Below Our Sunday Visitor reports on Pope Francis’s reply to the ‘Dubia’ about Church teaching five cardinals sent to him. The report shows (whether the reporter meant it or not) the Pope’s usual tactic of stating Church teaching but then adding qualifications that undermine it or at least provide a platform for agitation to undermine it.
Pope responds to cardinals on blessings for homosexuals, female priests
by Justin McLellan, Our Sunday Visitor, October 2, 2023
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church, in pursuit of “pastoral prudence,” should discern if there are ways of giving blessings to homosexual persons that do not alter the Church’s teaching on marriage, Pope Francis said.
Writing in response to a “dubia” letter delivered to him by five cardinals seeking clarification on doctrinal questions, the pope addressed issues surrounding the authority of the synod, women’s ordination and blessing homosexual unions in a letter made public Oct. 2.
Marriage is an “exclusive, stable and indissoluble union between a man and a woman, naturally open to conceiving children,” wrote the pope. “For this reason, the Church avoids all kinds of rites or sacramentals that could contradict this conviction and imply that it is recognizing as a marriage something that is not.”
But pastoral charity also is necessary, and “defense of the objective truth is not the only expression of that charity, which is also made up of kindness, patience, understanding, tenderness, encouragement,” he added. “For that reason, pastoral prudence must adequately discern if there are forms of blessing, solicited by one or various persons, that don’t transmit a mistaken concept of marriage.”
Pope Francis added that decisions made in specific circumstances should not necessarily become a norm regulated by a diocese or bishops’ conference, noting that “the life of the Church runs through many channels in addition to regulatory frameworks.”
The pope’s comments came in response to a “dubia” letter dated July 10 seeking clarification on doctrinal questions written by five retired cardinals: U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Mexican Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah and Chinese Cardinal Joseph Zen.