While the Church cannot bless immoral partnerships, Pope Francis and Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández have produced a statement that allows blessings for same-sex couples and couples in irregular circumstances, going against the immutable doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Unannounced on December 18, he released the Fiducia Supplicans proclamation, which details the outcomes of a joint effort with Pope Francis. Following the guidelines set down by the cardinal and the pope, the document aims to authorize Catholic clergy to provide blessings for same-sex couples formally.
What the paper calls the “horizon defined here” is located in the section’s contradicting preface. All prayers and rituals that can muddy the waters between marriage and its antithesis are forbidden, according to the cardinal. The object of the blessing must also be in harmony with God’s will, as revealed in the teachings of the Church, as he pointed out. This is where he laid forth the teachings of the Church, which forbid fornication between those who are not married. Nevertheless, he emphasized that a person who prays for a blessing should not be limited to this perspective alone. By doing so, they acknowledge their need for God’s saving presence in their lives, and by asking for a blessing from the Church, they recognize that the latter is a sacrament of God’s salvation.
The Italian version of the new document, titled “On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings,” was released before the French, English, German, and Spanish versions. After reviewing it, Pope Francis gave his consent to the draft. Throughout the letter, Fernández underlined that these blessings should not be included in liturgical rites or textbooks and should not be mistaken for marriage.
He concluded by saying that the new document thoroughly covered the subject of same-sex blessings and that priests may now use their own “discernment” following the text to make decisions.