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Diciembre 21, 2023

Statement from Bishop Stephen D. Parkes Regarding the Vatican’s Document Addressing Pastoral Blessings

Fiducia supplicans, the declaration issued on December 18, 2023 by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), discusses the pastoral meaning of blessings. While I encourage you to read the entire document, following are some summary points:

  • The declaration does not make any change or amendment to the theology of the Sacrament of Marriage.
  • Priests are often asked to provide a blessing to people in casual interactions, as indicated in the declaration. These blessings do not inquire about, nor require an examination of, the person's moral character or standing.
  • A blessing of individuals who are involved in a same sex union or any other irregular union would be imparted in a spontaneous pastoral context, for reasons such as (these are just a few examples):
    • - to help the person to grow in his or her relationship with God
    • - to desire greater holiness
    • - to ask for strength in living a life of faithfulness as a disciple.
  • Blessings of individuals involved in a same sex union or other irregular union are imparted as one imparts a blessing to any other faithful who approaches requesting one. These blessings will not:
    • - take place in a formal liturgical situation using rituals or vesture of the Church
    • - be scheduled by prior appointment
    • - mimic in any way the outward signs/elements contained in ritual for the Sacrament of Marriage
    • - provide validation of the person's moral choices.
  • All blessings, whether pastoral or liturgical, are imparted to help a person understand God's love and mercy regardless of his or her state of life and are intended to inspire the faithful to grow closer to God.
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