(ZENIT News / Washington, 12.21.2023).- The document released this week by the Vatican on the pastoral meaning of blessings insists that marriage is a union of one man and one woman in lifelong fidelity and openness to children, said Bishop Robert Barron of Winona-Rochester. Following the publication of Fiducia supplicans by the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, addressed questions and concerns that have emerged.
“In my capacity as chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, I would like to respond to some of the questions and concerns that have emerged in the wake of the publication of the Vatican document, Fiducia Supplicans. The statement in no way calls for a change in the Church’s teaching regarding marriage and sexuality. In fact, it goes to great lengths to insist that, in accord with unchanging doctrine, marriage is a union of one man and one woman in lifelong fidelity and openness to children.
“The blessings that it allows for those in irregular relationships are not liturgical in nature and hence do not imply any approbation of such relationships. Rather, these benedictions are informal and spontaneous, designed to call upon God’s mercy to heal, guide, and strengthen. Despite some misleading coverage in the press, the declaration does not constitute a ‘step’ toward ratification of same-sex marriage nor a compromising of the Church’s teaching regarding those in irregular relationships.
“Fiducia Supplicans is very much congruent with Pope Francis’s long-held conviction that those who do not live up to the full demand of the Church’s moral teaching are nevertheless loved and cherished by God and invited to accept the Lord’s offer of forgiveness.”