Big Les

the Drunken Prophet

    Splitting Hairesy – part 3

    January 13th, 2024

    13 Jan 2024

    RE; Fiducia Supplicans

    Prerequisites: Responsum and Dubia

    Your Excellency,

    Thanks for humoring me. I’ve been pondering this much lately, endeavoring to give Cardinal Fernandez the benefit of the doubt, confident in God’s providence and the Sprit’s movement. After reading his clarification released on 4 January, I started to consider cultural subtleties that may have been obscure at first glance. Argentine Spanish is a bit nuanced, and certain words have a more precise meaning than they do in American English. This I think is true of some European languages as well, which might explain much of the backlash.

    His eminence affirms that same-sex unions cannot be blessed, citing the Church’s perennial teaching about marriage as the “exclusive, stable, and indissoluble union between a man and a woman, naturally open to the generation of children.” His repeated use of the word union throughout both the declaration and subsequent clarification got me thinking. The word marriage can be translated unión, but in English we see a union as simply a state of being joined without any specific reference to the parts, so any distinction between a union and couple (pareja) is nonsensical. Nonetheless, such a semantical distinction, albeit born of a cultural nuance, is a type of red herring that further confuses the issue.

    It’s important to note that the holy father did not draw such a distinction in his response to the dubia, but they both draw an unprecedented distinction between blessings. His eminence invites us “to distinguish between two different forms of blessings: ‘liturgical or ritualized’ and ‘spontaneous or pastoral’” and calls this “a broadening and enrichment of the classical understanding of blessings” In rather bold fashion, he praises this as the “real novelty of this Declaration.” With all due respect, this is utterly absurd.

    The power and efficacy of blessings do not flow from the liturgy or rite or the spontaneity of the circumstances. The power and efficacy flow from God through the baptismal priesthood, and the only distinction that can be drawn is in the appropriateness of the administration of the blessing [CCC 1669]. The teaching that “lay people may preside at certain blessings” unless a blessing pertains more to the “ecclesial and sacramental life” attests to this catechetical truth.

    I am cautious in my critique, but the poorly formed argument concerning a matter of great import is cause for concern. All that aside, the elephant in the room asks, “What is being blessed?” If we are blessing gay people struggling to overcome a life of sin, certainly this declaration is not needed as there are many mechanisms in place to assist, and some sort of exhortation could have been written to inspire a charitable response to couples seeking a blessing. If, however, we are blessing couples of the same sex, aren’t we blessing what they do seeing that they are couples because of what they do?

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