CV NEWS FEED // The Dutch bishops have released a full statement response to Fiducia Supplicans providing specific guidelines for priests to follow if a same-sex couple requests a blessing, stating that they may pray a “simple prayer” over the individuals but not a blessing.
The Dutch bishops wrote that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith-approved document Fiducia Supplicans “highlighted the importance of accompaniment in the Church for persons living in a homosexual relationship and for divorced persons re-married.”
“As our Church is a welcoming Church, the Dutch bishops, with Pope Francis, underline the pastoral importance of closeness and accompaniment,” they continued:
The bishops’ conference notes that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its statement Fiducia supplicans, holds, in accordance with Sacred Scripture and the Tradition of the Church, that marriage is only possible between a man and a woman and is indissoluble, and that irregular relationships of any kind encounter intrinsic moral objections.
“The Dutch bishops do not wish to deny anyone the support and strength of God,” they stated. It is possible to say a prayer over individual believers living in an irregular relationship.”
However, the bishops stressed that “What one asks for in the prayer and the manner in which one prays are important here.”
“In the case of someone living in an irregular or homosexual relationship, the ordained minister may say a simple prayer outside the context of a wedding celebration or prayer service,” they continued. “In this prayer, God can be asked for strength and assistance under the invocation of His Spirit, so that he/she may understand God’s will with his/her life and continue to grow.”
“This makes it clear in the wording chosen that this is not a blessing or confirmation of an irregular relationship and also avoids confusion with marriage, which, according to the Catholic Church, can only be between a man and a woman,” the bishops concluded:
In this way, prayer can give the strength to draw near to God and live in accordance with His intentions for the creation of man and woman and marriage.