).

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