Russian Church responds to Catholic document on blessing gay couples, Fiducia Supplicans

Moscow, March 26, 2024

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The Russian Orthodox Church published a document yesterday, March 25, responding to the Catholic Church’s controversial Fiducia Supplicans document, which speaks of the possibility of blessing gay couples.

The Russian Church’s document, “On the Orthodox Attitude to the New Practice of Blessing ‘Couples in Irregular Situations and Same-sex Couples’ in the Roman Catholic Church,” was developed by the Synodal Biblical and Theological Commission, headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Budapest.

According to the new document, “the ideas expressed in Fiducia Supplicans declaration represent a significant deviation from Christian moral teaching and require theological analysis.”

While “proclaiming fidelity to the Christian understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage and the practice of blessings,” the Catholic document “actually postulates a sharp departure from this fidelity.”

“In the context of the processes taking place in the Christian community, this document can be perceived as a step towards the full recognition by the Roman Catholic Church of ‘same-sex unions’ as a norm, which has already happened in a number of Protestant communities,” the Synodal Commission notes.

“All believers, including those with homosexual aspirations, need pastoral care. However, this pastoral care must not be aimed at legitimizing a sinful lifestyle, but at healing the soul of the suffering,” the Russian Church document states.

It concludes:

Despite the fact that the Fiducia Supplicans declaration is an internal document of the Catholic Church, the Russian Orthodox Church considers it its duty to respond to such radical innovations that reject the divinely revealed norms of Christian morality. The Church, with maternal love and condescension accepting every individual sinner asking for its blessing, cannot bless ‘same-sex couples’ in any form, since this would mean the actual consent of the Church to a union that is sinful in nature.

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