Fiducia Supplicans: The Russian Orthodox Church Condemns the Text

Source: FSSPX News

The Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission of the Patriarchate of Moscow meets in a video conference

At the request of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, a plenary session of the Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church, presided over by the Metropolitan of Budapest and Hungary, Hilarion, was held through videoconference on February 20, 2024. On the agenda was analyzing the Declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), Fiducia supplicans.

As the Patriarch of Moscow said, the main item on the meeting agenda was to discuss the text of the Declaration Fiducia supplicans, adopted by the DDF on December 18, 2023. The mission of analyzing the document was given to the Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission by Patriarch Kirill “of Moscow and All Russia.”

The meeting began with an opening speech by Metropolitan Hilarion, President of the Commission, who gave a brief overview of the current direction of the Commission’s work and presented the tasks to be accomplished in the framework of the plenary session.

A Unanimous Condemnation of Fiducia Supplicans

According to the Moscow Patriarchate’s website, “The participants in the meeting shared their views on theology behind the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans, pointing out that it is the first ever document in the history of the Catholic Church which gives form to the blessing of ‘same-sex unions.’

“The Commission members were unanimous that this innovation manifests a sharp deviation from the Christian moral teaching.” Metropolitan Hilarion had already warned in December that Fiducia supplicans erased all possibility of union between the Russian Orthodox and Rome.

The results of the Commission’s work on this question will be delivered to Patriarch Kirill for review.

The Synodal Biblical-Theological Commission is the theological and doctrinal body of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. Created on December 28, 1993, it succeeds the Holy Synod Commission for Christian Unity (created in 1979), which itself succeeded the Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church on Inter-Christian Relations (created on August 28, 1960).

An Incomplete and Skewed Condemnation

It is certainly understandable that the Russian Orthodox Church is reacting to Fiducia supplicans, and seizing the opportunity to lecture the “Latins,” while distancing itself from the ecumenical movement initiated by Rome. But it should be noted that the condemnation targets the blessing of “same-sex couples” and does not mention--at least in the report on the Patriarchate’s website--”irregular” couples.

This criticism would in fact be unwelcome, since the Orthodox accept divorce and remarriage as a “necessary” concession for human sin, while affirming that it is an “exception.” They have been blessing “divorced and remarried” people for a long time; it is therefore not an oversight.