Pope Francis Defends Vatican Guidance on Same-sex Couples

Pope Francis Defends Vatican Guidance on Same-sex Couples

In a recent address, Pope Francis defended the Vatican’s highly criticized December 2023 guidance on blessings for same-sex couples, reiterating the Church’s commitment to upholding its teachings on marriage and providing pastoral care to all.

The document “Fiducia Supplicans” published December 18 allows priests to bless same-sex couples while stressing that “one should neither provide for nor promote a ritual for the blessings of couples in an irregular situation.”

This distinction drew criticism from both sides of the debate, with some conservative Catholics arguing that it undermines the Church’s teaching on the sacredness of marriage, while some LGBTQ+ advocates see it as an insufficient step towards full acceptance.

However, addressing the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on Friday, the pontiff defended the “Fiducia Supplicans” intent to uphold and deepen Catholic teachings while offering pastoral care to all.

“The task of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith is to help the Roman Pontiff and the Bishops to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world by promoting and safeguarding the integrity of Catholic teaching on faith and morals,” Pope remarked at the plenary session of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“It does this by drawing upon the deposit of faith and seeking an ever deeper understanding of it in the face of new questions,” Pope Francis added.

“The intention of ‘pastoral and spontaneous blessings’ is to tangibly demonstrate the closeness of the Lord and of the Church to all those who, finding themselves in various situations, ask for help to continue — sometimes to begin — a journey of faith,” said Francis.

“I would like briefly to underline two things,” he added. “The first is that these blessings, outside of any liturgical context and form, do not demand moral perfection in order to be received; the second, that when a couple approaches spontaneously to ask for them, one does not bless the union, but simply the people who have required it together. Not the union, but the people, naturally taking into account the context, the sensibilities, and the places where one lives and the most appropriate ways to do it.”

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