Why Fiducia Supplicans is a Problem Even if “Persons” are the Object in the Priestly Blessing of SS Couples

The problem with Fiducia Supplicans (FS) is two-fold.

The first part is a matter of perception. God’s word requires that the Church “abstain from all appearances of evil [εἴδους]” (1 Thess 5:22). The word for “appearance” is εἴδους and comes from εἴδω (eidō) which to see or perceive with sight. Even with an accurate implementation of FS, the watching world is bound to perceive 1 of 2 things or both simultaneously. By administering priestly blessings to SS couples, it will either be perceived that the Catholic Church is changing its teaching on human sexuality, i.e., that SS unions can be validated, or that she has created a space on the margins of the Church’s community where active SS couples can live out their sinful lifestyle and yet be tolerated or accepted by God regardless of the doctrinal maintenance that said lifestyle is sinful. Since FS is emphatic in its rejection of validating SS unions, the latter perception is what is more bound to occur even among faithful interpreters of FS.

The second part of the problem with FS is that the Apostolic doctrine of repentance, and here I mean the repentance that is a cooperation with God’s actual and prevenient grace to dispose the soul for baptismal regeneration and justification (either through baptism or absolution), is being so diminished from its historic meaning to allow SS couples to simultaneously plan to endure with each other romantically while also being open to an influx of God’s “actual grace” in their lives by which they might ascend upwards towards God by the enrichment of moral virtues. In other words, FS teaches that the souls of SS couples can somehow be open to God salvifically and thereby ascend upwards in some kind of sanctification towards God with an admixture of the ongoing endurance of gravely depraved sin, something forbidden by the word of God (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Eph. 5:5), and the virtues that could, at the same time, dispose the soul for salvation. By saying this, I do not mean to portray that FS is envisioning SS couples being morally and spiritually fit to receive communion from the chalice of everlasting salvation while they remain in their objective contravention of God’s design. Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez makes it clear that the moral strengthening envisioned by the priestly blessings administered to SS couples is not one where the soul will be prepared to receive the Eucharist. Nevertheless, the foregoing problem remains because the purpose of administering blessings is to help the souls of SS couples to cooperate with actual grace that will eventually build up faith and repentance. But by their being in a SS union, with plans to continue with it, they are suppressing God’s actual grace and leave no welcome for it. FS can say that these couples welcome God’s grace and are open to it, but the simple fact of the matter is that their plan to continue in the darkness of a SS union, they consign themselves too far from God ipso facto. [edit 12/26/23 : I was informed shortly after the publication that co-operation with actual grace can be done by anyone even if it is simply to pray, read Scripture, etc., etc. I want to put a mark here that when I speak of co-operation with actual grace, it means in a way that leads to repentance which must involve the disposition that the Council of Trent calls the proper “preparation” that one undergoes in mind and heart even before they are justified in Baptismal Regeneration].

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