Responding to five conservative cardinals who challenged him to affirm the Church’s teaching on homosexuality before a large congregation where LGBTQ+ Catholics are on the agenda, Pope Francis suggested there may be ways to bless same-sex unions.
The Vatican released the July 11 letter Francis wrote to the cardinals this Monday, after receiving one of them the day before with a list of five questions.
Pope Francis says they can recite the blessings Don’t confuse the blessing with holy matrimony.
Ministry of New Ways, Advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Catholics and Ministry of Justice, the letter said. “Significant Improvements” In an effort to welcome LGBTQ+ Catholics into the church, their marginalization is a “big straw to break the back.”
The Vatican argues that marriage is an indissoluble union between a man and a woman. Hence, same-sex marriage has long been opposed.
But also Pope Francis Expressed support for civil laws extending legal benefits to same-sex spousesAnd Catholic priests in some parts of Europe have blessed same-sex unions without Vatican censure.
Francis’s response to the cardinals Marking a reversal of the Vatican’s current official position. In a 2021 interpretive note, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith categorically stated that the Church cannot bless homosexuals because “God cannot bless sin.”
In his new letter, Francis reiterated that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. But in response to the cardinals’ question about same-sex unions and blessings, he said that “pastoral charity” requires patience and understanding and, regardless, Priests cannot be judges to “deny, reject, exclude.”.
“For this reason, pastoral discretion must adequately ascertain whether there are forms of blessing requested by one or more persons. Don’t misrepresent marriage“, he wrote.
Because when you ask for a boon, you are expressing a request for God’s help, a request to be able to live better, you are expressing trust in the Father to help you live better,” he emphasized.
Noting that there are “morally unacceptable” situations, the Pope considers that the same “pastoral charity” should treat people as sinners who have absolutely no reason for their situation.
Francis added Dioceses or synods are not required to transform this episcopal charity into fixed norms or norms.He says that the problem can be overcome in every case by “operating in channels outside the norms of Church life”.
Francis DiBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, welcomed the Pope’s inauguration.
The authorization for pastoral workers to bless same-sex couples, in fact, means that the Church recognizes that there can be holy love between same-sex couples and that the love of these couples reflects the love of God,” he said in a statement. “These recognitions are absolutely not what LGBTQ+ Catholics wantA huge improvement Towards Full and Comprehensive Equality.”
The five cardinals, all conservative clerics from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, challenged Francis in his letter to affirm the Church’s teachings on homosexuals, the ordination of women, papal authority and other issues.
They released the content two days before the start of an important three-week ceod at the Vatican, where LGBTQ+ Catholics and their place in the church are high on the agenda.
The signatories are Francis’ most vocal critics, all of whom are Reformed and belong to the more doctrinaire generation of cardinals appointed by John Paul II or Pope Benedict XVI.
Cardinals Walter Brandmüller of Germany, former Vatican historian, Raymond Burke of the United States, Francis appointed president of the Vatican Supreme Court, Juan Sandoval of Mexico, archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara, Robert Sarah of Guinea, head emeritus of the Vatican office, and Joseph Zen, archbishop emeritus of Hong Kong.
Brandmüller and Burke were among the four signatories to an earlier round of questions (“dubia”) put to Francis in 2016. Controversial opening to allow divorced and civilly remarried couples to receive communion. At the time, cardinals were concerned that Francis’ position violated the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Francisco never answered their questions, and two of his co-signers died.
This time, Francisco actually responded.
The Cardinals did not publish their response, but openly They found it so unsatisfying that they rearranged their five questions and submitted them back to Francisco, asking him to simply answer yes or no.. When the Pope did not respond, the cardinals decided to make the texts public and issue a “declaration” to the faithful.
The Vatican’s doctrinal office issued its response a few hours later, though it urged cardinals not to fear the synod without an introduction.
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