“Fiducia Supplicans” — Small, Important Step to LGBTQ+ Visibility

For Franciscan Fr Daniel Horan, Fiducia Supplicans, the Vatican’s declaration allowing blessings of same-gender couples, is a small, but important step towards LGBTQ+ visibility in the church.

Fr Horan, a theologian and columnist for the National Catholic Reporter, acknowledges that “most people have embraced the positive and rather matter-of-fact declaration” about blessings for “irregular” couples. He lauds it:

“Though the gesture may be small, the publication of Fiducia Supplicans signals an important departure from the status quo of erasure and dehumanization. Perhaps this declaration will be enough of a recognition, of seeing and beholding of LGBTQ+ persons that over time the broader faith community (of which LGBTQ+ Catholics are equally a part) can open itself up to learn more about and from them.

That many LGBTQ+ folks feel seen now and recognized by leaders in their faith community is a very good thing. Perhaps it will be the beginning of something more, but in the meantime it is at least a small acknowledgement of full dignity, value and humanity of LGBTQ+ people.”

Fr Horan divides the critics of Fiducia Supplicans into “two general buckets.” In the first are critics of the document who fear that permission for such blessings will cause confusion about whether same-gender couples can marry, and these include bishops from Africa and Eastern Europe. The second bucket, however, is the critics Fr Horan views as more dangerous for they fear even the simple recognition that LGBTQ+ people exist:

“…[I]t appears that there are those who are angry that LGBTQ+ persons are acknowledged as existing in the world at all. This homophobic frustration is most commonly found on social media and anonymous internet comments, but others have been more public with their displeasure.

Some have appeared to double down on the most incendiary and pastorally insensitive (not to mention theologically dubious) language that has appeared in Catholic documents on LGBTQ+ persons and ministry over the years.”

For Fr Horan, precisely makes Fiducia Supplicans is significant, and also suspect in the eyes of some critics, is that it acknowledges the humanity of LGBTQ+ individuals.
To read the full article, go to here.

~~ Sarah Cassidy (she/her) and Robert Shine (he/him), New Ways Ministry, February 8, 2024

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