Hypocrisy and same-sex blessings

Blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples is not analogous to blessing an individual businessman who may exploit people.

(Credit: lunamarina/Shutterstock)

Today I saw the headline, “Pope denounces ‘hypocrisy’ of those who criticise LGBT blessings.” I found that disconcerting, because I have been critical of LGBT blessings. It grieves me to be regarded as a hypocrite by the Holy Father.

Why does Pope Francis call such criticism hypocrisy? He explains: “Nobody gets scandalised if I give my blessings to a businessman who perhaps exploits people, and this is a very grave sin. But they get scandalised if I give them to a homosexual.”

“This is hypocrisy,” he said.

Is blessing a businessman, who perhaps exploits people, analogous to “LGBT blessings”? It’s illuminating to consider the differences.

First, to bless the businessman is to bless an individual. By contrast, “LGBT blessings” does not refer to the blessing of individuals. Rather, Fiducia Supplicans is about “blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples.”

Second, to bless this businessman is to bless someone who perhaps exploits people. If he does, he may or may not be aware of it, and if he is aware of it, he may or may not intend to continue the exploitation despite the blessing. One hopes that if he is aware of exploiting people, the blessing becomes the occasion of his following the example of Zacchaeus, who responded beautifully to the blessing of having Jesus in his home: “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold” (Lk 19:8).

In any case, if there is no reason to think that the businessman seeks the blessing as approval of his exploitative practices, neither he nor onlookers are likely to regard the blessing as approval.

By contrast, to bless “couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples” does not refer to blessing people who perhaps engage in non-marital sex. Rather, since the recipients of the blessing are described—in slightly euphemistic official language—as being in illicit sexual relationships, the controversy to which the Pope alludes concerns acts of blessing recipients identified precisely by reference to their sin.

Although it is possible in principle for such a couple to seek a blessing for only the non-sinful aspects of their relationship, it’s hard to avoid concluding that couples who seek such a blessing want to be assured that their sexual relationship itself is not sinful but good, approved by the Lord himself and those who minister in his name. It is likewise hard to avoid concluding that the priest who blesses them intends to signal approval of the sexual relationship. These conclusions are confirmed when the couple romantically hold hands during the blessing.

Can the pope’s analogy be adjusted to overcome these problems?

This question can be answered by considering, in turn, each side of the analogy.

First, what would blessing an individual businessman who perhaps exploits people be analogous to? Second, what would be analogous to “blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples?”

Blessing an individual businessman who perhaps exploits people would be analogous to blessing an individual who perhaps engages in homosexual activity (or some other non-marital sexual activity). However, the Church has always allowed such blessings. They pose no problem. Properly applied, this analogy does nothing at all to vindicate the blessings endorsed by Fiducia Supplicans.

Blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples is not analogous to blessing an individual businessman who may exploit people. Rather, it is analogous to blessing a group of businessmen who are identified precisely by reference to their activity of exploitation—such as their cooperation together in coercive, fraudulent, or extortionary activity.

Consider, for example, what was formerly not a hypothetical case: socially respectable slave owners and dealers assembled over lunch on the day of the district’s monthly slave-sale. It would indeed be hypocritical to be willing to bless such a group as a group—but unwilling to bless homosexual couples as such. But the proper resolution is hardly to recommend avoiding hypocrisy by blessing groups of racketeers or slavers who are unwilling to discontinue their corrupt activity. Is not the proper resolution, rather, to avoid hypocrisy by refusing to bless homosexual couples who are unwilling to discontinue their illicit sexual activity?

And, going above and beyond the avoiding of hypocrisy, is not the proper approach to help people see that to find salvation, we must repent of all sin and seek first the kingdom of God?


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About Fr. Peter Ryan, SJ 2 Articles
Fr. Peter Ryan, SJ is the Blessed Michael J. McGivney Chair in Life Ethics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and served as executive director of the Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 2013 to 2016.

144 Comments

  1. ‘Is not the proper resolution, rather, to avoid hypocrisy by refusing to bless homosexual couples who are unwilling to discontinue their illicit sexual activity?’

    Words matter.
    The term ‘illicit sexual activity’ can apply to opposite sex ‘couples’ in ‘irregular situations’, SOME of which MAY be ‘regularized.’ In contrast, between same sex “couples”, what often happens is not ‘illicit sexual activity’ but a perversion of sex and the natural order. (Of course, even opposite sex ‘couples’ can also engage in acts that violate the natural order.)

    Anyhow, see the four separate comments that I posted below the article at https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2024/02/01/living-with-same-sex-attraction-in-the-aftermath-of-fs/ to reflect on arguably better ways to tone down the confusion and avoid the quicksand.

    • One other thing re words matter…
      What was unthinkable in the mainstream a decade or two ago has been ‘airbrushed’ and ‘normalized’ in the secular realm – should the Church foolishly play second fiddle and continue to shamefully parrot and ‘dignify’ the lingo of that realm as part of ‘staying relevant’?

      Case in point: all this talk of (two people who love each other and homosexual couples) without at least the prudent ‘quarantining’ of the terms within quotes (and/or the use of adjectives which ‘quarantine’ the “love”-is-“love” ideology which they point to), like so:
      “homosexual”
      “couples”,
      two people who “love” each other or two people who claim to love each other or two people who believe themselves to be in love with each other, etc.,
      to indicate that so far as the Church is concerned, none of those words / labels can be unreservedly accepted / used with “gay” abandon!

      If, over time, such lingo / terms are normalized even by the Church, what’s next? Following https://www.yahoo.com/news/meet-people-quads-foursome-relationships-223200950.html , are we going to use/normalize terminology such as “transgender” “quadruples”? How about all the other terms that can ‘bud’ from https://www.morethantwo.com/about.html as parodied in https://youtube.com/watch?v=tmg8ipPikIc ?

      To get a grip on this absurd degeneration and ‘quarantine’ one of its roots, taking a leaf from https://www.ncregister.com/blog/archbishop-chaput-lgbt-should-not-be-used-in-church-docs , CCC 2359 – https://bishopjohnpdolanwatch.com/catechism-of-the-catholic-church-on-homosexuality/ – ought to be amended because its first two words too lock people up in a pseudo-“identity”, (whose ‘modern’ / ‘evolved’ avatar is the “LGBT” alphabet soup.)

      Thus, in CCC 2359, instead of ‘homosexual people’, drop the first word and replace it with the word ‘such’ so that from the context, it would be clear that that word ought to be read in the light of CCC 2357 and 2358.

      Thereby, we make a distinction between people (whose dignity should always be respected) and their disordered inclinations / tendencies / preferences / acts (which should not be ‘normalized’ / approved / celebrated, etc.)

    • Fr Ryan bases his argument on a false assumption. He says nobody gets scandalised if an exploitative businessman receives a blessing. I do! And I would not be surprised if many others would be scandalised too.

      • Have you seen an exploitative businessman give a blessing that scandalized you? The worst is when someone like Biden recieves Communion at the vatican and then publically says Pope Francis calls him a “good Catholic.”

      • So have you been scandalized by an exploitative businessman who asks for a blessing? The worst example is Biden recieving Holy Communion in the Vatican and then saying that Francis called him a “good catholic.”

      • Dear Wilhelmina Yates, surely Fr Ryan’s point is that no business person ever presents themselves for a blessing on their sinful behaviour.

        PF, CF, JM and their co-conspirators are urging blessings for couples who are characterised as in unrepentant sinful relationship.

        Common sense: no godly person will bless sin.

        The anti-Apostolic conspirators are trying to get us to say that sin is not sin. They are defying King Jesus Christ and His Apostles and will duly pay the price.

      • The absurdity to Francis’ premise is presumption, which Father explains, is that the status of being a sinner, as we all are, is no different than being committed to one’s sins shamelessly.

    • What about gay couples who are chaste together? Being homosexual is more than “acts of sex”. If they abstain from acts of sex, are they still unchaste? In the eyes of God, where is the line between sacrificial friendship and unchaste friendship?

      • What about near occasions of sin Todd? Friends don’t need to cohabitate, nor identify their friendship by a type of sexual attraction.

        • Who says they are identifying their relationship one way or another? And would it not be better not just for society but for two otherwise single people, themselves, to live together than alone? Or will people like you only be satisfied when LGBTQ+ people lead lonely lives hidden away from everyone else?

          • People are free to choose. But the Church, as a loving Mother, need/does not endorse every choice. Or provide blessings to every person / ‘grouping’ without prudence and discernment.

            Thinking that one can escape loneliness by living together without striving to avoid scandal and the near occasion of sin is misleading. Any comfort / consolation / respite from loneliness seemingly got through that can turn out to be deceptive, a hindrance to progress in the spiritual life, and can lead to a stunted / impoverished existence.

            (Not only) those mentioned in the second last paragraph of https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/counseling-ban-sleight-of-hand would be able to give insights on how to face any fear of loneliness.

            This is not about ‘condemning’ people to misery and loneliness but, out of {tough} love, indicating the path toward a life which is more fulfilling, adventurous and satisfying than one could ever imagine or hope for, (albeit with its challenges too).

            If one desires to truly experience and attest to Jn. 10:10, and live and sing Ps. 23, let him/her get into a fight with the Lord through Lk. 11: 5 – 13

          • KNOWALL says, “They don’t have to flaunt it.”

            Is getting married “flaunting it?” Is walking hand-in-hand “flaunting it?” Is having a framed photo of your husband or wife on your desk at work “flaunting it?”

            Heterosexual couples “flaunt it” all the time.

          • Who says? They do. If they desire to be sustained in grace in their pursuit of chastity they have the same sacramental life available to them as everyone else, as individuals, confession and the Eucharist.
            Instead they emphatically do flaunt their relationship. In response to the preposterous non sequitur of the comment below that poses the rhetorical question (where there is no reply button), no marriage is not an act flaunting. But exhibitionistic parading of a questionable coupling is obviously an act of flaunting tha relationship as minimal common sense should make obvious. Invalid comparisons are invalid comparisons.

      • Interesting , I know of many same sex relationships of women living together and of men living together that should be forever blessed. Just look into our rectories and convents. Are they not full of same sex people living together.
        I even know of elderly couples living together to survive for they could no longer live on one income. They are friends sharing expenses. Should they NOT be eligible for a blessing?

        • Golly that’s the same argument for keeping adulterers together ….. and blessing them. But in the case of homosexualists they say “We affirm it’s not about marriage.”

        • No, they should not if the blessing they seek involves validating sins for which they seek to remain committed. Your failure to make distinctions in the examples you provide is the form of illogic called the fallacy of the undistributed middle. Look it up.

          • Edward Baker: Peter F did not commit the fallacy of the undistributed middle term. Your qualification using a conditional shows that.

            All C are E
            All T are E
            Therefore, All T are C.
            Invalid by virtue of undistributed middle term.

            How is Peter employing this form? He says: “I even know of elderly couples living together to survive for they could no longer live on one income. They are friends sharing expenses. Should they NOT be eligible for a blessing?”

            You say “No”, if… But that’s not what he was asking about.

            There are gay couples who are living together, but whose relationship does not involve genital sexual activity. In fact, most of them do not involve genital sexual activity. There’s much more to human friendship and relationships than genital sexual activity, and this is especially true for two people of the same sex who are exploring Catholicism.

            It’s pathetic that you would glibly dismiss the legitimate question with a red herring like this, which was nothing but an attempt to make yourself look philosophically sophisticated.

          • @Thomas James: outside those which the Church considers marriage, there may be all sorts of (what the secular realm considers) “couples”, “throuples” (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWB-il7Ni5dS4CJAWEkIk7cqqsjFSpClE ), and other ‘groupings’ (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWB-il7Ni5dSbOhxgTpSyOXeGbxHAamF2 ). Perhaps in a few or some of them, any abuse/perversion of the sexual act may be claimed to not / no longer be present. Perhaps a few / some of the individuals concerned may, in time, begin to explore Catholicism. If they then approach for a blessing with good will, and with at least a glimmer of the right disposition, an individual and separate blessing can be privately imparted with suitable words which encourage the person in his/her journey.

          • Thomas James, Your comment had no reply button. The illogic I noted previously obviously was a case of the fallacy of the undistributed middle The two classes comparred were not equivalent in all cases of those being compared. No one ever said same sex people living together were necessarily making claims of “couplehood.”

          • If they are holding hands, and asking for a blessing, they are certainly asking for their ‘coupling’ to be blessed. This is why the LGB groups are celebrating this ‘win’…

      • These chaste couples would not seek a blessing on their relationship, rather individually on their chastity. Do friends seek a blessing on their friendship? Could be done, I suppose but how often?

      • See my response further below to the comment by one John where he begins with the words: ‘It is just as presumptuous to assume an LGBTQ+ couple is currently engaged in a sexual relationship…’

        Re ‘Being homosexual is more than “acts of sex”. If they abstain from acts of sex…’
        to reiterate: words (and the concepts / worldviews they promote) matter and have repercussions. ‘Elevating’ or airbrushing disordered acts as “acts of sex”, or equating them with or seeing them as a ‘variant’ of acts which are / ought to be holy (https://youtube.com/watch?v=-qy6A0oH2ug ) is another way to stay stuck in the quicksand.

        As for ‘Being homosexual’, it is better to rephrase that as (say) ‘Those who experience homosexual tendencies…’ – thereby, we point to the possibility of “decoupling” individuals from “identifying” themselves with or normalizing / celebrating / idolizing any disordered inclinations.

        This, along with accompaniment in a truly pastoral way, can lead to a proper integration of such individuals with their true identity and dignity – https://youtube.com/watch?v=5vuV9lvF53Q

        • PS: Re “gay couples” ‘who are chaste together’ and ‘where is the line between sacrificial friendship and unchaste friendship?’…
          there is vagueness and an ambiguous mix of terms here – do they claim to be ‘friends’ or a “couple” [indicating some sort of civil “union” and/or current or past disordered attractions to / ‘desires’ for / acts with each other]?
          Shouldn’t they avoid living together to avoid the near occasion of sin as well as scandal?
          Perhaps due to the high cost of living and/or rent or due to their advanced age, they may claim that living separately may not be feasible.
          Even so, in such cases, a private, individual, separate [not a common/joint] blessing may be imparted, so as to avoid both scandal as well as the impression that any “union” / “couple” was being blessed.

          If there indeed is a striving for chastity, instead of seeking to fulfill a desire for a ‘recognition’ and/or a commendation for any ‘sacrificial friendship’, would those concerned be open to receiving a private, individual, separate blessing which has (say) the following words?…

          (to one individual): ‘May the Lord who loved the beloved disciple purely bless you with the Grace to leave behind anything that is not in accordance with His Will so as to enable you to find in Him the fulfillment of all desire!’

          (to the other individual): ‘May St. John, who was loved by the Lord, help you to conceive, en-flesh, and bear the fruit of Ps. 42! ( https://youtube.com/watch?v=wAS-CdbTdsU )

  2. Thank you, dear Fr Peter Ryan SJ for a concise & cogent debunking of the bunkum that pope Francis is so sadly trying to con us with.

    A matter of eternal significance since he is asking the Church of Jesus Christ to bless couples engaged in unspiritual relationships that lead to damnation, as in Romans 8:12-13 and many other New Testament instructions.

    “So then, my brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you live in that way you are doomed to die; but if by the Holy Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live.”

    That is what the Pope of the Catholic Church is divinely mandated to preach to all the world; together with warnings such as given plainly in Romans 6:9-10:

    “You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God; people of immoral lives, idolators, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers & swindlers will never inherit the Kingdom of God.”

    Let those who covet a Catholic priestly blessing on any relationship be instructed to approach God with the humility of repentance and with a firm intention of living spiritually not carnally. A proper Pope would be teaching this.

    Ever in the grace & mercy of King Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty.

  3. How could repentance be on the radar screen when the current occupier of Peter’s Chair specifically told seminarians (was it last summer?) that they must grant absolution even to those who show no sign of penitence? Why should couples in “irregular” situations be held to a higher standard? Apparently the only sins that require true penitence involve matters like plastic straws. [smh] The current pontiff is quite consistent in his inconsistency.

    • More, enabling a couple in an extramarital sexual relationship to be blasphemously “blessed” without repentance is scandalous. Such pastoral heresy is a form of hatred. Bogus “blessings” for couples are an effort to be liked by those involved. Yet it leads the couple away from union with God. Such blasphemous “blessings” seek to skip the Cross of purgation, circumventing objective truth to embolden the lie that sins below the belt can be loving. This is not loving the Body of Christ. It starves the sheep of Christ’s Truth versus loving them with the True Food of His Word.
      What did Christ tell His Vicar Peter when he tried to talk Christ out of the Cross?

  4. I repeat, yet again, the Pope’s serious error in thinking when he refers to homosexual “couples.” The Pope needs to recognize one simple biological fact: it is IMPOSSIBLE for two men to be “coupled.”

    Because the Pope insists on making errors in his understanding of human biology, I recommend he be committed to a re-education program where he can learn the basics. This might prevent even more egregious errors in thinking e.g. that a man could be “coupled” with his favorite poodle.

    • A matter of elementary definition…
      To pretend to be a “couple” is one thing, butt to be “coupled” is quite another. The latter term is mechanical, as in two railroad cars being coupled, or under bestiality even as in a man being coupled with his poodle (or as you noted on Feb. 6, with his Labrador Retriever).

      As yours truly then responded to you, also on Feb. 6, “…one of the criticisms of Supreme Court imposition of oxymoronic ‘gay marriage’ is that the logic doesn’t exclude coupling under polygamy (more than a couple!) or even bestiality (!). So, the Alliance of Labradors, Goats, Baboons, Tasmanian devils and other Quadrupeds (A-LGBTQ) has filed an appeal to a yet higher (!) court, but the hired (!) U.S. Court has intervened and the case has been pawsed.”

      Isn’t Feducia Supplicans all about sexual expression being transformed/deformed into mechanical “coupling” while calling it a “couple”?

    • You are at it again. When are you going to quit bashing the Pope and all others who do so. The ones who are in error are all of the above. Your hipocracy as he(the Pope) has stare shows in the statements you make. Don’t use oyour title as Deacon to influence people your way. Most reasonable peiople won’t agree anyway.

      • It’s apparent the church has many liberals, at times without any discipline for violating the Gospel’s teachings and church tenents handed down over the centuries. I’ve always thought the deacon’s comments were thought out and tempered for reflection purposes.

        The Pontiff is a human being, and he’s sensitive to criticism, especially from the “traditionalists.”

    • Words are important and misusing them can create problems. You are conflating ‘couple’ the noun, with ‘couple’ the verb.

    • Deacon Edward, he would need first to be re-educated in basics of the Catholic religion, or educated for the first time given his apparent incapacity to demonstrate any awareness of what Catholic moral and ontological thought, based on Scripture, has held through the centuries.
      But it is probably more a case of not wanting to know. His disregard for Catholic truth appears to be not significantly different than adolescent type rebelliousness towards concepts not understood while presuming intellectual and moral superiority. His position of grave responsibility he treats more for ego gratification than a sacred obligation to serve God and humanity by defending truth.

  5. The problem with what you are saying Fr. Ryan is that it is logical and therefore objectively true. As such, we must consider your effort inadmissible. Leave the sacristy; venture beyond the parlor; play soccer in a slum. Accept our accompaniment. We offer you an attitude of closeness, compassion and tenderness. Can you feel it? No? Then remember the words of our Founder, St. Ignatius: “If you do not have an enemy, find one; they will do more for you than your friends.”

  6. It is astonishing that the pope cannot see the difference between blessing
    individuals, separate and apart, and blessing a couple together who are proclaiming
    their sinful lifestyle. I he trying to fool us or is he fooling himself?
    This pope sure does not like capitalism. The first thought about an
    entrepreneur is that he exploits people.

  7. You are incorrect. As has been stated by the Pope the blessings of homsosexuals is individual ss they approch a priest. How many times has this been stated and hard headed people like you deny that. What does it take to get across to you that hmosexuals are peiople too and could use a blessing that you would give to anyone else if they asked for it.

    • The point is that persons also can be homosexual in orientation; not quite the same as being first a homosexual pair in practice and then a person. The blessing of persons as such is different from the blessing of pairs or “couples” as such. And, as is said, “How many times has this been stated?”

      Homosexual pairs are not being singled out; moral clarity applies equally to those in binary co-habitation and other so-called “irregular” situations.

    • Thank you Armando,

      Did Christ ever refuse a blessing, or refuse to welcome someone to the table for matter?

      Having read a few of the articles, they seem to rely on semantics of how you describe people. People are people.

      I recently read a comment that some people do not like Pope Francis because “he is too much like Jesus”.

      • “Did Christ ever refuse a blessing….”

        I see this and variations of this quite often. But, looking at the Gospels, there are a surprisingly small number of occasions when Jesus blessed a specific person or groups of people before him, as opposed to his general comments in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are…” (Mt 5:3ff). He blessed Simon (Mt 16:17) and he blessed the apostles/apostles at His Ascension (Lk 24:50-51). The notion or assumption that Jesus walked around blessing nearly everyone is “nice,” but not accurate. Furthermore, Jesus ties his general comments about those who are blessed to his demand to follow him and him teachings, as when he says: ” “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk 11:28). And we see in the other NT writings that being blessed is, again, connected to having faith, living holy lives, enduring trials. For example: “Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12) and, “Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near” (Rev 1:3).

        “… or refuse to welcome someone to the table for matter?”

        This is rather misleading, as the real question here is not “welcoming” (all are welcome) but accepting and endorsing wrong actions. Jesus challenges each of us on the actions and desires that keep us from him. That is quite obvious in the famous story of the rich young man (Lk 18), because while material riches can be a serious problem, other riches (or perceived riches) are as well, including wrong relationships, actions, desires.

        “I recently read a comment that some people do not like Pope Francis because ‘he is too much like Jesus’.”

        Well, who can argue with comments left on the internet? Including mine here?

      • Ever hear of “Get behind me Satan”? Christ quite often rebuked sinners and told them they faced terrible judgment if they continued in their sin. He was always merciful when the truly repented. You present Christ as an imbecile who never thought seriously about sin, did not consider it important, and was basically a hippy who refused to judge anyone about anything. Obviously, you have not read the bible, I think you need to start doing so.

    • What you say is simply false. How often do you have to be referred to the document itself, where it says “couples” are blessed? How long will it take for you to realize that bank robbers are people too and those who decide to engage in bank robbing for a living deserve a blessing for their activities?

    • they do not deserve to be blessed…they are going against what the Bible teaches which is God’s words..in other words, IT IS EVIL and this EVIL is even being taught in our schools…how can anybody approve of this is beyond me!

    • You are incorrect. When the Pope is dishonest, he is dishonest like anyone being dishonest, even when he lies to himself while he is being dishonest to everyone on the face of the earth.

  8. Blessing a same-sex active couple is not the same as blessing an homosexual alone. It explicitly blesses the evil act. It would be the same as blessing a murderer holding a bloody knife or a smocking gun.

    • I think you’re correct. A “single” blessing would generally be fine, for most anyone.

      To put it another way, you don’t need to go to confession to obtain a blessing. If you don’t care about how you live then the blessing wouldn’t have much impact anyway.

  9. Excellent, clear article. If someone goes up for communion or for a blessing, and you know that they sinned in the past, you have no idea (and it’s not your business) if they went to confession and vowed to sin no more (you cannot be absolved without such a resolution, even if you fail). But someone in a same-sex relationship does this, it is clear that they have no intention of amending their lives. This is a scandal.

    As for the hypocrisy of a businessman exploiting people, surely exploiting the poor is a sin, as it is stealing from them. But how do you judge this? Some people think paying someone a legal wage, which they agreed to take when they accepted the job, is “exploitation.” Some people think even owning a business is “exploitation” because they are Marxists. It was a very poor choice for an example, and Father Ryan was right when he noted that analogy would be blessing something like a cartel.

    • Exactly. If this is his justification, then next he’ll be blessing pederasts, bigamists, incestuous couples, fetishists, people with their pets, sadists — whatever perversity you please.

      Speaking of perversity, no more Jesuitical popes please.

      • There’s nothing ‘jesuitical” about Fr Peter Ryan SJ’s thinking and his expression of it here, Brineyman: they seem to me representative of earlier generations of Jesuits for whom the study of philosophy was a prerequisite for the pursuit of theology in priestly formation. By contrast, much contemporary Jesuit training appears to be uncritically and inordinately influenced by the praxis emphasis of Liberation Theology and its secular presuppositions, especially about the person of Christ and the Kingdom he preached and initiated.

      • Every Faithful Jesuit, like all the Faithful, are first and foremost, in communion with Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic, And Apostolic Church, and thus we can know through both Faith and reason, that all true Jesuits affirm Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, And The Teaching Of The Magisterium, grounded in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, The Deposit Of Faith Christ Has Entrusted To His Church.

        A Faithful Jesuit will not stand in opposition to Christ, for every Faithful Catholic affirms The Deposit Of Faith.

  10. I wonder if a group of Planned Parenthood clinic owners who identify themselves as inclined to murder babies can get a group blessing?
    I wonder if former President Trump asked the Pope for a blessing, if he would be given one? The Pope made known his disdain for Trump.
    I wonder where the hypocrisy actually lies. In those who don’t want children to be scandalized by “couples” blessings, or rather is the hypocrisy in those who believe that certain groups of people cannot be elevated above their sinful ways by the Lord?

      • If “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” and “Lord do not hold this sin against them” are equivalent to blessings, then by all means, let priests say that over all the homosexual or irregular couples.

  11. I have been studying “The Tree Ages of the Interior Life” by Father Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange. It has motivated me, in so many ways, to repent. One specific area was my criticism of Pope Francis. I must be careful to delineate between a critical discussion of ideas and any form of an attack on an individual that espouses a given thought, concept, or teaching.
    Teaching truth is vital for the health of the Church. I pray that will be able to humbly stand on Tradition and the wise teachings of our Church Fathers and on the promptings of the Holy Spirit. These are perilous times. Pray for the Pope Francis. Pray for all that serve the Body of Christ.
    Father Ryan, thank you for the part of this article that clearly states the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ and Tradition.

    • Yes, and yet we live in a tyrannically secularized time when (as I overheard excited university students) “to criticize a person’s ideas IS to attack the person himself.” Exit thought and campus free speech, and Enter cerebral padded cells known as “safe spaces.”

    • I also studied in the past “The Three Ages of the Interior Life”. I agree with you that there is a spiritual danger in attacking an individual, of ruining one’s ability to walk towards God. Yet the problem with Pope Francis is that he does not have ideas or unique theology outside of himself or separated from himself. In the past there were heresies caused by an errant thinking, like Christ was not truly crucified etc. People tried to understand something that was outside of themselves, the mysteries of God.

      Now it is entirely different. People like Pope Francis are not concerned about grand ideas of God, they are only concerned about themselves. Imagine some extremely self-centered person who “walks around” Christianity and looks. The more self-centered such a person is, the less he will understand Christ. If it is some non-Christian, he will shrug his shoulders and leave. But if it is a priest – bishop – pope then he must remain there and make sense of that strange person, Jesus Christ. But how can he do that if Christ is so selfless and a person – so selfish? – Via perverting Christ in his mind, via making Christ into his own image and then making decrees in accordance with that pseudo-Christ.

      A classic example, where Our Lord says “I also do not condemn you, go and sin now more” such an egocentric will say “who am I to judge you? – go and sin.” Why does he say it? Because an egocentric in Church’s setting knows that he has much more chances to be “loved” and “admired” if he permits a sin. By doing so he counter-positions his universal “niceness” to the uncomfortable goodness of Christ. Christ was not loved by all otherwise He would not be crucified. Christ was killed not for what he preached but for WHO he was. Likewise, an egocentric is “loved” because he is an antithesis of Christ. And this is what we witness. Now, in the Church, Christ is being killed while/because his antithesis is being liked – I do not mean PF but all who share the same modus operandi of the psyche, the desire to be liked, and the spiritual force behind it. It is a collective Antichrist if you like.

      Hence there is no way to deal with that heresy without discussing the personality which is a perfect opposite of Christ. It is necessary to know the mechanics of such a personality for the preservation of one’s own sanity and spiritual survival.

      • Very good observations Anna. God Bless. There was a time when I thought God would not allow a terrible pope to be elected during this modern era of mass communications. I was never so wrong about anything in my life.

      • What you are describing is very much like the Parable of the Dishonest Manager. Fixing tickets rather than fixing sinners, to ingratiate one’s self to the world.

    • I too read “The Three Ages” by Garrigou-Legrange. I’ve occasionally prayed for the great Dominican’s intercession on behalf of the Church, whose doctrines he worked so assiduously to defend.

  12. With respect, might it be true that the Pope knows something that Fr. Ryan does not?

    I need to know how my love for my sister, my friend, and my boyfriend are not the same. I’d love an answer, if it’s possible to first consider love apart from sex. Faith, hope and love–these three?

    • What you are suggesting is the Pope does not know the basics of what Christ has taught, what the bible teaches, or what Catholic teaching is composed of. I am inclined to agree with you. He appears to not understand any of that.

    • Hi Samton. It’s hard to tell when someone responds to my post. My point was that maybe Bergoglio and Christ know something that others do not.

    • There is need-love, when you love someone because they provide something you need. This is a love every child has for his father and mother, and every person has for God. But obviously, God does not love us in this way.

      Then there is friend-love, a mutual love that arises from enjoyment of the other person in themselves. This is a sort of love appropriate to any lasting, mutually loving relationship, friends, married couples, God, etc. But this sort of love is not for enemies or strangers.

      Then there is passionate love, the love which belongs strictly between husband and wife.

      Finally there is charity, to will the good of another *for the sake of God*. This love, and this love alone, is the love we ought to give to every person, including ourselves. This is 1 Corinthians 13 love, and all the other forms of love must be subject to it, or they will be corrupted.

      • Sorry, dear Amanda, you underestimate the totality of the love that we owe to Father Son, and Holy Spirit!

        Our creator, sustainer, teacher, saviour, and Life Eternal specifically instructs us that our love for God must be evident in our faithful obedience to The Commandments. That is basic Catholic catechetical.

    • IN Christ, we love. As Christ loves, we should. Christ provided the example. One way Jesus showed love was to offer the sacrifice of His life to his father for our sake and the sake of others. We are to convert, repent (turn from sin) and turn to Him. As He gave His life, we are to give ours.

      John’s gospel is filled with ideas about love. He was the apostle whom Jesus loved. John was at Jesus’ heart at the Last Supper, and John stood as the only disciple at the Cross. John quotes Jesus: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15).

      If you love someone, you show them the love of Christ, their savior and their redeemer. You share scripture. You love your sister, your boyfriend, and your friend by showing them Christ.

  13. In the past Pope Francis has condemned the Mafia…… he did not bless that group or individuals within that group adhering to that organization……

  14. Fernandez-induced cognitive dissonance can be easily solved with this direct comparison and precursor…”The Piltdown Man was a paleoanthropological fraud in which bone fragments were presented as the fossilised remains of a previously unknown early human” (Wikipedia quote).

    With his double-speak, does Fernandez offer us a sort of missing link in moral theology, as between the moral and the immoral, and between a blessing and a non-blessing? Something new and in between, not forward, and said to be a “development” rather than, say, a fraud…

    In the future, it may be clarifying to accurately refer to Fiducia Supplicans as Piltdown Theology. Teilhard de Chardin, eat your heart out!

    • Cool. FS is indietristically bass-ack-ward. IOW, it is presented as a type of fish-fossil (Christian) but actually is snake bones. Bing Chat GPT-4: “The number of bones in a snake can vary from 300 to 1800, depending on the size and species. The bones make the snake flexible and give it some extraordinary abilities.”

      So snake bones provide the ability to be flexible. Snakes may in fact appear to be fish.

      • If your cassock is blindingly white enough, people might believe you when you tell them this deadly snake is actually a delicious fish.

  15. The attempt to neutralize the objection of the African episcopate to Fiducia Supplicans is symptomatic of a racist perspective and a shameless sense of cultural superiority. It is astonishing that this critique of Pope Francis’ has essentially been suppressed in both the Catholic and secular media. It speaks loudly.
    We will no longer button our lips.

  16. So then would he bless someone whom everyone knows to be an unrepentant mafia hit man? Should we be scandalized if he did? Who’s the hypocrite?

    “‘A person who is a mafioso does not live as a Christian because with his life he blasphemes against the name of God,’ Francis said in the sermon of a mass for some 80,000 people in the port area of the Sicilian capital. The crowd interrupted with applause each time he denounced the mafia.”

    Who is being a hypocrite here? But then, who am I to judge?

  17. Fr Ryan SJ continues the trend of discussing the illogic of our pontiff’s rationale in defense of FS. A French bishop, Marc Aillet Bishop of Bayonne France likewise refutes FS on the blessing of homosexuals based on tradition argument rather than logic.
    For a welcome rarity Bishop Aillet praised the Church in America including its bishops in their stance on the right to life, attendance during the DC march, upholding the faith in a much clearer manner than in France. Aillet touched on the tragic difference in France where he perceives an apostasy citing marked statistics in baptisms and attendance. He also said what has not been heard from a bishop holding the office of ordinary.
    “The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the return of Christ will be preceded by the advent of the ungodly man, the Antichrist,” Bishop Aillet continues. “We won’t ‘know the day or the hour,’ but we absolutely must reintegrate the events we are experiencing today into a Christian vision of history that cannot do without this perspective of Christ’s return, which must be the key to our understanding” (Bishop Aillet of Bayonne France in NCReg).

    • Thank you, dear Fr Peter, for this heartening account of one of our bishops courageously standing for The Truth.

      You have made my day! There are still Apostles of Jesus Christ among us!

      Praise God: Father, Son, & Holy Spirit!!!

  18. This Pope is an abberation!. And perhaps some day the Good Lord will enlighten us on why he allowed this man to become pope!

    • Dear John H Turner: a good question . . .

      Maybe partly answered by the almost resurrection-like galvanizing of so many sincere and informed Catholics (both ordained & lay; both women & men) to assert the abiding truth of the Apostolic revelations given us by Grace in The New Testament.

      Now THAT is synodality, sensu strictu.

      We are all asserting that our devotion to the Holy Eucharist is to be matched by our devotion to The Living Word. Neither is to be toyed with – even by a bad pope.

      When that devotion is erased or diluted, we are indeed losing the game.

      We WILL persevere in The Truth and the game will not be lost!

      Stay strong in the unbreakable, unshakeable, unbeatable love of Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

    • That’s not his point at all, nor is it what he said. He merely is pointing out that reality that if you take any random person the chances are they are engaged in one type of sin or another. To pick and choose and rank them is prejudicial and hypocritical.

      • Dear John, please be objective:

        Other than homosexual ‘couples’, adulterers, & advocates of infanticide, what other public sinners does the current pontiff encourage by his scandalous public blessings?

  19. What a worldly and shallow Pope we have! He calls those who strongly believe in the Old and New Testament exhortations of living a life of moral standards as hypocrites! He forgets that God and His written Word (eg. Romans 1) is immutable and that it will always remain so no matter the worldly culture at the time! He disregards the opinion of those that oppose Fiducia Supplicans! At 87 years old Pope Francis needs to call it quits before doing more damage to Christ’s flock.

    • Even better, like Saul of Tarsus, he should repent, do his best to repair the damage he is inflicting, and hopefully avoid an eternity in hell.

        • Like the very subtle satanic serpent in the Garden of Eden, PF is fond of directly contradicting God.

          In many places, such as Matthew 23:15 and Matthew 25:46, our LORD Jesus Christ refers directly to the infernal fate of those many who disobey His commands.

  20. Wow, finally I am reassured that there are still exists a Jesuit that is not influenced by the “culture” of today, i.e. alphabet soup letters describing lifestyles of sin. I was educated in 1958-62 t a 4 year Jesuit university by Jesuits true to tradition & magisterium, & the teachings of St Ignatius. That type university is scarcely found now, including mine.
    I will pray for your continuing work in the vineyard father, & thank you for your fiat to your priestly call. 🙏🙏🙏🙏👍

  21. The Pope should ask himself; if it were Jesus Christ would he have blessed any same sex couple that came for his blessing? Or would he had told them “repent for the kingdom of God is near?”. This is certainly not a vicar of Christ.

    • Yes. I will add that now it is very important to verify what the Pope (or anyone) says not just with the words of Christ (I mean quotes) but with the whole Person of Our Lord. How did He speak, to whom, what was His conduct, whose will He did and so on. To saturate oneself with the Person of Christ, to see everything through Him.

      • I like that very much, only it is Jesus Christ by His anointing and infilling Holy Spirit who ‘saturates us’. It’s not something we can do by ourselves.

        Jesus tells us to be confident in asking The Father for more of The Holy Spirit.

        • He cannot do that against our will. Hence, someone who eagerly tries to immerse himself into His Person via reading the Gospel and other suitable books does his part in that saturation, expressing his desire to be saturated by Him. While he is applying himself trying to understand Our Lord, he is changing already. We should do our part focusing on Christ; the rest is up to God of course.

          • Dear Anna, you are right.

            The Holy Spirit is singing in me: “Seek ye first The Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”

            Always in the immeasurable love of King Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

  22. It is just as presumptuous to assume an LGBTQ+ couple is currently engaged in a sexual relationship as it is to assume all married heterosexuals continue to be engaged in a sexual relationship. Most probably are but relationships evolve. There are certainly couples who discontinue sexual activity at certain points in their relationships. To single out LGBTQ+ couples as “always” being in a sexual relationship is absolutely both prejudicial and hypocritical.

  23. I think having open critacism of the Vicar of
    Christ, our Pope, is terrible. Saying “I disagree with him would be more civil. sorry about the spelling error}

    • It is a duty of a Christian to openly oppose anyone, including the Vicar of Christ, when he provides a crooked reflection of Christ = twists Church’s teaching and tries to pull down others with him. We are supposed to be faithful to Our Lord; if the Pope is faithful to Him, we do not need to oppose the Pope. It is via his unfaithfulness to Christ and the Church’s teaching the Pope made himself an object of the criticism of the faithful.

      However, I think it is a very bad form to call the Pope by offensive, derogatory names and it should not be done.

      • Anna, you are right, of course.
        And insults should not be spewed forth even by those who have been painted as “rigid, fixistic, bigoted, ideological, and backwardist.” The toxicity has to stop somewhere, but why not everywhere?

      • He seems to be a rigid Marxist idealogue. Power-over control is what counts.

        Catholic, truth-seeking, free will simply counts for nothing. “What is truth?”

        Plenty of play-acted holiness but, when the mask slips, it’s not The Cross that we see but the hammer & sickle and an iron fist.

        • I was responding to Andy A because he thinks it’s terrible to criticize the Pope openly — my point being he can still make choices even though he is Pope.

          • Dear ‘knowall’, you are right.

            Lent begins this week and, just like the least of us, pope Francis could choose to repent and believe The Gospel Truth; resiling at last from his treachery towards our LORD, Jesus Christ.

            Millions of faithful Catholics are praying for his conversion and escape from the judgment that he has been storing up.

  24. Words shape ideas ideas shape behavior.
    “Blessing—statement and/or action invoking divine favor upon a person, place or object; flows from one’s relationship with God; it can be priestly, spousal, and lay.”
    So, Pope Hurdy Gurdy is justifying and rationalizing that God approves of invoking Divine favor on unrepentant couples engaged sinful lifestyles. It defies all of the Church history on the proper use of the sexual appetite. What of the multitude of lives lost to AIDS? No, mention of that.

  25. Homosexuality, defined as a physical sexual relationship between same sex couples, is an abuse of God’s plan for the creation of human life. To bless such abuse in God’s name is an insult to God the Creator. The Marxist Pope should go back to Argentina and take his destructive teachings with him.

  26. What is needed is to have PF describe, in his own words and without any assistance or spin-doctoring, what it is that a blessing conveys, including its purpose, function, i.e., mechanism and intention.

  27. So . . . maybe the Holy Father should discourage his Bishops from accepting tithes from anyone who earns a salary as a businessperson. Of course, any donations gained through capitalist practices should be considered suspect!

    Wilhelmina, would you accompany me to the wastepaper bin, and be truly present as I tear up my check made out to the Peter’s Pence Collection?

    By the way “tear” is a both a noun and a verb.

  28. It all depends on the meaning and purpose of “blessing”. If, as the document says, a blessing is a way to have God’s help in moving our lives closer to Him, and if that idea is extended to those (us) who sin, then it would seem permissible to bless a couple of people who are in an “irregular” or a morally impermissible relationship.

    If on the other hand a “blessing” is a sign of God’s approval of one’s virtuous life and is an encouragement and aid to go even further in the life of grace, then the blessing of irregular relationship types would seem misplaced.

    The document says that the first view of “blessings” is legitimate and therefore can extend to those in irregular relationships.

    The document also makes a basic assumption that isn’t being discussed in this thread (if at all). It assumes that those requesting a blessing are coming forward in humility to ask for God to help them (via the blessing) to orient their lives more closely to His designs.

    If we have the legitimate purpose of blessings including sinners seeking to improve, combined with the situation where those in an irregular relationship are striving to live according to God’s will and are asking for more of God’s grace to achieve that, then it’s reasonable if not even urgent to grant them that blessing.

    To avoid that conclusion one needs to disagree with the document either as to the purpose of blessings or as to the intention of those asking for the blessing.

    With the first point (that blessings can have the purpose of helping sinners to be more conformed to God’s will) I had my doubts… until it just came to me right now… that ahead of confession we say “bless me father for I have sinned…”. This always struck me wa strange thing to say. Bless me because I have sinned?!! It now makes sense to me, if I change my view of blessings to be something given to an active sinner who wills to repent and strive to live a better life in the future.

    As to the intention of the one asking for a blessing… well… I guess it’s better to leave the heart reading business to God. Probably holding hands with the one with whom you are in sin during the blessing is far from appropriate. But in essence the document would seem to be fair enough in light of the above.

    • Exactly, dear Moussa Taouk: “It now makes sense to me, if I change my view of blessings to be something given to an active sinner who wills to repent and strive to live a better life in the future.”

      As you’d know, that sort of blessing has always been freely available for both of the Catholic individual sinners who are in a homosexual coupling relationship (or in an adulterous relationship, etc.).

      It is done privately and for the sake of the eternal souls of each of them. The priest is required to withhold the absolution blessing if he is convinced the sinner is not truly repentant. This is all a private, non-political, event.

      Please do notice the categorical difference between that sound Catholic practice and the heretical practice of PF, CF, JM and co-conspirators, who give a Catholic blessing to unrepentant self-defining homosexual couples, adulterers, pornographers, & advocates of infanticide, IN PUBLIC. There is an eternity of difference.

      These ‘leaders’ are making a political statement because they are actually Marxist idealogues, and Catholic Christians in name only. And that is truly hypocrisy!

      The demonic Marxist spirit prefers to eradicate Christ’s Church altogether, starting the process by infiltrating the clergy, undermining sound doctrine, sabotaging morality, and causing a discombobulating mess so as to confuse simple, faithful souls.

      Has the Light come on . . ? Are we deaf to the alarm bells . . ?

      Ever seeking to hear & lovingly follow King Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

      • Oh, come now, Dr. Rice, is Fiducia Supplicans really Marxist?

        Instead, why are we reminded of a closing scene in the movie “Amadeus” (1983) where the delusional composer Salieri is being wheeled down the crowded hallway of his asylum–dispensing mimicked absolution indiscriminately to everyone (everyone, everyone!) as he passes by?

        Oh, wait, maybe what we have today in FS–and like FS!–is both Marxism AND delusion, both together as a “couple” and awaiting an equally novel half-blessing?

    • “The document also makes a basic assumption that isn’t being discussed in this thread (if at all). It assumes that those requesting a blessing are coming forward in humility to ask for God to help them (via the blessing) to orient their lives more closely to His designs.”

      A blessing can be asked for a different purpose. For example, I routinely asked for the blessing of a priest before the beginning of a work on an icon. Or before a pilgrimage. Or when I was ill or tempted, for a recovery. And so on. In the Eastern Orthodox Church many individuals ask for a priest’s blessing after a Liturgy – he makes a sign of a cross and a person kisses his hand. By the way, I have never witnessed a blessing of a couple in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Blessing is collective in the end of the Liturgy and individual – after it. Knowing a very family-like attitude in the Eastern Orthodox Church I am sure some couples ask a specific blessing of a priest before some (allowed by the Church) infertility treatment or a pilgrimage to some holy place, for that purpose. (The priests are mostly married so they are well-acquainted with such problems).

      If two men happen to approach a priest as two they are usually connected by some common endeavor. So, they would say “father, we are going to begin the restoration of the church’s cupola, bless us” (for example) or “father, we are going to be sent to a different dangerous location (policemen). No problem.

      Now, imagine two homosexual men approaching a priest and saying “father bless us”. A question arises, for which purpose? If it is for some purpose like above, they would say so. If they do not say what it is, it is safe to assume that they want to be blessed existentially so to speak, as they are, to continue to do whatever makes them a couple. And a priest cannot do that because what they are doing is condemned by God.

      In case they are repenting, they would not approach a priest for a blessing. They would know, by the virtue of their repentance, that they are doing a wrong thing. Hence, they would know to come to a confession or to make an appointment with a priest to speak privately. If by the end of a conversation they achieved an agreement of working on stopping the sin, a priest would bless each of them, like “My son, I give you a God’s blessing for a battle with your passion”. It is a private pastoral care and precisely because the Church has been dealing with such things for a long time there was no need to make some provisions for “blessings of homosexual couples”. By the way, in such a couple usually it is only one person who feels it is wrong so he quietly goes to see a priest, often secretly from his partner.

      I repeat, for the purpose of pastoral care the document is not needed. If two homosexuals want help from the Church they do not start with a blessing (each of them received it anyway, during the Liturgy). They come to a priest and say “we are doing that, help us”.

      This is why it is a deceitful document. A homosexual couple can be blessed after a repentance i.e. after they stopped being a couple. And for such a blessing no document is needed, the Church has been doing it for all its history.

  29. Very good article.
    And the comments about chaste gay people are so foreign to me. Wouldn’t they just be friends then? Why does everything have to be so hyper-sexualized these days? It’s disordered and weird. Maybe demons of lust?? I think many of us have too many material possessions. If they were all removed we wouldn’t CONSTANTLY be thinking about sex sex sex sex…🙄 (Just my humble two cents)

  30. There is no excuse for the way Francis is acting and responding except to aknowlege there is something seriously wrong with the actions and words of Francis himself.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Hypocrisy and same-sex blessings – Via Nova
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