Catholic Culture Overview
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Former CDF official critiques Fiducia Supplicans

February 02, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Msgr. Hans Feichtinger, an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2004 to 2012, has critiqued Fiducia Supplicans, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s declaration on the pastoral meaning of blessings,

Msgr. Feichtinger, a German diocesan priest who ministers in Canada, said he is amazed at “how the responses to it still seem to be under-perceived, downplayed, or ignored ... Ignoring the vehemence and the reasons behind these reactions is not the way forward. Neither is it promising to continue demanding that people just read the text again.”

“The lack of consultation among bishops and priests in the process of elaborating this text is tragic, revealing, and a bit terrifying,” he continued. “Becoming a ‘more synodal’ Church cannot mean creating an ever less synodal Vatican. Neither must it mean excluding priests (in parish ministry) at the degree we see currently at the Synod of Bishops 2023-24 (otherwise significantly enlarged with laypeople and religious).”

“I am not convinced this document can be salvaged by more explanations trying to make up for its lack of lucidity,” he added. “It will be hard to live with it if it simply remains in place. The way forward is to admit mistakes were made, also because synodal traditions of the Roman Curia were not observed, and thus give an example of how synodality itself is only fruitful if it is faithful.”

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 03, 2024 12:16 AM ET USA

    A pleasure to read a clear analysis of the motives and method behind Fiducia Supplicans. Msgr. Feichtinger repeatedly hammers home the problem: Fiducia Supplicans, like much of the Vatican maneuvering during the last decade, is a political statement, no, a political demand. He points out that trends in evangelization today tend toward "the language of power, a political concept, based on a postmodern version of Christendom that prevents us from truly doing the work of evangelization." Insightful

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 02, 2024 10:51 AM ET USA

    Msgr. Feichtinger: "It will be hard to live with it if it simply remains in place." Getting rid of Fiducia would require the virtues of humility to admit to an error and courage to stand up to the gay agenda. I hope it will happen. Under Francis, or his successor.