Bishop Powers’ Statement on Pastoral Blessings:

On Dec. 18, 2023, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a declaration entitled “Fiducia Supplicans” (“On the Pastoral meaning of Blessings”). This presentation further defines the church’s teaching on blessings and in this context allows clergy to offer a blessing to those individuals in same-sex relationships or in irregular marriages.

The blessing is not liturgical nor a ritual and may not be given in the church setting. The minister invoking the blessing is not to wear any liturgical vestments.

The blessing is to be private and in no way involves an acceptance or validation of same-sex marriages or irregular marriages. Marriage in the Catholic Church continues to be sacramental only when involving one man and one woman.

The blessing is simply an encouragement to those involved that they may be open to God’s love and find joy in their call to holiness.

More information will be given as this new directive is clarified.

Bishop James P. Powers