In response to the shockwave caused by the Vatican declaration “Fiducia Supplicans,” the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), has firmly stated that African Churches will not conduct blessings for homosexual couples.
The message, bearing the agreement of Pope Francis and Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, outlines the collective position of African Bishops who believe that such blessings would lead to scandal and contradict the cultural ethos of African communities.
SECAM, reiterating their communion with Pope Francis, assert that the extra-liturgical blessings proposed in Fiducia Supplicans cannot be implemented in Africa without causing confusion.
They emphasize that the Church’s doctrine on Christian marriage and sexuality remains unchanged.
The SECAM message critiques Fiducia Supplicans, stating that its language is too subtle for simple comprehension, especially regarding stable unions of people of the same sex. The African Bishops also emphasize the call for the conversion of all, echoing Jesus’ message of mercy and the invitation to sinners to turn away from wrongdoing.
“As Fiducia supplicans clearly does, the clergy, religious communities, all believers and people of good will, that the Church’s doctrine on Christian marriage and sexuality remains unchanged. For this reason, we, the African Bishops, do not consider it appropriate for Africa to bless homosexual unions or same-sex couples because, in our context, this would cause confusion and would be in direct contradiction to the cultural ethos of African communities,” part of the January 11 SECAM statement signed by its President, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, Archbishop of Kinshasa reads.