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Yes, Pope Francis was involved in the CDF’s document on same-sex blessings

By Andrea Gagliarducci for CNA

Pope Francis at his general audience address in the library of the Apostolic Palace March 17, 2021. (Vatican Media)

Vatican City, Mar 25, 2021 / 07:19 pm (CNA).- Following a Vatican clarification that the Church cannot bless same-sex unions, some media outlets have speculated about Pope Francis’ involvement – or lack thereof – in releasing the document.

However, the pope’s consent is a necessary part of any responsum, and Pope Francis himself has multiple times reiterated the Church’s well-established teaching on marriage and sexuality.

The document in question is the responsum (response) which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith gave to a question about the blessing to same-sex unions. The responsum said that “God cannot bless sin.”

The responsum also stressed that “the Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations and will know how to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with Church teaching, to proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness.”

The Church cannot bless sexual unions outside the marriage of one man and one woman, the document said. However, blessings can be given “to individual persons with homosexual inclinations, who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching.”

Although the document reiterates the Church’s longstanding teaching, it has sparked controversy and harsh reactions from progressive voices within the Church.

There has also been an attempt to distance Pope Francis from the document, with one media outlet claiming the issue was not discussed at the monthly plenary meeting of the CDF, but only by a small group of congregation officials.

However, the document itself clearly says that Pope Francis “was informed and gave his assent to the publication of the above-mentioned dubium, with the annexed Explanatory note.”

Responsi are responses of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to questions about the Catholic teaching. They originate at the monthly meetings of the Congregation. From there, cardinals, consulters and experts and consulted. This process can take months or years. The resulting responsum is then discussed by the Congregation before being presented to the pope, who can approve, reject, or amend the text. The pope must consent to the final document.

Not all the responsi are made public, but only those that have a particular meaning for the universal Church. Others are sent directly to the bishop, priest, or faithful who made the inquiry.

The timing of the recent responsum is significant, as there has been discussion about blessings of same-sex couples in the German Church’s “Synodal Path,” with several German bishops suggesting such blessings are acceptable.

Pope Francis, then, was undoubtedly aware of the content of the responsum, and authorized its publication. On numerous occasions, the pope has stressed the importance of defending marriage as the union of man and woman and the foundation of a family.

Furthermore, the message of the document is nothing new. The Church has long made clear that it cannot endorse same-sex unions.

In 1975, the CDF issued Persona Humana, which dealt with the pastoral care of persons with homosexual tendencies.

In some cases, this document said, “people conclude that their tendency is so natural that it justifies in their case homosexual relations within a sincere communion of life and love analogous to marriage.”

The CDF stressed that all persons must be treated pastorally and with understanding, but clarified that “no pastoral method can be employed which would give moral justification to these acts on the grounds that they would be consonant with the condition of such people. For according to the objective moral order, homosexual relations are acts which lack an essential and indispensable finality.”

In 1986, the CDF sent a “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons.”

The letter encouraged bishops “to provide pastoral care in full accord with the teaching of the Church for homosexual persons of their dioceses.”

Nevertheless, the letter said, “increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity. Those within the Church who argue in this fashion often have close ties with those with similar views outside it. These latter groups are guided by a vision opposed to the truth about the human person, which is fully disclosed in the mystery of Christ. They reflect, even if not entirely consciously, a materialistic ideology which denies the transcendent nature of the human person as well as the supernatural vocation of every individual.”

In 1992, the CDF published “Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non – discrimination of homosexual persons.”

That document stressed that “homosexual persons, as human persons, have the same rights as all persons including the right of not being treated in a manner which offends their personal dignity.”

However, the document noted that “there are areas in which it is not unjust discrimination to take sexual orientation into account, for example, in the placement of children for adoption or foster care, in employment of teachers or athletic coaches, and in military recruitment.”

In 2003, the CDF published “Considerations regarding proposals to give legal recognition to unions between homosexual persons,” which clarified that “the Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society.”

Drawing on this well-established background, the latest responsum has solid roots in Church teaching. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has found it reasonable to pronounce this teaching once again.


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5 Comments

  1. Well-informed article, with one quibble. “Responsum” in Latin is a neuter noun, and the neuter plural is “responsa”, not “responsi”.

  2. God bless the Holy Father and through him, The Church and the world , esp. in those places and nations that confuse the slavery to the self will and its fears and lusts as ‘freedom ‘; may the blessings protect many from the fate of Ananias and wife who went for the false freedom in lying to The Spirit – esp. in this year dedicated to St.Joseph as well as for the joy of holiness in families , meant to bring forth more fidelity in all such areas .

    https://radiomaria.us/learning-to-live/ – as a beginner listening at random to the good talks and came across the one for Jan . 16/ 21 , that mentions how in God’s eternal truth , one Act done in the Divine Will has more value and lasting good in than the many evils .

    May the misunderstandings against The Church and the Holy Father in the fidelity with which he discerns and makes decisions in the Divine Will be overcome with the Rise of The Sun of His Will in many hearts !

  3. “Pope Francis himself has multiple times reiterated the Church’s well-established teaching on marriage and sexuality.” And he has just as many times undermined that teaching through deliberate ambiguities and false equivalencies. At this point, these defenses of Bergoglio are simply pathetic.

  4. You sound bitter. Maybe it is you who needs to be the next Pope. He will never please everyone. The simply fact is to focus on Christ.
    .

  5. Philosophy, theology, human reasoning. blah, blah, blah – yada, yada, yada, the Roman has always been the harlot since 358 AD. > ” The 3.5 Times Prophecy

    Daniel 7 is The Four Beasts Prophecy and the 3.5 times is found in Dan. 7:25. The entire chapter is an outline of world history from the Kingdom of Babylon to the return of Christ as King of Kings and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth. This period began with the Babylonian Empire, and then comes to the present and the very near future. The four beasts represent the same world empires as the great image in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. (Dan. 2) The four World Empires were the Babylonian (606-539 BC), Medo-Persian (539-333 BC), Grecian (333-168 BC) and the Roman (168 BC – 476 AD). Western Rome fell when the Gothic Vandals deposed Romulus Augustus as the emperor in 476 AD.
    The three horns plucked up by the roots in Dan. 7:8 were the Vandals (429-476 AD), Heruli (476-493 AD), and the Ostrogoths (493-554 AD), which was the transition period to Papal rule or the little horn over the western leg of the Roman Empire. The first Pope appointed was Silverius, but he was imprisoned by Vigilius and died in 538 AD, then Vigilius reigned with the help of Theodora, the wife of Justinian I who ruled the eastern leg of the empire. Reigning wasn’t the only help Vigilius got from Theodora.
    Daniel 7:9-10 is the reign of Christ and the resurrections. Verse 11 is Daniel beholding the little horn speaking great words (Papal Ecclesiastical Dogma) and its future disposition. Verse 12 was the preceding three beasts passing away. Verses 13 and 14 describe the return of Christ and verses 15 and 16 set up the interpretation of the vision in verses 17-24. Verse 25 gives us a prophecy of what the little horn will do, that it will think to change times and laws and the saints will be given into his hands. The 3.5 times or 1260 years of Papal rule began in 538 AD and comes to 1798, which is the year General Berthier took Pope Pius VI captive, thus ending the church and state union of the Holy Roman Empire. Napoleon freed Europe from Papal domination but crowned himself as the King of Rome. This was the deadly wound in Rev. 13:3. The remaining seven horns transform into the seven heads, which the scarlet woman (false church) rides in Revelation 17, and is the same beast in Revelation 13 and 17. The seven remaining horns also represent the seven resurrections of the Roman Empire that follows:
    (1) The Imperial Restoration by Justinian I in 554 AD.
    (2) The Frankish Kingdom under Charlemagne in 774 AD.
    (3) The German Head under Otto the Great – crowned in 962 AD.
    (4) The Hapsburg dynasty under Charles V – crowned in 1530 AD.
    (5) Napoleon’s French Kingdom when he crowned himself King in 1798.
    (6) Italy, Germany, & Japan Axis – Hitler, Mussolini & Hirohito (1936-45).
    (7) This will be the last and final resurrection of the Roman beast that will become a global Church and State Union, which is also represented by the two legs joined at the hip of the great image in Daniel 2. The ten toes of iron mixed with miry clay represent a global alliance of weak nations (The Ten Lost Tribes brought low by the Almighty) mingled with a strong nation (the nation the Lord chooses that brings them low). It will be broken in pieces and consumed at the return of Jesus Christ. (Dan. 2:31-45, 7:9,26,27, 38:10-16, Rev. 18-19)”

    Well. there you have it! >eze33

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