Pope Francis, in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, has discussed the widespread debate within the Catholic Church regarding his recent decision to permit blessings for same-sex couples. He expressed confidence that critics, except for Africans, would eventually understand the inclusive spirit of the ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ declaration by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The document, released last month, allowed blessings for individuals identifying as LGBT, leading to strong resistance, particularly from African bishops. Pope Francis acknowledged that Africans view homosexuality as culturally unacceptable, stating, “A special case are Africans: for them homosexuality is something ‘bad’ from a cultural point of view, they don’t tolerate it.”
Despite this, he reiterated his trust that, over time, everyone would be reassured by the declaration’s aim to include rather than divide. In addressing the pushback, especially in Africa, where some countries criminalize same-sex activities, the Pope emphasized the importance of priests considering the context, sensitivities, and appropriate ways to give blessings.
The Pope recognized that those vehemently protesting belonged to small ideological groups. While acknowledging the challenges, he highlighted the intention behind the ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ declaration and emphasized the ongoing effort to foster inclusivity within the Catholic Church.