African Cardinal Says ‘Fiducia’ has Discredited Synod on Synodality

An African cardinal who recently led the continent’s bishops in rejecting blessings for same-sex couples has now lashed out at the timing of the Vatican document that opened the door to such a move, calling it “damaging” to the synodal process convened by Pope Francis.

Cardinal Fridolin Ambongo of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo said that because the Dec. 18 release of Fiducia Supplicans, which authorized non-liturgical blessings of the persons involved in same-sex relationships, came between the two Synods of Bishops on Synodality, it created the misleading notion that the document was the fruit of synodal discussions.

“The timing, the moment when this document was published, was damaging for the synodal process,” Ambongo said Jan. 25.

The 64-year-old Ambongo, who also serves as president of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), said the timing of the document’s release “brought discredit to the synod, to synodality.”

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