One month after the Vatican released Fiducia Supplicans allowing the blessing of same-sex couples, the backlash the document triggered shows no signs of diminishing.
The criticism has been so pointed and widespread, in fact, some historians say that never before has a papal document provoked such opposition and confusion, leaving many observers to wonder how the fallout can be resolved.
“The existence of a sharp contrast between bishops and cardinals within the Church is now a reality that cannot be denied,” Church historian Roberto de Mattei told the Register. Pope Francis, he believes, “is provoking a deeper crisis than all the previous ones, not only because of the breadth of opposition, but also because of the fact that it comes from those ‘peripheries’ that Pope Francis has indicated as the authentic expression of the Church.”
Approved by Pope Francis and published shortly before Christmas on Dec. 18, the declaration specifically allows, for the first time, non-liturgical blessings of same-sex couples and others in “irregular relationships.” The Vatican described its publication as an “innovative” step, broadening the meaning of blessings while at the same time remaining “firm” on the “traditional doctrine of the Church about marriage.”
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