Pope Francis’ choice to lead the Vatican’s influential doctrinal office says that questions surrounding blessings for gay couples must be further studied. Source: NCR Online.
“If a blessing is given in such a way that it does not cause that confusion, it will have to be analysed and confirmed,” said Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, in a July 5 interview with InfoVaticana, a Catholic news website in Spain.
At the same time, however, Archbishop Fernández offered a strong defence of the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage as being between a man and a woman capable of producing new life.
“There is nothing that can be compared to that and using that name to express something else is not good or correct,” he said.
“I believe that gestures or actions that may express something different should be avoided. That is why I think that the greatest care that must be taken is to avoid rites or blessings that could feed this confusion,” he continued. “Now, if a blessing is given in such a way that it does not cause that confusion, it will have to be analysed and confirmed.”
Archbishop Fernández – who was appointed to the role on July 1 and will begin service in mid-September – expressed concern that any stance not confuse the Church’s teaching on marriage. But he appeared open to reconsidering a question that the Vatican office that he will soon head ruled in 2021 to be out of the question.
In naming Fernández to the post, Francis signalled he was seeking a new direction for the Vatican office that is tasked with defending the Church’s teaching. In a letter to Archbishop Fernández, the Pope criticised what he described as the “immoral” methods it had previously used, including investigating and silencing theologians.
Archbishop Fernández, in his July 5 interview, said he intends to “learn from history.”
“I will respect the processes, I will dialogue, but I will do it in my own way,” he said.
Vatican’s new doctrinal chief: Catholic blessings for gay couples must be studied (By Christopher White, NCR Online)
Archbishop Fernández on New Role as Vatican’s Doctrinal Chief: ‘I Will Do it My Way’ (National Catholic Register)