“Fiducia Supplicans” Sparks Immense Mistrust (1)

Source: FSSPX News

The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, published on December 18, 2023, a Declaration on the blessing of “couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples.” This is an excerpt of an article from DICI no. 440.

[Reaction of the Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X]

Deception and Hypocrisy

On December 20, historian Roberto de Mattei placed the Declaration of Cardinal Fernández in the context of the general crisis which is shaking the Church: “To understand the origins of what happened, one must go back to the early 1970s, when, on the wave of the 1968 Revolution, but also of the post-conciliar ‘new morality,’ forms of ‘openness’ to homosexual relationships began to spread in the Church. 

“According to traditional doctrine, the sexual act is in itself, by its very nature, ordered to procreation and is good only if it takes place within marriage, without being diverted from its purpose. Instead, for the new theologians, the sexual act is always good because it constitutes the most intimate and intense moment of human love, regardless of whether or not it is ordered to procreation, whether or not it takes place within marriage, and whether or not it involves men and women of different or of the same sex.”

The Italian university professor notes: “since the Synod of German bishops opened in 2020, calls for the ‘blessing’ of same-sex ‘couples’ began to spread. On March 15, 2021, the then Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Cardinal Luis F. Ladaria published a Responsum in which it answered the question of whether the Church has the power to impart blessings to same-sex unions.

“The Vatican Dicastery responded in the negative, explaining that since blessings are sacramentals, they require that ‘what is blessed is objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, in function of God's designs inscribed in Creation and fully revealed by Christ the Lord.  Therefore, only those realities that are in themselves ordered to serve those designs are compatible with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church.’"

And he adds: “From the very beginning the Church, echoing the curse of Scripture (Gen. 18:20; 19:12-13, 24-28; Lev. 12:22, 29; Is. 3:9; 1 Tim. 1, 9-10; 1 Cor. 6, 9-10) condemned sin against nature by the mouth of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the saints, the Popes, the Councils and Canon Law.  The declaration Fiducia supplicans of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith, twists this Magisterium.”

Roberto de Mattei denounces “the deception and hypocrisy” of the Roman document: “The first misleading point is to affirm that same-sex relationships are not equated with Christian marriage, while avoiding calling them intrinsically disordered acts; the second point is the insistence on the distinction between liturgical and extra-liturgical blessings, as if an extra-liturgical blessing, made by a priest, could make licit what is illicit to bless.”

And he highlights “that the document authorizes the blessing not of an individual believer, who wants to free himself from an irregular situation, but that of a ‘couple,’ which in the condition of sin lives permanently, without any intention of getting rid of it.”

A Pastoral Approach Which Changes Doctrine

On January 3, 2024, in La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Riccardo Cascioli and Stefano Fontana very aptly bring up that, in Fiducia Supplicans, “the majority of magisterial references refer to interventions of Francis. There has never been a document so limited in its references to the previous magisterium. It is said that the Declaration is ‘based on the pastoral vision of Pope Francis,’ as if it were something unique.”

Then the two authors analyze the central thesis of the Roman Declaration: “Fiducia Supplicans maintains that the Catholic doctrine on marriage and sexuality remains unchanged and that the new indications that it contains are solely pastoral and, as such, complete, without denying it, the Responsum of 2021, which would have been limited to the doctrinal domain alone.

“The pastoral novelty would consist in a revision of the meaning of blessings, providing, apart from already doctrinally clarified blessings which have a place in liturgical contexts, also blessings in non-liturgical contexts that the Declaration calls ‘private’ or ‘spontaneous.’

To which they respond bluntly: “These arguments have no plausible foundation. If it is not a layperson who blesses, like a father blessing his children, but a priest, this blessing is already liturgical in itself, even if it does not follow a formulation prepared by the competent authority.

“It is liturgical in substance, because it is given by a priest and it therefore involves the Church. It is not only a matter of noting that such a purely pastoral and non-liturgical blessing has never been envisaged by the Church, but also that it does not exist, and that it had not been envisaged and regulated because it cannot exist.”

Riccardo Cascioli and Stefano Fontana aptly remind us: “Pastoral care does not have its own independence or autonomy in relation to doctrine, as many contemporary theological currents claim, because when it affirms this independence, it does so by declaring a doctrine, precisely the doctrine of independence of pastoral care in relation to doctrine. [...]

“The pastoral solution therefore cannot remain simply pastoral; as it denies the doctrine (despite assurances to the contrary which, at this stage, reveal themselves as rhetorical instruments), it understands itself as not dependent on the doctrine, and as capable of changing the doctrine itself.

“There is an inevitable result: the new blessings considered only pastoral are in fact also doctrinal, both because they deny their doctrinal dimension by expressing a new doctrine, and because they implicitly call for the reformulation of the doctrine. A new doctrine is already implicitly contained there.

“And, those who propose these new [pastoral] blessings already have in view a new doctrine, which they intend to pursue through pastoral, indirectly doctrinal means...”--In short, the conciliar praxis destroys traditional doctrine, and substitutes for it a new doctrine, openly “pastoral” and surreptitiously “doctrinal.”

Cardinal Müller Speaks of “Sacrilege” and “Blasphemy”

On December 21, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published in four languages through multiple media channels a critical response to Fiducia Supplicans, which shows the extreme confusion which reigns at the Vatican: the current Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith is severely and publicly corrected by one of his predecessors.

In his doctrinal clarification, the German prelate did not hesitate to assert: “It seems that the innovative ‘pastoral’ blessing is being created ad hoc, in order to bless situations contrary to the law or the spirit of the Gospel.” And he insists: “It is true that Cardinal Fernández, in subsequent statements to Infovaticana, said that it is not the union that is blessed, but the couple.

“But this is emptying a word of its meaning, since what defines a couple as a couple is precisely the fact that it is a union. The difficulty of blessing a union or a couple is particularly evident in the case of homosexuality. Indeed, in the Bible, blessing is linked to the order that God created and declared good. This order is founded on the sexual difference of man and woman, called to be only one flesh.

“Blessing a reality contrary to creation is not only impossible, it is blasphemy. Once again, it is not a matter of blessing people who live ‘in a union that cannot be compared in any way to a marriage’ (FS, no. 30), but of blessing the very union which cannot be compared to marriage. This is precisely for this purpose that a new type of blessing is created (FS 7, 12).”

A new “blessing” cannot be created to satisfy a misguided subjectivity, recalls Cardinal Müller: “The fact is that a blessing has its own objective reality and therefore cannot be redefined at will to suit a subjective intention contrary to the nature of a blessing.

From there, one wonders if the ideology of Cardinal Fernández is not set in the “LGBTQ+ wonderland”... Because, Cardinal Müller continues: “those who ask for a blessing as a couple [...] implicitly or explicitly seek to justify their relationship itself before God, without realizing that it is precisely their relationship which distances them from God.”

And he warns: “through his actions, the priest who blesses these unions presents them as a path to the Creator. He therefore commits a sacrilegious and blasphemous act against the Creator’s plan and against Christ’s death for us, whose goal was to fulfill the Creator’s plan.”

This is why the German prelate rises up against the fact that “the courageous defenders of Christian doctrine are accused of being rigorist, more interested in the legalistic fulfillment of their moral standards than the salvation of concrete people. This is indeed what Jesus says to ordinary people:

“’Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light’ (Mt. 11:28-30).

“And the apostle explains it thus: ‘and his commandments are not heavy. For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ (I Jn. 5:3-5).” And he recalls very rightly:

“At a time when a false anthropology undermines the divine institution of marriage between one man and one woman, with the family and its children, the Church must remember the words of her Lord and Master: ‘Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!’ (Mt. 7:13-14)”