Fiducia Supplicans Should Be Revoked

In March 2021, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published, under its former prefect, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, a Responsum that replied in the negative to the question: “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”

Just under three years later, under its new prefect, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, the now renamed Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith issued Fiducia Supplicans (FS), which asserts that the blessings referred to in the Responsum are “liturgical blessings” and introduces a new kind of priestly blessing—a “pastoral blessing”—which it claims can be imparted to “same-sex couples.” But what are pastoral blessings and what does the Declaration mean by “couples”? And can the continued backlash FS has received from episcopal conferences around the world be put down to a failure to read it carefully, or does its careful review only confirm the decision of bishops who have decided not to implement it in their diocese?

To answer these and other questions, I spoke with New York priest and canon lawyer Fr. Gerald E. Murray about the Declaration.

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