Two Commentaries by Two Prominent Priests on Fiducia Supplicans

Twenty Questions for Cardinal Fernández (and Pope Francis?)

Fr. Raymond J. de Souza

Earlier this year, Cardinal Daniel Sturla, Archbishop of Montevideo, and Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, then the Archbishop of La Plata, had Sees across the river from each other. Now they find themselves in opposing currents, as the former is distressed that the latter would plunge the Church into such conflict and confusion just before Christmas. “I don’t think it was a topic to come up now at Christmas,” Sturla said of Fiducia Supplicans (FS), the DDF declaration on blessing “irregular” and “same-sex” couples. “[That decision] caught my attention powerfully, because it is a controversial issue, and it is dividing waters within the Church.”

Not only the Tiber, but even La Plata.

Fernández and Sturla were both made archbishops by Pope Francis in his first year, and both for archdioceses adjacent to Buenos Aires. If now Fernandez has lost the support of a Cardinal created by Pope Francis on the other side of the river, it gives a measure of how poorly FS has been received. So Fernández has been scrambling to contain the fiasco of plunging the entire Church into conflict and confusion on a contested issue just days before Christmas, a time when religious voices are given a greater hearing in the secular press.

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In One Word: Disaster

Fr. Gerald E. Murray

The first, and most serious, problem in Fiducia Supplicans (FS) is the choice of the word “couple” to describe two people of the same sex who engage in sodomy within an ongoing publicly known, self-proclaimed committed relationship, such as a civil marriage. I note with dismay that the word sodomy is not found in FS. Neither do the words homosexual or homosexuality appear in the FS. Indeed, no clear mention at all is made of what distinguishes same-sex “couples” from other forms of partnership or association between two persons of the same sex. Neither does FS state what behavior distinguishes these “couples” from the couples FS describes as being in “irregular situations,” presumably divorced and civilly remarried men and women. (The word adultery is also absent from FS.) FS states that both types of couples engage in sexual relations apart from marriage, but FS neglects to mention that first type of couple does so in an unnatural way and the second in a natural but immoral way, i.e., adulterous relations.

The use of the word “couple” to describe two persons of the same sex who engage in sodomy has no scriptural, theological, or canonical basis at all. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith [CDF] stated in its 2003 document Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions between Homosexual Persons:

There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

Continue reading at The Catholic Thing