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CARDINAL O’MALLEY STATEMENT ON FIDUCIA SUPPLICANS

“We thank the Holy Father for his love and care of all the people in the flock. We caution and make clear that the Holy Father has not endorsed gay marriage, but has recognized all Catholics, including those whose unions are not recognized by the Church, as equally in need of God’s grace and love.

It is the Church’s mission to share God’s blessings. “Fiducia Supplicans,” issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and approved by Pope Francis, has brought clarity to how to impart those blessings. Pope Francis indicates that he is recognizing “non-ritualized blessings” that are spontaneous and for those who ask for them. Priests imparting these blessings need to be careful that it should not become a liturgical or semi-liturgical act, similar to a sacrament. The text stresses that Catholics should “neither provide for nor promote a ritual for the blessings of couples in an irregular situation,” but at the same time, “not prevent or prohibit” the Church from responding to people seeking God’s help through “a simple blessing.”

The document, therefore, offers a type of blessing that can be conferred on anyone to invoke God’s help and mercy in their lives. It is the Church reaching out a hand of affection to all Catholics in the hope that these simple gestures provide an effective means of increasing trust in God on the part of the people who seek to be guided by a greater understanding of God’s plan for love and truth.”