Preliminary reflection

How do we deal with people who live in so-called “irregular” situations or, to be more precise, in relationships that the Church has always considered sinful?

With love and wisdom, we must try to help them to order their lives according to God’s commandments and, with the help of God’s grace, to overcome everything that stands in the way of union with Him.

Such efforts correspond to the truth of doctrine and, therefore, to true love. Jesus Himself acted in this way when, on the one hand, He did not punish the adulterous woman and, on the other hand, admonished her not to sin again (Jn 8:1-11).

It is important to accompany those affected on this path of conversion and to offer them all the help they need: dialogue, prayer and patience to support them in this process again and again. The primary motivation for encouraging people to abandon the ways of sin is the salvation of their souls.

If they are not (yet) ready to recognize their situation in the light of God and to put it in order, it remains for us to pray intensely and to offer sacrifices for them in secret, asking the Lord to touch them in such a way that they respond to the invitation of His love and put their lives in order before Him.

The innovation of “Fiducia supplicans”

The document “Fiducia supplicans”, published by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 18, 2023, makes a different proposal that contradicts the path indicated by Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. This document allows and even encourages priests to bless couples living in such sinful relationships. In this way, the urgent call to conversion is not heard, but a grave deception is being spread.

In spite of all the formulations of “Fiducia Supplicans” that pretend to present this “new pastoral way” as if it were in harmony with the previous way of the Church, we must hold fast to the truth forcefully expressed by Cardinal Müller, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: a Catholic priest can never bless a sinful relationship, because this would signify God’s approval of that union. Therefore, Cardinal Müller concludes, such a blessing would even be blasphemy.[1]

These blessings are therefore contrary to love and mercy. With such a sign, instead of strengthening people’s disposition to conversion, they are deceived. This applies both to those affected and to all those who see this sign. The former are bound to their sin, and the others are led to believe that God, in His loving mercy, approves of such a relationship.

How can it be that what has always been unthinkable in the Church, namely the blessing of a sinful relationship, is now suddenly considered feasible? In order to justify this change and to give the impression that everything remains within the limits of right doctrine, the document “Fiducia Supplicans” begins by emphasizing the uniqueness of the marriage covenant, which must be distinguished from any other type of union.

But then the innovation is introduced: while a liturgical blessing cannot be given to a couple living in an “irregular situation”, a pastoral and spontaneous blessing can be administered. In this way, for pastoral reasons, the objective doctrine and the practice derived from it are disregarded. Thus, what the Church’s doctrine considers impossible is made possible by modifying the concept of blessing, giving it a broader meaning and presenting it as a doctrinal development.

Resistance in the Church

Thank God, this statement aroused considerable resistance within the Catholic Church, especially in Africa. Faced with the unanimous statement of a large part of the episcopate of that continent, the Vatican accepted that this declaration should not be put into practice there, due to cultural issues[2]. However, the demands of the document still apply to the universal Church.

Among the reactions of the bishops who have spoken out, the clear and unequivocal words of the bishops of Kazakhstan stand out, which I would like to quote below:

“The fact that the document does not give permission for the ‘marriage’ of same-sex couples should not blind pastors and faithful to the great deception and the evil that resides in the very permission to bless couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples. Such a blessing directly and seriously contradicts Divine Revelation and the uninterrupted, bimillennial doctrine and practice of the Catholic Church. To bless couples in an irregular situation and same-sex couples is a serious abuse of the most Holy Name of God, since this name is invoked upon an objectively sinful union of adultery or of homosexual activity”. [3]

Cardinal Müller, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has written a detailed explanation from a theological point of view[4]. From this it is clear that “Fiducia Supplicans” is a serious misrepresentation.

In the context of my writings on the “Five Wounds of the Church”, I have chosen to refer to this new document as the “Flagellation of the Body of Christ”. In Catholic tradition, the scourging that Our Lord suffered at the hands of Pilate’s soldiers (Mt 27:26) is usually associated with sins against the sixth commandment. And that is what this reprehensible document is all about! It is meant to bless sin, and in doing so it inflicts great pain on the Body of Christ. As with the five wounds we considered above, it is obvious that it is not the Spirit of the Lord at work here, but a spirit of deception.

[1] Cardinal Müller’s note on the document Fiducia Supplicans: “Blessing a reality that is contrary to creation is not only impossible, it is blasphemy.”




Download PDF