Dissent Among Catholics as 90 Leaders Challenge Vatican’s Same-Sex Union Blessings

A collective of 90 Catholic leaders, including clergy, scholars, and writers, has issued a call to the Catholic Church’s cardinals and bishops, urging them to oppose a Vatican-approved directive by Pope Francis that permits blessings for same-sex couples, marking a significant departure from tradition.

“Objectively Sinful”

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The document, Fiducia Supplicans, introduced on December 18 and endorsed by the Pope, has been criticized for endorsing blessings of relationships deemed “objectively sinful” by conservative segments of the Church. 

Letter Urges Immediate Retraction

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The signatories of the letter are pressing for an immediate halt to its application and are calling for its urgent retraction by the Pope, “which is in contradiction with both Scripture and the universal and uninterrupted Tradition of the Church.”

Blessing Unrecognized Couples

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The Fiducia Supplicans allows for the blessing of couples whom the Catholic Church does not recognize as married, including same-sex couples.

Divided Responses

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While some have celebrated the Fiducia Supplicans as a progressive step forward, it has simultaneously provoked anger among conservatives.

Bishops Resist New Policy

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Despite the new policy neither endorsing same-sex marriages nor recognizing them as regular, bishops from Europe, Africa, and various other regions previously pledged not to enforce it.

Vatican Defends Same-Sex Blessings

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Earlier in January, the Vatican defended Pope Francis’s decision to allow blessings for same-sex couples, stating that opposition to the policy highlighted a “need for a more extended period of pastoral reflection.”

Baptism for Transgender People

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In October 2023, Pope Francis also allowed transgender people to be baptized in the Catholic Church and denounced laws that criminalize homosexuality.

Notable Signatories

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Signatories of the open letter against the Vatican include prominent individuals such as Gil Bailie, a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars; Dr. Regis Martin, a theology professor at Franciscan University Steubenville; and Rev. Robert Sirico, who serves as president of Michigan’s Catholic St. John Henry Newman Institute.

Petition Against Vatican Decision

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Their dissent is echoed in a public petition hosted by LifeSiteNews.com, advocating for bishops to reject the blessing of same-sex unions, a stance that has garnered over 21,000 supporters.

A Departure from Tradition

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Those who signed the joint letter assert that Fiducia Supplicans marks a clear departure from Scripture and the Church’s tradition. 

Unprecedented Rejection

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They note that numerous episcopal conferences, individual prelates, and even cardinals in prominent positions have expressed their opposition, claiming that such a strong rejection of a document from the Roman Magisterium is unprecedented in the history of the Catholic Church.

Blessing Objectively Sinful Relationships

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The letter asserts that Fiducia Supplicans will result in priests bestowing blessings upon individuals who present themselves as a couple in a sexual context, specifically referring to couples characterized by objectively sinful relationships.

Error from Roman See

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“The threat does not become smaller but more serious, since the error comes from the Roman See, and is destined to scandalize all the faithful, and above all the little ones, the simple faithful who have no way of orienting and defending themselves in this confusion,” the letter states.

Protect the Integrity

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Among the outspoken critics is Bishop Joseph Strickland, who shared his perspective with LifeSiteNews, advocating for a united rejection of the document to protect the Church’s integrity. 

We Say No

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Strickland stated, “We will not incorporate this into the life of the church,’ because we simply must say no.”

Pope Acknowledges Backlash

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Pope Francis, in August 2023, acknowledged the presence of a conservative backlash within the Church, particularly in the United States, characterizing it as a regressive and organized opposition to progressive reforms within the Church.

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