Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishops Rejects Francis’ Same-Sex Couple Blessings

COMMUNIQUÉ regarding the reception by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
of the declaration of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith “Fiducia Supplicans” on the pastoral significance of blessings

Kyiv

On December 22, 2023

In response to numerous appeals from bishops, clergy, monastics, church movements, and individual laity of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church regarding the Declaration of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith “Fiducia Supplicans” (December 18, 2023) on the pastoral meaning of blessings, after consulting with relevant experts and competent institutions, I would like to inform you of the following:

1. The above-mentioned Declaration interprets the pastoral meaning of blessings in the Latin Church, not in the Eastern Catholic Churches. It does not address questions of Catholic faith or morality, does not refer to any prescriptions of the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches, and does not mention Eastern Christians. Thus, on the basis of can. 1492 of the CCCC, this Declaration applies exclusively to the Latin Church and has no legal force for the faithful of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

2. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is one of the Eastern Catholic Churches, therefore it has its own liturgical, theological, canonical and spiritual heritage, which all the faithful are obliged to observe and cherish (CCCC, can. 39-41). The meaning of “blessing” in the UGCC and the Latin Church is different.

3. According to the liturgical practice of our Church, the blessing of a priest or bishop is a liturgical gesture that cannot be separated from the rest of the content of the liturgical rites and reduced to the circumstances and needs of private piety (Catechism of the UGCC “Christ is our Pascha,” paras. 505-509).

4. According to the traditions of the Byzantine rite, the concept of “blessing” means approval, permission, or even an order for a certain type of action, prayer and ascetic practices, including certain types of fasting and prayer. Obviously, the blessing of a priest always has an evangelizing and catechetical dimension, and therefore can in no way contradict the teaching of the Catholic Church about the family as a faithful, indissoluble, and fruitful union of love between a man and a woman, which Our Lord Jesus Christ elevated to the dignity of the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony. Pastoral discernment urges us to avoid ambiguous gestures, expressions, and concepts that would distort or misrepresent God’s word and the teaching of the Church.

The blessing of the Lord be upon you!

+ SVIATOSLAV

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