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Dozens of priests reject new Catholic policy for blessing same-sex couples

Pope Francis presides over a mass Associated Press/Photo by Andrew Medichini

Dozens of priests reject new Catholic policy for blessing same-sex couples

A letter published by Crisis Magazine on Friday argues against Fiducia Supplicans, a new church policy allowing priests to bless same-sex unions. Nearly 200 priests and lay members agreed that the policy broke with traditional church doctrine. They say the volume of the pushback the church has received in response to the new policy surpasses the rejection of any previous papal document.

Who are the people signing this? One of the signatories, John-Henry Westen, is editor-in-chief and CEO of He told WORLD that some priests and scholars worked with Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis’ predecessor. Crisis Magazine plans to add more signatures through Feb. 15 before publishing a definitive list of names. Conservative Bishop Joseph Strickland—who Pope Francis removed in December from leading the Diocese of Tyler, Texas—also agreed with the letter. "Let us pray that many others will speak up, as well,” Strickland wrote on social media.

What’s their main argument in the letter? The signatories to the letter say that Fiducia Supplicans marks a clear and obvious departure from the church’s traditional doctrine. Shortly after the Vatican enacted the Supplicans, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith insisted the document did not break with traditional church doctrine on marriage but rather clarified the doctrine. The policy has attempted to separate blessings of "couples in irregular situations" from marriages while maintaining that Biblical marriage is only between a man and a woman. The priests and others signing the letter argue that bestowing a blessing implies approval of the thing being blessed, according to “the universal language of humanity.”

What specific actions are they demanding? The signatories ask that church leaders around the world ban the application of the Fiducia Supplicans in their churches and that they urge those same leaders to join them in urging that the Pope withdraw the document since it is “in contradiction with both Scripture and the universal and uninterrupted Tradition of the Church.”

Dig deeper: Read Nathanael Blake’s column in WORLD Opinions alleging that Pope Francis is intentionally using ambiguity and confusion to undermine Biblical teaching on sexuality.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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