After authorizing blessings for homosexual couples, the head of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, is facing backlash from multiple national churches and certain clerics across the globe.
The newest reaction came from the former bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen, who said that Cardinal Fernández has attributed an “intrinsic goodness” to what is “a grave sin” and thus is committing “heresy,” the cardinal wrote, asking in a Jan. 20 statement: “Shouldn’t he then resign or be dismissed?”
The Hong Kong cardinal was referring in particular to the blessing of same-sex couples, which the Vatican gave a green light to for the first time in the declaration published by the Holy See Dec. 18.
The declaration “Fiducia Supplicans” (“Supplicating Trust”) — subtitled “On the pastoral meaning of blessings” — says a Catholic priest can bless a same-sex or other unmarried couple as long as it is not a formal liturgical blessing and does not give the impression that the Catholic Church is blessing the union as if it were a marriage. Church doctrine on marriage and sexuality is not to be changed, the declaration emphasized.
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