February 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Peru's bishop challenges Vatican: Church text calls for disobedience to ban blessing of same-sex couples

Peru's bishop challenges Vatican: Church text calls for disobedience to ban blessing of same-sex couples
Monsignor Rafael Escudero, Vatican postcard and Pope Francis in archival photos. Photos: Andina/EFE

In an unpublished pastoral message that has attracted the attention of the international press, including the media of the Catholic Church, the Bishop of Moyobamba, Monsignor Rafael EscuderoThere has been strong criticism against this announcement 'Fiducia Supplines'A document released last December by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the blessing of same-sex couples, or “irregular circumstances.”

A leader of Spanish nationality, with a marked bias towards homosexuality The Church called on the priests under its jurisdiction to ignore the text, because, in its view, these blessings are contrary to the “cooperation” of the institution, which represents “grave abuse of the holy name of God” and “objectively sinful”. A form of fornication.” , adultery or even worse homosexual activity.”

“Furthermore, in the last case, it must be emphasized that 'homosexual acts are irregular and, above all, contrary to natural law.' […] God never blesses sin. God does not contradict himself. God does not lie to us. “God, who always loves the sinner unconditionally, seeks for this very reason to bring him to repentance and conversion,” the collected letter continues. ACI Press, Catholic News Agency in Lima.

Escudero's stance distances itself from the published position Pope Francisco Earlier last year, when he condemned the criminalization of same-sex relationships around the world. “Criminalizing homosexuals is an injustice. I'm not talking about groups, this is something else, the lobby is something else. “I am talking about the people, and the teachings of the Church already say that no one should be marginalized,” he declared at the time.

Pope Francis gives a blessing as he recites the Angelus prayer from his study window overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

In 'Fiducia Supplies', Argentine Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “considers that the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples can be understood without officially verifying their 'status' or changing anything. The way of the Church's perennial teaching on marriage.”

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This faculty, which follows the papal will, was issued in March 2021 by the council – then directed by the Spanish Luis Lataria Ferrer – and represented a change in position when the Church indicated that it could not give its blessing. Same-sex unions.

Last December's announcement analyzing the origins and theological meaning of the blessing, reinterpreting it from the Old Testament and Scriptures, is the first in the last 23 years to publish the Doctrine of the Faith, an ancient sacred office. 'Dominus Jesus' (2000)

“In the mystery of his love, through Christ, God communicates to his Church the power to bless. Given by God to men and by them to their neighbors, the blessing is transformed into inclusion, unity and peace. It is a positive message of consolation, attention and encouragement,” the text says.

In 2019, Monsignor Rafael Escudero participated as a speaker at the Synod for the Amazon convened by Pope Francis in Rome.

Despite the opening of the couple's blessing, the The Vatican Conducted by German clergy, the Holy See, despite its dissent, still considers rites or prayers that “may cause confusion as to what marriage is,” such as offering “acts of blessing,” to be “impermissible.”

“A rite to bless couples in irregular situations should not be encouraged or offered, but the intimacy of the Church should not be prevented or prohibited in every situation where God's help is sought through a simple blessing”, the doctrine says.

The blessing of same-sex or “irregular” couples, that is, those not canonically married by the Church, may be preceded by a “short prayer” in which the priest may ask for the blessed “peace, health, spirit.” Patience, dialogue and mutual aid.”

however, Monsignor Escudero “This distinction confuses and perplexes people because the act of blessing, whether done in a worship meeting or privately, by a minister, is the same blessing.”

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2019 to the Dean who was Speaker Synod for Amazon Summed up by Francis in Rome, the fundamental problem is more serious because some bishops and priests “have long confused God's people with the blind blessing of these unions, which are objectively irregular, therefore sinful, terrible.” Sacrifice”.

This is happening in a country where more than 1.7 million citizens identify as gender non-identifying, with no policies on gender identity, alternative quotas, civil unions or equal marriage. According to a survey cited by the Office of the Ombudsman, 19% of Peruvians agree with the position of the Bishop of Moyobamba and Homosexuality It is a disease.