Credit where credit is due. The Vatican today released a document, approved by Pope Francis, making it clear that the Church lacks the power to bless same-sex unions. The statement was issued by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and it is reminiscent of other documents issued by the Congregation’s Prefect, Cardinal Ladaria Ferrer, S. J.: it is logical, concise, crystal clear, balanced, and orthodox.
The entire document is well worth reading, and I urge you to do so. The document consists of an answer to a question posed to the Congregation, known as a dubium, an explanatory note, and an accompanying commentary.
Particularly important is this statement from the accompanying commentary by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, noting that the belief that the Church could bless same-sex unions “implies a power that the Church does not possess, because she does not have the power over God’s designs, which would otherwise be rejected and denied. The Church is not the arbiter of these designs and the truths they express, but their faithful interpreter and witness.”
In approving this document reaffirming perennial Christian teaching on the topic, Pope Francis is pushing back against very powerful cultural currents and disappointing many of those who have been among the strongest supporters of his pontificate. For all of this, Pope Francis deserves great credit.