Russian Church Sets Out Orthodox Rejection Of Same-Sex “Blessings”

In its first detailed analysis of the Vatican’s pre-Christmas declaration “Fiducia Supplicans,” Russia’s Orthodox Church has accused Pope Francis of “rejecting the Christian moral ideal” by allowing the blessing of same-sex couples.

“While affirming the inviolable understanding of marriage as a union of man and woman … the entire section of the document devoted to these blessings is in radical conflict with Christian moral teaching,” the Russian church said in a March 25 report.

“Although ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ is an internal document of the Catholic Church, the Russian Orthodox Church considers it has a duty to respond to radical innovations that reject the divinely revealed norms of Christian morality,” it said. “While accepting with maternal love every individual sinner who asks for her blessing, the church cannot bless same-sex couples in any form, since this would mean consenting to a union sinful in nature.”

The report, by the church’s Synodal Biblical Commission, comes three months after the Dec. 18, 2023, publication of “Fiducia Supplicans,” which said Catholic clergy could now give blessings “outside of a liturgical framework” to couples in “irregular” and “unsettled” situations.

It said the Vatican’s declaration had changed the Catholic Church’s previously “unambiguous position” on same-sex couples, gaining a “positive response” from sexual minorities and the “liberal wing of the Catholic Church,” but causing “deep disappointment” among “traditional Catholics.”

It added that the document had sought to move away from “merely denying, rejecting and excluding,” but had failed to clarify its terminology, while remaining “completely silent about the sacrament of repentance” and “indirectly legitimizing what, in essence, is illegitimate.”

“God’s love for man cannot serve as a basis for blessing couples in sinful cohabitation,” the Russian report said.

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