Big Les

the Drunken Prophet

    Splitting Hairesy – part 1

    January 13th, 2024

    03 Jan 2024

    RE; Fiducia Supplicans

    Prerequisites: Responsum and Dubia

    Your Excellency,

    I hope this finds you well, particularly with the flood of emails and the like I’m sure you’ve received regarding the recent declaration released by the DDF: Fiducia Supplicans. I trust you’ve had time to read over it and ponder both its meaning and potential impact. I also trust the Holy Father’s motivation to embrace all who seek God’s mercy yet feel marginalized. I have some concerns with the document as it is written. I do not express my concern in haste or with animosity toward his pontificate. Neither is my concern directed toward the gay community or any struggles they may have. I can only imagine how they feel. My concern is with the declaration’s impetus and reasoning.

    The document “invites us to broaden and enrich the meaning of blessings” by presuming a need for something that has long been present in various forms as well as in spiritual direction and particularly in the sacrament of reconciliation. This presumption begs a few questions that might easily distract us from the illogic which forms the foundation of the declaration. I wish to set aside those questions and continue my charitable critique.

    The DDF has irrationally justified the “blessings of […] couples of the same sex” by drawing an unnecessary, non-existent distinction between liturgical blessings and non-liturgical ones, as if the blessing flows from the rite. If I am not mistaken, the opposite is true. The rite is the form of the blessing which flows from its sacramental nature through the priest who stands in persona Christi. The faculty to bless is imparted in the sacrament of holy orders and exists independent of any rite per se. As such, no distinction can be drawn between the “formal and […] informal nature” of imparting blessings. To bless is to impart God’s grace (or its occasion) upon the recipient, and the very nature of the act of imparting is liturgical. This is so for at least two reasons:

    1. The act of imparting a blessing is intended as a public service, both to the people of God and the world.
    2. As previously stated, the blessing is manifest in a specific form (rite) depending on the occasion.

    “The blessing in the sacrament of marriage” (with its varied liturgical forms over the centuries) makes valid the union presided over by the priest or deacon because the blessing itself (not the liturgical form) conveys the grace of God through the ordained minister. That is to say, our focus should not be on the rites but on the ministers. The rites are accidental and therefore entirely irrelevant in answering the several questions which have been posed by the dubia et al. No comparison or contrast can be drawn along this line as the so-called blessing of a same-sex couple is of an entirely different nature. It’s a weak strawman argument that splits hairs in an effort to justify something that doesn’t exist and needn’t be. Therefore, ordained ministers should be instructed to continue to impart blessings on those that express “a petition for God’s assistance, a plea to live better, and confidence in a Father who can help us live better” without any confusing distinctions. If I have erred in my reasoning, please correct me.

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