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Bishop Joseph’s Statement on Vatican's Document Addressing Pastoral Blessings

December 20, 2023


Bishop Joseph’s Statement on Blessings for Same-Sex Couples


Recently the Holy See issued the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans, approved by Pope Francis.

“The Church’s teaching on marriage has not changed, and this declaration affirms that, while also making an effort to accompany people through the imparting of pastoral blessings because each of us needs God’s healing love and mercy in our lives,” the statement read.


We thank the Holy Father for his love and care of all the people in the flock. We caution and make clear that the Holy Father has not endorsed gay marriage, but has recognized all Catholics, including those whose unions are not recognized by the Church, as equally in need of God’s grace and love. The Declaration clearly affirms the traditional doctrine of the Church about marriage between a man and a woman, not allowing any type of liturgical rite or blessing similar to a liturgical rite that could create confusion about the Sacrament of Matrimony.


Priests imparting these blessings need to be careful that it should not become a liturgical or semi-liturgical act, similar to a sacrament. The text stresses that Catholics should “neither provide for nor promote a ritual for the blessings of couples in an irregular situation,” but at the same time, “not prevent or prohibit” the Church from responding to people seeking God’s help through “a simple blessing.”


The document, therefore, offers a type of blessing that can be conferred on anyone to invoke God’s help and mercy in their lives. It is the Church reaching out a hand of affection to all Catholics in the hope that these simple gestures provide an effective means of increasing trust in God on the part of the people who seek to be guided by a greater understanding of God’s plan for love and truth."

Bishop Joseph's Statement on Vatican's Document Addressing Pastoral Blessings_Dec 2023
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Statement of CCCB on Vatican's Document Addressing Pastoral Blessings

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

With respect to the Declaration “Fiducia supplicans” issued by the Holy See’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the CCCB offered the following statement from Bishop William McGrattan, president of the CCCB.

“On 18 December 2023 the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith released the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans, which responds to questions that had been raised regarding the possibility of offering blessings to persons living in irregular unions, including same-sex relationships. While explicitly affirming the Church’s traditional understanding of marriage, Fiducia Supplicans allows pastors to bless people who freely request a blessing, seeking divine help to live in fidelity to God’s will.  The Declaration makes clear that such blessings must be directed to the persons themselves rather than their situation and that they must be spontaneously requested and are not ritual or liturgical actions.

The guiding principle in the Declaration is the fact that the very request for a blessing represents an openness to God’s mercy and can be an occasion for greater trust in God.”

Statement of CCCB on Vatican’s Document Addressing Pastoral Blessings.v1
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