Below you will see thoughts regarding the recent Declaration Feducia Supplicans from KonB International President and Michigan State KofC State Faith Director, Bob (Ace) Bagley:
A few days ago the Dicastery on the Doctrine of Faith released the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans.
What is imperative for us to remember is that we are to follow Christ and Scriptures. The Catholic teaching on the sacrament of marriage is unchanged. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Same sex marriage will not be blessed in the Church because sin can not be blessed. What is a sin in God’s eyes is still a sin. In the history of our church we have had good Popes and bad, the very first Pope, Peter, denied Christ three times. We must continue to follow Christ and Scripture, do this and we will not be led astray.
First, I draw your attention to the statement from the USCCB. It is clear and concise:
“The Declaration issued today by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) articulated a distinction between liturgical (sacramental) blessings, and pastoral blessings, which may be given to persons who desire God’s loving grace in their lives. The Church’s teaching on marriage has not changed, and this declaration affirms that, while also making an effort to accompany people through the imparting of pastoral blessings because each of us needs God’s healing love and mercy in our lives.” – USCCB
Second, I am sure that people will look to you for guidance regarding yesterday’s Declaration. I offer you the following talking points in the hope that you may find these helpful.
A disclaimer: I don’t intend this to be a complete treatment of the Declaration. It would be helpful if you read the entire document so that you can understand these talking points in their context:
· Blessing has many meanings in the English language. One of those meanings is “approval”; this is not the definition being used in this document. This Declaration explains the meaning of imparting a blessing of God upon people.
· The Declaration is an edifying theological treatment of the role and purpose of blessings within the Church and the Christian tradition.
· Some blessings are given to anyone who comes forth in good will to ask God for His grace.
· With this kind of blessing, the Declaration presumes that people requesting them do so because they recognize their need for God’s grace to help them to overcome whatever difficulty they are encountering.
· People ask for blessings for many things such as: physical health struggles, mental health struggles, and sometime moral struggles. We do not need to wait for physical or mental healing before we impart a blessing, nor do we need to wait for moral perfection before imparting a blessing. The blessing is intended to help them in their struggle.
· These blessings are to be spontaneous blessings, in response to spontaneous requests (i.e. you are asked after Mass, or in the store, or on pilgrimage, etc.). We often receive these kinds of requests and they should be familiar to us.
· These pastoral blessings are not to be given within rituals, nor are they to be given according to any standardized form, nor are they to be done with the intention of being witnessed by a group of people.
· This is a spontaneous blessing of the individuals coming forward; it is not in any way to be construed as a blessing of their unions.
· Pastors are to remember that “any blessing will be an opportunity for a renewed proclamation of the kerygma, and invitation to draw ever closer to the love of Christ.” (44)
I hope that this information is helpful to you as you attempt to shepherd your people according to the mind and heart of Christ and the Church. Catholic teaching on the sacrament of marriage is unchanged. We are asked to respond generously to those who request our prayers and the aid of divine grace.