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Tags: usccb | catholic church | pope francis | homosexual

US Bishops: Same-Sex Declaration Doesn't Change Doctrine

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2023 10:48 AM EST

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Pope Francis' declaration that same-sex couples can be blessed, seemingly in an effort to quell the ensuing shock and confusion among American Catholics.

On Monday, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church released Fiducia Supplicans, a declaration that paved the way for priests to pastorally bless same-sex couples. The document specified that such blessings cannot be performed in such a way as to resemble marriage and made a distinction between a pastoral and a sacramental blessing.

"The [declaration] articulated a distinction between liturgical (sacramental) blessings and pastoral blessings, which may be given to persons who desire God's loving grace in their lives," Chieko Noguchi, executive director of public affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in the statement.

"The Church's teaching on marriage has not changed, and this declaration affirms that, while also making an effort to accompany people through the imparting of pastoral blessings because each of us needs God's healing love and mercy in our lives," Noguchi added.

The Church cannot perform a liturgical blessing for same-sex couples because it would "offer a form of moral legitimacy to a union that presumes to be a marriage or to an extra-marital sexual practice," Fiducia Supplicans states.

According to the document, the ban on liturgical blessing does not prohibit priests from conferring "spontaneous" pastoral blessings, which are "meant for everyone." Such blessings "should not become a liturgical or semi-liturgical act" and "should never be imparted in concurrence with the ceremonies of a civil union, and not even in connection with them." They also cannot "be performed with any clothing, gestures, or words that are proper to a wedding."

Among American Catholic clergy, reactions have been mixed, with some lauding the new guidelines and others denouncing them as apostasy.

Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and frequent promoter of outreach to the LGBTQ community, said in a post on X that he was "delighted" by the declaration.

"The declaration opens the door to nonliturgical blessings for same-sex couples, something that had been previously off limits for bishops, priests, and deacons," Martin said. "Along with many priests, I will now be delighted to bless my friends in same-sex unions."

Martin is the author of the book "Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity."

In a Monday night interview with Newsmax, Fr. Gerald Murray of the Archdiocese of New York said the new document that allows for church blessings of same-sex couples is "absurd" and "horrific."

"It's the groundwork for redefining the nature of sin because basically the church has always said that sex outside of marriage is sinful, so all homosexual activity is sinful," Murray said during an appearance on "The Chris Salcedo Show."

"The document also talks about people who are in invalid second marriages, the church says, according to the words of Christ, that is adultery. So now the church is saying that your behavior is gravely sinful, offensive to God, but the church should bless you. And what does a blessing mean? It means that we ask God to favor you in that relationship. This is absurd. This is a horrific document. It is revolutionary."

Nicole Wells

Nicole Wells, a Newsmax general assignment reporter covers news, politics, and culture. She is a National Newspaper Association award-winning journalist.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Pope Francis' declaration that same-sex couples can be blessed, seemingly in an effort to quell the ensuing shock and confusion among American Catholics.
usccb, catholic church, pope francis, homosexual
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2023-48-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2023 10:48 AM
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