HomeNewsVatican issued declaration allowing ‘blessings’ for couples in irregular situation

Vatican issued declaration allowing ‘blessings’ for couples in irregular situation

The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, with the approval of Pope Francis, has issued a doctrinal declaration titled “Fiducia supplicans,” signaling a shift in the Church’s approach to blessings for couples in irregular situations, including same-sex couples. 

While the declaration allows for the possibility of such blessings, it emphasizes that this should not be misconstrued as approval of the union or a change in the doctrine regarding marriage.

Cardinal Victor Fernandez, the Prefect, introduces the document by highlighting its focus on the “pastoral meaning of blessings,” aiming for a broader understanding based on the teachings of Pope Francis. 

The declaration recognizes a “real development” in the Church’s stance on blessings, particularly for couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples, without officially validating their status or altering the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage.

The document distinguishes between ritual and liturgical blessings and those of a more spontaneous nature, linked to popular devotion. 

It underscores the importance of avoiding any semblance of a marriage rite when blessing couples in irregular situations, emphasizing pastoral closeness without endorsing the union.

The declaration delves into the Sacrament of Marriage, asserting the inadmissibility of rites or prayers that could cause confusion about the nature of marriage. 

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It firmly reiterates the Catholic doctrine that considers sexual relations between a man and a woman within the context of marriage as lawful.

The extensive analysis of various blessings in the declaration emphasizes the need for what is blessed to align with God’s will as expressed in the teachings of the Church. 

The document encourages a theological-pastoral understanding, acknowledging that those seeking a blessing are expressing a need for God’s saving presence in their lives.

The declaration clarifies that blessings for couples in irregular situations should not be limited to liturgical frameworks. 

It asserts that these blessings, offered without requiring anything, are acts of devotion for individuals seeking God’s assistance and guidance despite their imperfections.

While the declaration does not prescribe specific procedures or rituals for blessing couples in irregular situations, it allows ordained ministers to join in prayer with those individuals who desire to entrust themselves to the Lord and seek guidance.

The document suggests that these blessings should not become the norm but should be subject to practical discernment in specific circumstances. 

It underscores that the blessing is for the legitimate relationship between individuals and not the union itself, emphasizing the importance of avoiding any form of confusion or scandal.

The declaration aims to strike a delicate balance, allowing for pastoral closeness and understanding while upholding the Church’s teachings on marriage.

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