© ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/GETTY
Pope Francis Rebellion Grows as 90 Catholic Figures Sign Scathing Letter
Agroup of 90 Catholic clergymen, scholars and authors have published a joint letter to "all Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church," urging them to oppose a Vatican document approved by Pope Francis that allows priests to bless same-sex unions for the first time.
In the letter, the Catholic conservatives say that Fiducia Supplicans, a Vatican doctrine released on December 18 and signed by the Pope, would lead to the blessing of "objectively sinful" relationships. They add that the cardinals and bishops should "forbid immediately the application of this document in your diocese" and "ask directly the Pope to urgently withdraw this unfortunate document, which is in contradiction with both Scripture and the universal and uninterrupted Tradition of the Church."
The Fiducia Supplicans permits the blessing of those couples not considered to be married, according to the Catholic Church, including those that are same sex. This has proven deeply controversial within the global church, winning praise from reformers, while infuriating conservatives and being openly opposed by the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.
Those who have signed the open letter include Gil Bailie, a member of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars; Dr. Regis Martin, a professor of theology at Franciscan University Steubenville; and Rev. Robert Sirico, president of the Catholic St. John Henry Newman Institute in Michigan.
The letter was published by LifeSiteNews.com, a media outlet dedicated to promoting "the great importance to society of traditional Judeo-Christian moral principles," and signed by its editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen. The website also hosts a public petition signed urging bishops to "prohibit the 'blessing' of sinful unions in your diocese," which has received over 21,000 signatories.
Those who signed the joint letter say Fiducia Supplicans represents an "evident break with Scripture and the Tradition of the Church." The document adds that "twenty episcopal conferences, dozens of individual prelates, and even cardinals invested with the highest positions" have come out in opposition, adding: "Never in the history of the Catholic Church has a document of the Roman Magisterium experienced such a strong rejection."
Later on, the letter says that Fiducia Supplicans will lead to priests "imparting a blessing on two people who present themselves as a couple, in the sexual sense, and precisely a couple defined by its objectively sinful relationship."
The letter adds: "The threat does not become smaller but more serious, since the error comes from the Roman See, and is destined to scandalize all the faithful, and above all the little ones, the simple faithful who have no way of orienting and defending themselves in this confusion."
Newsweek has contacted the press office of the Holy See for comment by email.
Those who have spoken out against Fiducia Supplicans include Bishop Joseph Strickland, an American hardliner who was removed from his Diocese of Tyler, which covers eastern Texas, in November. Speaking to LifeSiteNews, Strickland said: "We really simply need to be a united voice saying 'no, we will not respond to this, we will not incorporate this into the life of the church,' because we simply must say no."
During a private meeting in August 2023, Pope Francis spoke out against what he described as a "very strong, organized, reactionary attitude" contained within the Catholic church in the United States, which he condemned as "backward."
Han; The Pope should not judge whether something is advanced or backward; rather, he should judge whether something is in accordance with Biblical principles.