Statement of Archbishop Farrell on the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans

Statement of Archbishop Farrell on the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans

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Statement of Archbishop Dermot Farrell, Archbishop of Dublin,
on the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans

Linked to below are two documents issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, namely the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans, on the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings, issued on 18th December 2023—that allowed the giving of simple or pastoral blessings to couples in irregular situations, including same-sex unions—and a Press Release concerning the reception of Fiducia Supplicans issued on 4th January 2024 to help clarify the reception of Fiducia Supplicans which asks us, as priests, to show pastoral sensibility in such situations.

I recommend that you closely read both documents. Doing so will allow you to gain a sense of the purpose and significance of the Declaration, which permits a priest to give “short and simple pastoral blessings—that are neither liturgical nor ritualised—of couples in irregular situations, (but not of their unions)”, underlining that these are blessings without a liturgical format which neither approve nor justify the situation in which these people find themselves.” The Declaration makes clear that the blessings are to be spontaneous and pastoral—and “without an approved ritual” or “book of blessings”. Cardinal Fernández, the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, has underlined that, “prudence and attention to the ecclesial context and to the local culture could allow for different modalities of application (diverse modalità di applicazione), but not a total or definitive denial of this path that is proposed to priests (emphasis added)”. In other words, we who are in ministry are to keep before our eyes our service of “the gift of blessing that flows from the Heart of Christ through his Church”. (Fiducia Supplicans, §1) After all, anyone who, in good faith, seeks a blessing is turning towards the Lord and his way.

On Saturday we celebrated the Epiphany, the feast of those who many considered on the outside, but who God, our one Father, by the light of the star, guided towards our Saviour, the Light of the World. As Pope Francis brought out in his homily on Saturday, the journey of the Magi “is the pilgrimage of humanity, of each of us, moving from distance to closeness”. I welcome the Declaration, and the subsequent clarification, which will help us minister to our brothers and sisters who long for the closeness and compassion of God.

+Dermot Farrell
Archbishop of Dublin


The declaration Fiducia Supplicans:

Press release concerning the reception of Fiducia Supplicans: