Catholic Bishops clarify on the Declaration on the pastoral meaning of blessings

Catholic Bishops clarify on the Declaration on the pastoral meaning of blessings

The Catholic Bishops of the Malawi Episcopal Conference have released a pastoral statement in relation to the Church’s newly published declaration on the pastoral meaning of blessings.

Following the release of the declaration called “Fiducia supplicans”, catholic faithful in Malawi have been questioning the morality of the declaration. Coupled with secular media outlets misrepresentation of facts and the consequent despair, ridicule and at times shame that the laity have felt, the Bishops sat down and provided a quick explanation and directive on the matter.

In their message, the Bishops have reiterated the Universal Church’s teaching that marriage is exclusively a reserved union of a man and a woman. As such the blessing hereby stated in the declaration are not meant to endorse same sex marriages or to suggest anything close to that. “The Declaration is NOT about the blessing of same sex unions and sacramental endorsement of the same as married couples. No, this is a document prompted by questions to the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith regarding whether or not the blessings of God through his Ministers can be extended to everybody regardless of their state”.

The message further explains the difference between different levels of blessings and states that those rites and ceremonies that might create confusion or contradict the teaching on marriage are bound to be avoided.

The Bishops in obedience to Christ and committing to follow His example, state that just the human was blessed by God in giving his son, no person irrespective of his or her moral standing shall be deprived of receiving blessings in the Church.

Finally, the Bishops have boldly directed that no priest is allowed to confer any blessings on same sex unions considering the pastoral implications and the culture of their people.

Signed by all Catholic Bishops in Malawi, the message has been made public on 19th December 2023.