French bishops support ‘Fiducia supplicans’

Days after nine French bishops announced they would not give blessings to same-sex couples, the Permanent Council of the French Bishops’ Conference released a statement saying such blessings should be given as a sign of “unconditional and merciful acceptance.”

In a communiqué dated January 10, 2024, signed by each member of the Permanent Council of the French Episcopal Conference, including the President, Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims, two Vice Presidents, and Cardinal Jean-Marc Aveline of Marseille, the bishops addressed the public debate sparked by the Vatican’s controversial “Fiducia supplicans” statement.

Dispute over a blessing

The French bishops noted that the main points of contention concern the declaration’s treatment of pastoral guidance for same-sex couples and divorced and remarried couples. turn humbly to them and ask God for help.”

The statement was issued after nine French bishops refused to bless same-sex couples earlier this month, saying priests can bless gay people but not the couples they form.

The Archdiocese of Rennes, led by Archbishop Pierre d’Ornellas, issued a statement on this issue on January 1 on behalf of the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Renne, which includes the dioceses of Quimper, Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Vannes and Angers. , Laval, Le Mans, Luçon and Nantes.

The hierarchs disagreed with the call to bless couples in an ‘irregular status’. They said the statement “does not explain the reasoning that shifts the emphasis from ‘persons’ to ‘couples'” and that the word “couple” “has a special meaning in the text.” that deserves clarification.”

Archbishop d’Ornellas also said the declaration offers the “opportunity” to bless such couples, adding that “it is therefore not an obligation.”

The authors of the statement assured that their decision to ban blessings for same-sex couples is in accordance with the statement’s instructions to avoid misunderstandings and scandals.

Source: Do Rzeczy