In response to the recent declaration “Fiducia Supplicans” by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) has issued a pastoral statement outlining their position and guidance on the matter.
According to the Bishops, to prevent pastoral confusion, ambiguity, and compliance with Zambian law, which forbids same-sex unions, the declaration should be subjected to further reflection and not for implementation in Zambia.
The declaration explores the possibility of blessing same-sex couples without ritualization, prompting questions and concerns among the faithful.
Pastoral Meaning of Blessings
The ZCCB acknowledged the distinctions made in the declaration between “ritual and liturgical blessings” and “spontaneous” or “simple” blessings. The focus on the latter category considers the potential of imparting blessings even to those not living according to Christian moral doctrine. The document underscores that blessings extend beyond sacraments and may include people, objects, places, and created realities that praise and bless the Creator.
ZCCB’s Pastoral Guidance
- Endorsement Clarification: The ZCCB emphasized that the declaration should not be misconstrued as an endorsement of same-sex unions but rather as a reflective response to inquiries about blessing same-sex couples.
- Reaffirmation of Church Teaching: Building on Sacred Scripture, the ZCCB reiterated the Church’s traditional teaching, labeling homosexual acts as intrinsically disordered and contrary to natural law.
- Legal and Cultural Considerations: To prevent pastoral confusion, ambiguity, and compliance with Zambian law, which forbids same-sex unions, the ZCCB advises that the declaration be subject to further reflection and not implemented in Zambia.