Have We Turned a Corner?


Note: Since publishing this, I have added some supporting quotes from authoritative voices as responses around the world continue to roll out. This is too crucial a subject for the collective concerns of the Body of Christ to not be heard. But the framework of this reflection and arguments remain unchanged. 


THE news shot across the globe like a missile: “Pope Francis approves allowing Catholic priests to bless same-sex couples” (ABC News). Reuters declared: “Vatican approves blessings for same-sex couples in landmark ruling.” For once, the headlines weren’t twisting the truth, even though there’s more to the story…

The Declaration

A “Declaration” released by the Vatican confirms and promotes the idea that couples in “irregular” situations may come for a blessing from a priest (without it being confused with the blessing proper to sacramental marriage). This, Rome said, is a “new development… in the Magisterium.” Vatican News reported that “23 years have passed since the former ‘Holy Office’ published a Declaration (the last one was in August 2000 with ‘Dominus Jesus‘), a document of such doctrinal importance.”[1]Dec. 18. 2023, vaticannews.va

However, some clergy and papal apologists took to social media claiming that nothing has changed. And yet others, such as the head of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference, said priests “can no longer say no” to a homosexual couple’s request for a blessing. He went further.

I believe that the Church recognizes that a relationship between two [people] of the same sex is not entirely without truth: there is love, there is fidelity, there is also hardship shared and lived in faithfulness. This should also be acknowledged. —Archbishop Franz Lackner, December 19, 2023; lifesitenews.com 

And of course, the ever-controversial Fr. James Martin took immediately to Twitter (X) to publish his blessing of what appears to be a same-sex couple very committed to their lifestyle (see photo above).

So what exactly does the document say? And will it matter, given what billions of people on the planet now believe to be true: that the Catholic Church is sanctioning same-sex relationships?


A New Development

Asking a priest for a blessing is about the least controversial thing in the Catholic Church — or at least it was. Anyone who has asked a priest for his blessing has almost always received one. Almost. St. Pio was known to refuse to give absolution in confession, much less a blessing, to someone who was not being honest. He had the gift of reading souls, and this grace moved many to a deep and genuine repentance when he challenged their lack of sincerity.

Sinners from all walks of life have implored a priest’s blessing — including the sinner typing this. And that array of people no doubt includes people with same-sex attraction. In other words, the Church has always extended the grace of a blessing to individuals, married couples, and families asking for a special grace since, generally, no prior “moral test” is required. The mere presentation of one’s self in a neutral situation doesn’t demand it.

Moreover, Pope Francis has stressed the need to reach out to the “peripheries” of society and for the Church to become a “field hospital” for wounded souls. These are apt descriptions of Our Lord’s own ministry for the “lost sheep.” In that regard, the Church affirmed again in 2021:

The Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations, and will know how to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with Church teaching, to proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness. At the same time, they should recognize the genuine nearness of the Church — which prays for them, accompanies them and shares their journey of Christian faith — and receive the teachings with sincere openness. Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex, February 22, 2021

But that same document also states clearly:

The answer to the proposed dubium [“Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”] does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations, who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching. Rather, it declares illicit any form of blessing that tends to acknowledge their unions as such.

So what has changed? What is the “new development”? 

The recent Declaration states that there is now…

…the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples without officially validating their status or changing in any way the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage.Fiducia Supplicans, On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings Presentation

In other words, this isn’t about individuals approaching the priest but couples actively involved in a same-sex or “irregular” relationship requesting a “blessing.” And therein lies the controversy: this is no longer a neutral situation. All of the other hairsplitting in the document to say that, in no way can this blessing give the appearance of marriage, is a sleight-of-hand, whether intentional or not.

The question isn’t whether a priest will be blessing the union itself, which he cannot, but somehow tacitly approving the same-sex relationship…


A New Sophistry

In the Responsum to the dubia, two thing are clear: the person presenting himself is manifesting “the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching.” It does not demand that the person is morally perfect — for no one is. But the context is clear that the person is not asking for a blessing with the intention to remain in an objectively disordered lifestyle. Second is that this blessing cannot in “any form” tend to “acknowledge their unions as such” as morally licit.

But this “new development” states that a couple living together in objective mortal sin[2]ie. the matter of the sin is objectively grave, though the culpability of the participants is another matter. can ask for the other aspects of their relationship that may produce good, to be blessed:

In such cases, a blessing may be imparted… upon those who — recognizing themselves to be destitute and in need of his help — do not claim a legitimation of their own status, but 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.

So the question is: can two people in public adultery, or a polygamist with four wives, or a pedophile with a “consenting” child — can these people in such “irregular” relationships also approach a priest for a blessing of all else that is true, good, and humanly valid in their lives?

This is simply a play with words — deceit, and a cunning way… Because we are blessing in this way the near occassion [of sin] for them. Why [are] they asking this blessing as a couple, not as a single person? Of course, a single person who has this problem with same-sex affection can come and ask a blessing to overcome the temptations, to be able, with the grace of God, to live chastely. But as a single person, he will not come with his partner — this will be a contradiction in his way to live according to the will of God.  —Bishop Athanasius Schneider, December 19, 2023; youtube.com

Therein lies the sophistry in all this, a very subtle trap. To present oneself as a couple with no intention to reform from a state of objectively grave sin, and then ask for a blessing upon the other supposedly “true” and “good” aspects of the relationship, is morally and intellectually dishonest.

Blessings without the right inner disposition of the administrator and the recipient are ineffective because blessings do not work ex opere operato (from the work performed) like the sacraments. —Bishop Marian Eleganti, December 20, 2023; lifesitenews.com from kath.net

To knowingly remain in a state of mortal sin actually severs one from the most important blessing of all — sanctifying grace.

Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back.Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1861

Yet, the Declaration states: “These forms of blessing express a supplication that God may grant those aids that come from the impulses of his Spirit… that they may express themselves in the ever-increasing dimension of the divine love.” But how is there growth in “divine love” if I deliberately cling to grave sin? Indeed, the Catechism says: “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.”[3]n. 1855 In other words, how do you impart a blessing to those who are ultimately rejecting the Blessed One?[4]Note: the matter of same-sex relations is objectively grave, though the culpability of the participants is another matter.

Furthermore, if one sincerely begs to “be enriched, healed, and elevated by the presence of the Holy Spirit,” should they not be gently directed toward the absolution of confession as opposed to the blessing of status quo in this manifest sinful state?

In all the above, there is the appearance of reason, but also a great deal of jargon, sophistry, and deceit… Although “On the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings” may be well intended, it wreaks havoc on the very nature of blessings. Blessings are the Spirit-filled graces that the Father bestows upon his adopted children who abide in his Son, Jesus Christ, as well as upon those whom he desires to be so. Attempting immorally to exploit God’s blessings makes a mockery of his divine goodness and love. —Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap., December 19, 2023; The Catholic Thing

As such, the Responsum that Pope Francis gave the Cardinals two years ago rightly and unambiguously states:

“…we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit”. But He does not and cannot bless sin… He in fact “takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are.”


The Road to Apostasy

We have turned a road in the Church when we play word games with people’s souls. A reader with a degree in Canon Law stated bluntly, 

…being graced with a blessing is just that, a grace, a gift. There is no right to it, and there CAN NEVER BE any RITE for a blessing which actually, tacitly or ambiguously condones sin in any form. Those are called curses and they come from the evil one. —private letter

This road leads to apostasy. Jesus’s mercy is an endless ocean for the sinner… but if we reject it, it is a tsunami of judgment. The Church has an obligation to warn the sinner of this reality. It is Christ’s truth and mercy that plucked me from my darkest days of sin — not the flattery of a priest or the casuistry of a dishonest blessing.

Pope Francis is absolutely right in his exhortation for us to reach out to those who feel excluded by the Gospel — including those with same-sex attraction — and truly “accompany” them toward Christ. But even Francis says accompanient is not an absolute:

Although it sounds obvious, spiritual accompaniment must lead others ever closer to God, in whom we attain true freedom. Some people think they are free if they can avoid God; they fail to see that they remain existentially orphaned, helpless, homeless. They cease being pilgrims and become drifters, flitting around themselves and never getting anywhere. To accompany them would be counterproductive if it became a sort of therapy supporting their self-absorption and ceased to be a pilgrimage with Christ to the Father. —POPE FRANCIS, Evangelii Gaudium, n. 170

Sr. Lucia of Fatima said “a time will come when the decisive battle between the kingdom of Christ and Satan will be over marriage and the family.”[5]in a letter (in 1983 or 1984) to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, aleteia.com What could emphasize this battle more than this present casuistry? In fact, at the very Synod on the Family, Pope Francis warned the Church to avoid…

The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness, that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.” —cf. The Five Corrections

Isn’t that precisely what such a blessing would imply?

…to bless couples in irregular marriages or same-sex couples without giving the impression that the Church is not validating their sexual activity is a charade.  —Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap., December 19, 2023; The Catholic Thing

To put it briefly, the intentional ambiguity of Fiducia Supplicans opens the door to just about every subversion of marriage demanded by the enemies of the faith, but that same ambiguity means the document is toothless. —Fr. Dwight Longnecker, December 19, 2023; dwightlongenecker.com

Therefore, none, not even the most beautiful, of the statements contained in this Declaration of the Holy See, can minimize the far-reaching and destructive consequences resulting from this effort to legitimize such blessings. With such blessings, the Catholic Church becomes, if not in theory, then in practice, a propagandist of the globalist and ungodly “gender ideology”. —Archbishop Tomash Peta and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Statement of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, December 18, 2023; Catholic Herald

This document is confusing and Catholics can criticize it for lacking certain elements, including references to things like seeking God’s blessing specifically to lead people to repentance from sin… [there is] the scandal of the document blurring the lines between blessing individuals who are in a sinful relationship, so as to lead them closer to God, and creating a situation where it looks like a priest is blessing the sinful relationship itself. Even the phrase gay “couple” can create this impression, so it should have been avoided. —Trent Horn, Catholic Answers, The Counsel of Trent, December 20, 2023

For in the Bible, a blessing has to do with the order that God has created and that He has declared to be good. This order is based on the sexual difference of male and female, called to be one flesh. Blessing a reality that is contrary to creation is not only impossible, it is blasphemy. In light of this, can a faithful Catholic accept the teaching of FS? Given the unity of deeds and words in the Christian faith, one can only accept that it is good to bless these unions, even in a pastoral way, if one believes that such unions are not objectively contrary to the law of God. It follows that as long as Pope Francis continues to affirm that homosexual unions are always contrary to God’s law, he is implicitly affirming that such blessings cannot be given. The teaching of FS is therefore self-contradictory and thus requires further clarification. —Former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, December 21, 2023, lifesitenews.com

This is a diabolical disorientation invading the world and misleading souls! It is necessary to stand up to it. —Sr. Lucia of Fatima (1907-2005) to her friend Dona Maria Teresa da Cunha


…as the Church’s one and only indivisible magisterium,
the pope and the bishops in union with him
the gravest responsibility that
no ambiguous sign
or unclear teaching comes from them,
confusing the faithful or lulling them into
a false sense of security.
—Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, former prefect of the

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; First ThingsApril 20th, 2018


Watch: Confront the Storm


Thanks for all your prayers and support this year.
Merry Christmas!


with Nihil Obstat


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1 Dec. 18. 2023, vaticannews.va
2 ie. the matter of the sin is objectively grave, though the culpability of the participants is another matter.
3 n. 1855
4 Note: the matter of same-sex relations is objectively grave, though the culpability of the participants is another matter.
5 in a letter (in 1983 or 1984) to Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, aleteia.com