The historic opening of Pope Francisco The blessing of same-sex couples or couples in an “irregular” situation for the Catholic Church has been welcomed by many episcopal conferences around the world, but The most conservative wing describes it as “blasphemy” and other bishops, such as the African ones, show their rejection.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published this week the statement titled ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ to bring order to the controversial issue of blessing ‘irregular’ couples, including those of the same sex.
The prefect of the former Holy Office, the Argentine cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandezargued in the text that in light of the teaching and position of Pope Francis, “one can understand the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or altering in any way the perennial teaching of the Church on marriage”.
An earthquake that has shaken the most conservative wing of the Catholic Church or the most traditionalist, such as that of the African continent, where in many countries it is still a crime to be homosexual.
Cardinal Müller: “It is blasphemy”
The last to show his total displeasure was the cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müllerwho was prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, and observed that the blessing of homosexual couples “it’s blasphemy”, in an interview published today in the Italian newspaper The Republic.
“I say this not on the basis of my official or personal authority but on the authority of divine revelation. In the Holy Scriptures, the apostle Paul affirms that immoral behavior, including sexual relations between people of the same sex, is objectively the expression of worship of the creature and not the Creator,” explains the cardinal.
And he adds: “If sexual relations outside of marriage contradict the will of God, then they cannot be blessed, that is, declared good according to the will of the Creator.”
The satisfaction of some bishops, the rejection of the episcopal conferences of Africa
The possibility of imparting a “simple blessing” to homosexual couples has been welcomed great satisfaction by the German bishops, who described it as a “Christmas gift” and also by the Swiss, French, English, Belgian, South African, Canadian and Mexican, among others, while the Spanish bishops have not expressed themselves for the moment.
For example, in a statement from the Episcopal Conference of Mexico it clarifies that ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ takes into account the rich pastoral tradition of the Church, of “imparting informal blessings, not liturgically ritualized” and that thus “the Church grants it as a gesture of closeness and accompaniment to help them mature and grow in fidelity to the message of the Gospel.”
However, the bishops of Zambiaan African country where homosexuality is prohibited by law, have published a note in which they affirm that the Vatican’s decision should not “be applied” and “should be the subject of further reflection,” as has the episcopal conference of Malawi, which has directly prohibited blessings for same-sex couples.
While Kenyan bishops wrote that the Vatican’s decision is generating “anxiety and confusion” among the faithful and the president of the Episcopal Conference of GhanaMatthew Kwasi Gyamfi stated: “What people don’t understand is that if a gay couple goes to the priest to be blessed and the Pope approves, what you are blessing is only the people and not the union.”.
The Catholic bishops of Ukraine, for their part, wrote that “without a call to abandon the sinful life of homosexual couples, the blessing may seem like an approval” and Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan, always among the leaders of the traditionalist opposition to Francis has prohibited his priests from imparting this blessing, which can only be imparted to a “sincerely repentant sinner with the firm intention of not sinning again and of putting an end to his own public sinful situation,” he reported. The Republic.