French bishops delineate support for Fiducia Supplicans

Bishop Eric Moulins-Beaufort Bishop Eric Moulins-Beaufort, president of the French Bishops’ Conference. | Credit: Bishopric of Reims and the Ardennes

The Permanent Council of the French Bishops’ Conference has expressed carefully delineated support for the Fiducia Supplicans declaration of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on pastoral blessings.

In a Jan. 10 statement, the French Bishops Council acknowledged that the declaration addresses a sensitive topic, namely “the accompaniment in the Church for homosexual persons living as a couple” and “divorced persons engaged in a life as a couple.”

The Permanent Council said it received the declaration “as an encouragement to pastors to generously bless people who approach them humbly asking for God’s help.”

Pastors, the French prelates said, “thus accompany them on their journey of faith so that they discover the call of God in their own existence and respond concretely to it.”

The text of the French prelates points out that from Jesus Christ we receive the call “to an unconditional and merciful welcome, since Jesus 'did not call to come the righteous, but sinners.'

The bishops said that Fiducia Supplicans states that “those not living in a situation allowing them to make a commitment in the sacrament of marriage are not excluded either from the love of God or from his Church.”

The Church, they said, at the same time, “encourages them in their desire to draw near God to benefit from the comfort of his presence and to implore the grace to conform their lives to the Gospel.”

The statement concluded by stating that “it is in particular through prayers of blessing, given in a spontaneous, ‘not ritualized’ form (No. 36), outside of any sign susceptible of being similar to the celebration of marriage, that the ministers of the Church will be able to demonstrate this broad and unconditional welcome.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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