How Did Fiducia Supplicans Happen?

Source: FSSPX News

Cardinals Luis Ladaria Ferrer and Manuel Victor Fernandez

Rome's recent green light for blessings of homosexual couples has plunged the Catholic world into confusion. Many are in shock since two years earlier, the Sovereign Pontiff approved an official document prohibiting this type of practice. 

The contrast – not to say the contradiction – is obvious. On March 15, 2021, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote in an official act of the Holy See receiving the formal approval of the Roman Pontiff:

“It is not licit to give a blessing to relationships or partnerships, even stable ones, which involve sexual practice outside marriage (that is to say outside the indissoluble union of one man and one woman, open in itself to the transmission of life), as in the case of same-sex unions.”

Two years later, the Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), at the head of which is now Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, a progressive prelate. On December 18, 2023, Cardinal Fernandez published a text opposed to that of March 15, 2021, and decided to make the blessing of homosexual couples possible. The only point in common between the two texts is Pope Francis’s approval.

How did this happen? And how can this about-face be explained? The answer can be found only by reading between the lines. During the publication of the December 18, 2023 document, the prefect of the DDF took care to specify that, in order to arrive at such a text, “there were no lack of discussions with the Holy Father.” 

Should we see in this text the desire of the current Pope to “correct the situation” in relation to the 2021 text? Noting the outcry among LGBT lobbies, the Pontiff confided that he had indeed “approved” the text, but that he would never have signed it. 

Another explanation is put forward by Jean-Marie Guénois in Le Figaro on December 19, 2023, who sees it “in terms of the Jesuits.” In fact, it is well-known that the homosexual cause is supported in the Church by an American Jesuit, Fr. James Martin, who directs America magazine and was invited to participate in the fall session of the Roman Synod on Synodality last October.

According to several prelates, Fr. Martin, furious that the Synod had rejected his proposal to authorize the blessing of same-sex couples, decided to have the Pope approach the matter top-down to adopt the project that was so dear to him.

It is possible that Pope Francis also may have wanted to stir up a hornet’s nest among the conservatives, particularly the Americans, whom he knows are opposed to many aspects of his Pontificate. 

Because, apart from a few episcopal conferences from a largely secularized Western Europe, Pope Francis has succeeded in creating unity, but against him this time: from Africa to the United States, from the Greek Catholics to the Orthodox, saying no to Fiducia Supplicans.