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Cdl. Blase CupichFacebook/Screenshot

CHICAGO (LifeSiteNews) — Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich has stated Pope Francis and Cardinal Victor Fernández’s text approving blessings for same-sex couples is a “step forward” for the Church, in line with the wishes of Christ.

“The Declaration is a step forward, and in keeping not only with Pope Francis’s desire to accompany people pastorally but Jesus’s desire to be present to all people who desire grace and support,” wrote Cupich.

His statement came in response to the now globally famous Declaration Fiducia Supplicans issued on Monday, which opened the door to blessings for couples of the same sex, providing such blessings did not resemble marriage. 

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

Cupich quoted extensively from the Vatican’s document, writing how “[a]t the heart of the Declaration is a call for pastors to take a pastoral approach by being available to people who, while not claiming a legitimation of their own status, recognize their need for God’s help and ‘who beg that all that is true, good, and humanly valid in their lives and their relationships be enriched, healed, and elevated by the presence of the Holy Spirit.’” 

In light of this, the 74-year-old cardinal deemed the Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith’s (CDF) text to be “a step forward, and in keeping not only with Pope Francis’s desire to accompany people pastorally but Jesus’s desire to be present to all people who desire grace and support.”

Fiducia Supplicans states in section 31 that “[w]ithin the horizon outlined here is the possibility of blessings of couples in irregular situations and of same-sex couples, the form of which should not find any ritual fixation on the part of ecclesial authorities, in order not to produce confusion with the blessing proper to the sacrament of marriage.”

The document’s author, Cardinal Fernández, wrote that while liturgical blessings could not be offered in instances “when that would somehow offer a form of moral legitimacy to a union that presumes to be a marriage or to an extra-marital sexual practice.”

But Fernández added that blessings should not be viewed in this “point of view alone,” arguing that “would lead us to expect the same moral conditions for a simple blessing that are called for in the reception of the sacraments.”

“Such a risk requires that we broaden this perspective further,” he wrote. “Indeed, there is the danger that a pastoral gesture that is so beloved and widespread will be subjected to too many moral prerequisites, which, under the claim of control, could overshadow the unconditional power of God’s love that forms the basis for the gesture of blessing.”

Cupich echoed the call for such a form of “pastoral approach” in which “the Church, as a loving mother, ‘must shy away from resting its pastoral praxis on the fixed nature of certain doctrinal or disciplinary schemes, especially when they lead to a narcissistic and authoritarian elitism, whereby instead of evangelizing, one analyzes and classifies others, and instead of opening the door to grace, one exhausts his or her energies in inspecting and verifying.’”

While Cupich’s statement was predominantly filled by lengthy quotations from Fernández’s document, Cupich ended the message by repeating his support and “welcome” for the document, claiming it “will help many more in our community feel the closeness and compassion of God.” Of note is that Cupich’s statement was given the rare treatment of also being published on Vatican News – the Vatican’s in-house news service.

Cupich’s statement appears to suggest that prior to Fiducia Supplicans, those with same-sex attraction were less able to “feel the closeness and compassion of God.” However, former homosexual Catholic and LifeSite journalist Doug Mainwaring decried the Vatican’s new document as “exposing the Church and countless individuals to grave harm.”

READ: Former homosexual – Pope Francis is inviting humanity to join Satan in mocking Christ and His Church

He warned how promoting “lies from the father of lies” could lead to same-sex “marriage” in the Church, and that “now, having gained so much ground in the secular world, Satan’s massive assault against marriage is being waged within the Church.”

Indeed, contrary to the Vatican’s most recent controversial document, the Church teaches precisely the opposite – prohibiting blessings of same-sex couples, as was most recently pronounced by the CDF in 2021. 

Under the leadership of Cardinal Ratzinger in 1986, the CDF issued a letter to all bishops instructing them 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.” 

Such an authentic pastoral approach would “assist homosexual persons at all levels of the spiritual life: through the sacraments, and in particular through the frequent and sincere use of the sacrament of Reconciliation, through prayer, witness, counsel and individual care,” stated the CDF.

The instruction further outlined what care should be taken to avoid given any form of approbation of a homosexual lifestyle: 

But we wish to make it clear that departure from the Church’s teaching, or silence about it, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. Only what is true can ultimately be pastoral. The neglect of the Church’s position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.

Therefore special concern and pastoral attention should be directed toward those who have this condition, lest they be led to believe that the living out of this orientation in homosexual activity is a morally acceptable option. It is not.

So far, it appears that the majority of the U.S. episcopate are either warmly welcoming Fiducia Supplicans, or attempting to downplay its significance in the wake of widespread mainstream media coverage of the Church’s openness to homosexuality.