Malawi Bishops Refuse to Acknowledge Pope’s New Blessing Mandate

( – In the decade since Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by the Conclave of Cardinals on March 13, 2013, his pronouncements and actions have been seen as aligning with the Liberal ideology, particularly in the United States. The latest proclamation by the man now known as Pope Francis has generated pushback amongst Bishops from different parts of the world.

Directive on Blessings

The Vatican released a document called Fiducia Supplicans (in English, Supplicating Trust) in response to questions brought forth by two Cardinals in a letter of dubiam (in English, doubts) from July. The missive was actually “approved” by Francis but was published above the signature of Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, a fellow Argentine who was appointed as chief of doctrine on July 1.

The point of controversy and confusion is found in section III, “Blessings of Couples in Irregular Situations and of Couples of the Same Sex.” One of the first groups to make a sharp clarification on the meaning and permissions involved was the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), making sure their members understood.

A parish priest by the name of Edmond Nyoka shared the ECM letter on the matter on his X (formerly Twitter) feed which they felt compelled to issue due to “certain erroneous interpretations of [the Vatican’s] declaration that have generated interest, fears [sic] and worries.” They advised that the announcement was “NOT” about granting homosexual marriages the same sacramental rites as those provided to the God-ordained one man-one woman family nucleus.

The ECM explained that the Fiducia Supplicans is actually a discussion of “the meaning and levels of various blessings,” which is meant to extend the idea of the love and grace that can be found through the Christ Jesus. What is permissible is that the individuals involved may receive “non-liturgical ordinary blessings which the Church [sic] has always given to whoever asks of them.”

Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana (Kazakhstan) issued a statement that was somewhat more direct in what he sees as the equivocating of the papal declaration. As he sees, the attempt at the splitting of hairs in Fernández’s writing should not confuse Catholics as to “the great deception and the evil that resides in the very permission [that was allowed].

One conservative pundit and watcher of all things Catholic, John Zmirak held nothing back in his review of the document and Pope Francis himself, sometimes in ways that might sound offensive to some. He likens the wordsmithing done by Fernández to the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for the Armed Forces that was put in place by former President Bill Clinton, which, in his opinion, succeeded in its true goal of the “sexual radicalization of our military.”

Zmirak quotes himself from a forthcoming article he will be publishing that he describes as “a long indictment of Pope Francis’ poisonous reign of error…” He alleges that Francis is really “a hardcore atheist,” who believes that it is his destiny to complete “the destruction of Christianity.”

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