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Declaration - Fiducia Supplicans - On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings

Víctor Manuel Card. FERNÁNDEZ


This Declaration considers several questions that have come to this Dicastery in recent years. In preparing the document, the Dicastery, as is its practice, consulted experts, undertook a careful drafting process, and discussed the text in the Congresso of the Doctrinal Section of the Dicastery. During that time, the document was discussed with the Holy Father. Finally, the text of the Declaration was submitted to the Holy Father for his review, and he approved it with his signature.


While the subject matter of this document was being studied, the Holy Father’s response to the Dubia of some Cardinals was made known. That response provided important clarifications for this reflection and represents a decisive element for the work of the Dicastery. Since “the Roman Curia is primarily an instrument at the service of the successor of Peter” (Ap. Const. Praedicate Evangelium, II, 1), our work must foster, along with an understanding of the Church’s perennial doctrine, the reception of the Holy Father’s teaching.


As with the Holy Father’s above-mentioned response to the Dubia of two Cardinals, this Declaration remains firm on the traditional doctrine of the Church about marriage, not allowing any type of liturgical rite or blessing similar to a liturgical rite that can create confusion. The value of this document, however, is that it offers a specific and innovative contribution to the pastoral meaning of blessings, permitting a broadening and enrichment of the classical understanding of blessings, which is closely linked to a liturgical perspective. Such theological reflection, based on the pastoral vision of Pope Francis, implies a real development from what has been said about blessings in the Magisterium and the official texts of the Church. This explains why this text has taken on the typology of a “Declaration.”


It is precisely in this context that one can understand the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or changing in any way the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage.


This Declaration is also intended as a tribute to the faithful People of God, who worship the Lord with so many gestures of deep trust in his mercy and who, with this confidence, constantly come to seek a blessing from Mother Church.



  1. Introduction




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