As a strong and steady backlash to the Vatican’s declaration on blessings for same-sex couples continues to flow in from Catholic Bishops around the world, Bishop Athanasius Schneider is referring to the document as “a mockery of the natural and revealed law of God.”
In his first print interview since the December 18 release of Fiducia supplicans by the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the auxiliary bishop of Astana, Kazakhstan contends the declaration “clearly, albeit cunningly, undermines the natural and revealed law of God regarding marriage and the meaning and exercise of human sexuality” and therefore “cannot be the expression of the Church’s authentic Magisterium and forfeits any binding authority.”
His Excellency also argues that the notion that “nothing has changed” with the new declaration, or that it only permits the blessing of individuals in irregular situations, and not the blessing of the irregular (or sinful) situation itself, is “pure sophistry, a lack of intellectual honesty, or ignorance.”
In this exclusive interview, Bishop Schneider discusses how diocesan bishops ought best to respond, what priests can do if asked for a “blessing” from a same-sex couple, and how parents can face difficulties involving their son or daughter with supernatural faith.
He also discusses how the College of Cardinals should respond, what effect the release of Fiducia supplicans might have on the next conclave, and the declaration’s curious assertion that “no further responses should be expected about possible ways to regulate details or practicalities regarding blessings of this type.”
“As anyone paying attention to the situation can see, the debate has only begun,” Bishop Schneider contends. “But perhaps creating a state of permanent debate, generalized uncertainty, and doctrinal and practical anarchy, was precisely its aim.”
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