A group of Catholic clergy in the United Kingdom has issued a position paper declaring that any blessings of same-sex couples “are pastorally and practically inadmissible.”
In a declaration issued December 21, a draft of which was leaked December 20, a group representing hundreds of clergy in the United Kingdom firmly rejected the possibility of issuing blessings for same-sex couples, following the publication of the Vatican’s Fiducia Supplicans on December 18.
“With honest parresia and from our own experience as pastors we conclude that such blessings [of same-sex couples] are pastorally and practically inadmissible,” the declaration read.
The British Confraternity of Catholic Clergy (BCCC) stated that its text had been issued as a response to “widespread confusion over Catholic doctrine on same-sex unions and sexual behaviour outside of marriage.” Consequently, their text restated the “traditional teaching of the Catholic Church (from the Catechism of the Catholic Church) which remains unchanged and unchangeable.”
Drawing from sections 2357 and 2391 of the Catechism, the text highlighted the Catholic teaching which is based on Sacred Scripture, which states how “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” The Catechism further states how such actions “are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
Consequently, the BCCC wrote that such teachings must be used to respond to the recently issued document by Pope Francis and his doctrinal chief Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, allowing for “blessings for couples in irregular situations and for couples of the same sex.”
“It is in this context that we must assess the recent document Fiducia Supplicans – which proposes a call for discernment which may lead to bestowing blessings on those in same-sex or unmarried unions,” read the confraternity’s text.
While making a note of what was described as a “noble pastoral desire to assist people to move forward by renewal of life and the call to conversion, building on all aspects of natural good will and virtue,” the confraternity continued, writing how “we see no situation in which such a blessing of a couple could be properly and adequately distinguished from some level of approval.”
The document warned, rather, that any such blessing “would inevitably lead to scandal – to the individuals concerned – to those involved directly or indirectly in the blessing – or to the minister himself.”
Alongside this, the confraternity’s text – which was not signed by its members, but issued as a position paper of the group, an official told LifeSiteNews – warned that same-sex blessings would “confuse the faithful over the actual theology of marriage and human sexuality.”
“We believe that genuine charity always follows true doctrine and that such blessings would work against the legitimate care a priest owes to his flock. With honest parresia and from our own experience as pastors we conclude that such blessings are pastorally and practically inadmissible.”
While reactions have been pouring in from dioceses or bishops’ conferences around the world, the confraternity’s paper is the first from a group of priests. …