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YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic bishops of Cameroon have issued one of the strongest rejections of Pope Francis’ document advocating for same-sex blessings, stating that they “formally forbid” any blessings of same-sex couples in the country.

“Homosexuality falsifies and corrupts human anthropology and trivializes sexuality, marriage and the family, the foundations of society,” read the Cameroon bishops’ statement. “In fact homosexuality sets humanity against itself and destroys it.”

Signed by on behalf of the 33 prelates of the country by Archbishop Andrew Fuanya Nkea (president of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon) their document was issued “for the sake of human dignity and the salvation of all humanity in Jesus Christ.” 

Published December 21 – in response to Pope Francis’ and Cardinal Victor Fernández’s December 18 text Fiducia Supplicans approving blessing of same-sex couples – the statement made reference to a “wave of indignation, questioning and concern” which had spread in light of Fiducia Supplicans.

READ: Pope Francis publishes norms for clergy to ‘bless’ homosexual couples

The Cameroon bishops’ statement marks perhaps the strongest intervention yet in the unprecedented, swift fallout over the Vatican’s document. They condemned not just the practice of same-sex blessings, but the practice of even tolerating homosexuality. Drawing on Catholic teaching and Sacred Scripture, the text stated how the practice of homosexuality is “a flagrant violation of the heritage bequeathed to us by our ancestors,” and was a “clear sign of the imploding decadence of civilizations.” 

In contrast to the prevailing arguments in many areas of society, the Cameroon prelates quoted from Romans (1:26) noting that “homosexual acts are not ‘sexual,’ but ‘acts against nature.’” 

Continuing, they wrote: 

homosexuality is not a human right. It is an alienation that seriously harms humanity because it is not based on any value proper to the human being: it is a dehumanization of love, “an abomination.” (Lev 18:22)

Furthermore, “rejecting it [homosexuality] is in no way being discriminative; it is a legitimate protection of the constant values of humanity in the face of a vice that has become the subject of a claim to legal recognition and, today, the subject of a blessing,” they added. 

While the Pope’s text argued in favor of blessings for couples in same-sex relationships, without demanding repentance of rejection of the homosexual lifestyle, the Cameroon bishops warned that this practice was impossible for the Catholic Church. To offer a blessing to a homosexual couple “would be tantamount to encouraging a choice and practice of life that cannot be recognized as being objectively ordered to the reveal designs of God,” they wrote. 

Additionally, the bishops warned that “differentiating between liturgical and non-liturgical contexts in order to apply the blessing to same-sex ‘couples’ is hypocritical.” Consequently, they stipulated that “we therefore declare non-compliant any form of blessing, public or private, that tends to recognize ‘same-sex couples’ as a state in life.”

Reiterating the Church’s constant teaching prohibiting and condemning homosexual acts, the bishops closed by clearly pronouncing a ban on any such blessings for same-sex couples: “we formally forbid all blessing of ‘homosexual couples’ in the Church of Cameroon.”

On the contrary, they urged that prayers for homosexuals’ conversion be offered, rather than blessings of their relationships. The statement highlighted a firm rejection in Cameroon of the widespread acceptance of homosexuality which is found in many countries in Europe and the Americas:

Since God does not want the death of the sinner, but his/her conversion to eternal life, we recommend those who are inclined to homosexuality to the prayers and compassion of the Church, with a view to their radical conversion.

We also invite them to turn away from their mentality of victimization in which they take pleasure in considering themselves as “victims,” “weak,” “minorities,”; in order to seize the opportunity for conversion that God gives them in the many exhortations of His word.

The Cameroon bishops join what is a steadily growing list of prelates and bishops’ conferences who have issued rejections of Fiducia Supplicans and any attempts to approve the practice of blessing same-sex couples. 

READ: FULL LIST: Where do bishops stand on blessings for homosexual couples?

The early sparks of this movement began with Bishop Joseph Strickland and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, with Strickland calling for a “united voice” rejecting the text, and Schneider’s archdiocese issuing a prohibition of “accepting or performing any form of blessing whatsoever of couples in an irregular situation and same-sex couples.”

Under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a document instructing bishops on the pastoral care of homosexual persons. The CDF admonished bishops to ensure they, and any “pastoral programme” in the diocese, are “clearly stating that homosexual activity is immoral.” 

As recently as in 2021, the CDF issued a text that stated clearly the Church does not have the “power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex.”

Pope Francis’ and Cardinal Fernández’s text continues to cause global chaos in the Catholic Church.