Pope responds to questions on same-sex blessings

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“I trust that everyone will gradually be reassured by the spirit of Fiducia supplicans.” These were Pope Francis' exact words in a recent interview with the Italian daily newspaper, La Stampa.

The Pope was being asked to comment on the recent declaration issued by the Doctrine of the Faith allowing the blessing of same-sex couples. He said that those who protest against it “belong to small ideological groups.” The exception is the Church in Africa, where he said homosexuality is viewed negatively within the culture.

The content of Fiducia supplicans has generated some of the strongest reactions of Francis' pontificate. But he insists it points in the right direction, as he clarified in a recent meeting with members of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The first is that these blessings, outside of any liturgical context and form, do not demand moral perfection in order to be received. The second is that when spontaneously approached by a couple to ask for such a blessing, the union is not being blessed but simply the people who together made the request.

In the interview, Pope Francis was also asked if he fears a serious division within the Church. His response was no. The Church has always had “small groups that manifest schismatic reflections,” he added, and that we must “let them pass and look towards the future.”


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