Catholic – Coptic tensions over same-sex blessings

same-sex blessing tensions

Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández recently met with Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II to bridge the gap caused by same-sex blessing tensions.

However, the meeting highlighted a rare agreement between the Catholic and Coptic Orthodox Churches on their stance against homosexual relationships.

During their meeting, Pope Tawadros II expressed his concerns directly, urging clarity and consistency in upholding traditional Christian values.

Cardinal Fernández responded by acknowledging the importance of these values. He also mentioned the need for ongoing dialogue to address and bridge any misunderstandings or disagreements that arise.

This encounter follows the Vatican’s controversial clarification outlined in “Fiducia Supplicans”, allowing for a non-liturgical same-sex blessing for couples. Some have interpreted this as a shift in the Church’s position on homosexuality.

In response to the publication, the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church suspended theological dialogue with the Catholic Church. The Synod also adopted a fundamental statement in which it reaffirmed its rejection of homosexual acts.

This suspension underscored the seriousness with which the Coptic Church regards the matter. It views any form of blessing for same-sex unions as contradictory to Christian doctrine.

Cardinal Fernández, head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, reassured Pope Tawadros that these blessings are not equivalent to the sacrament of marriage.

The declaration “Dignitas Infinita” also makes it abundantly clear that the Catholic Church completely rejects same-sex marriages.

Path of Love

Fernández emphasised the Catholic Church’s adherence to traditional teachings on marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman. This position aligns with the beliefs of the Coptic Orthodox Church which has a similar doctrinal stance on homosexuality and marriage.

According to a news release issued by the Coptic Church, Tawadros told Fernández there is a path of love between the two churches. He also stressed the importance of dialogue.

Tawadros called for evaluating the results achieved by the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Dialogue Commission over its 20 years of existence. He also expressed the need for more effective methods and mechanisms for the Commission’s work.

Pope Francis met with Tawadros in May 2023 to mark the 50-year anniversary of restored relations between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church. However since March, formal ecumenical dialogue remains suspended.



Catholic News Agency

CathNews New Zealand

Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , , , , ,