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  • Ahisha Mangot & Donovan Pintol

In defense of Fiducia Supplicans

Port Moresby: The Declaration letter Fiducia Supplicans which was issued last year, December 2023 by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, received many negative comments and strong opposition from the media, social media, including episcopal conferences around the world.

(Bishop Rolando Santos CM from the Diocese of Alotau-Sideia)

Because of that, the Most Reverend Bishop Rolando Santos CM, of Alotau-Sidea diocese wrote a letter defending the document by explaining that the document is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage because the church has always regarded same-sex marriage as unlawful and sinful.

Bishop Rolando said that there is a fine line between endorsement of Marriage (only a man and a woman can have as per the doctrines of the church) and the different forms of blessings everyone is entitled to. Like having to attend church (is something everyone despite race, gender, or ethnicity is entitled to); and that is what the document, ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ is all about.

Bishop Santos also said that the blessing proposed by Fiducia Supplicans carries its risks and dangers. But there is nothing in the document that goes against the traditional teachings of the church and allows for ‘same-sex marriage’. Such an act is still considered sinful and unlawful.

Bishop Rolando now urged the members of the Catholic Church, other denominations, and all peoples to define the term blessing and endorsement to fully understand what the document is about.

He gave the example of saying a short prayer with people in irregular situations (same-sex couples and other sinners) is not endorsing but rather expressing God’s love, mercy, and compassion of God to these people.

He further elaborated that “Pope Francis urges us to contemplate, with an attitude of faith and fatherly mercy, the fact that when one asks for blessing, one is expressing a petition for God’s assistance, a plea to live better, and confidence in a father who can help us live better.”

“The document is meant to reveal the face of the church as a sacrament of God’s infinite and unconditional love in the world”, said Rolando.

He also added that “God blesses and always wanted to bless all peoples, including adulterers, prostitutes, and sinners in general. A blessing is a prayer of love, mercy, and compassion”.

In trying to avoid such confusion that has been hitting the media, Bishop Rolando in his conclusion has made a call to priests now to also understand the document before putting it into action. Meaning that they must make sure people in irregular situations know that the blessing that they receive is not an endorsement of their sin but rather their form of plea for God’s assistance to lead them to holy living.

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