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Cardinal Fernández: The Catholic Church agrees with Coptic Orthodox statement condemning homosexual activity

May 24, 2024

Two months after the Coptic Orthodox Church suspended theological dialogue with the Catholic Church over Fiducia Supplicans, Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández traveled to Egypt to explain the declaration on the pastoral meaning of blessings to the church’s leader, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria.

The prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith explained in his May 22 meeting with the Coptic Pope that “these blessings are not given to the union between individuals,” according to Vatican News. “If two people present themselves together, they can be blessed, making the sign of the cross over each and adding a short prayer. But this must happen briefly, spontaneously, without any rite, without liturgical vestments, and without any outward manifestation that might confuse this blessing with a marriage.”

Cardinal Fernández told the Coptic Pope that “the Catholic Church shares the teachings” of the Coptic Orthodox Church’s March 7 statement on homosexuality, according to Vatican News.

In “The Belief of the Coptic Orthodox Church on the Issue of Homosexuality,” the church’s Holy Synod stated that “the Bible in both Testaments condemns, warns, and forbids sexual practices between two people of the same sex. The synod cited Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26-28, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

“Accordingly, the Coptic Orthodox Church rejects what is called sexual perversion in its general and comprehensive understanding, and all types of sexual practices outside the sacred framework of marriage,” the statement continued.

Cardinal Fernández, according to Vatican News, also told the Coptic Pope that the Catholic Church “has a positive view” of the March 7 statement’s “pastoral approach.”

In its pastoral approach, the Holy Synod called on persons tempted to homosexual activity to engage in “warfares of thought, sight, and attractions, just like heterosexuals.”

“Whoever suffers from homosexual tendencies and controls themselves from sexual behaviors, the control is credited to them as a struggle,” the statement noted.

The synod continued:

As for someone who falls into homosexual behaviors, they are like the heterosexuals who fall into the sin of adultery/fornication, needing true repentance. Both need continuous spiritual and psychological follow-up. These follow-ups have proven effective with unwanted homosexual tendencies.

As for those who choose to reconcile with their homosexual tendencies, letting go of themselves to homosexual acts, rejecting spiritual and psychological treatment, and choosing of their own free will to break God’s commandment, their condition becomes worse than the one who lives in [struggle against] adultery/fornication. Therefore, they must be warned and cut off from communion until they repent.


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  • Posted by: ILM - May. 25, 2024 6:09 PM ET USA

    Sad that we have been reduced to depending on the Coptic Orthodox to tell us what Scripture and Tradition teach us about the grave sin of homosexual activity.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - May. 24, 2024 1:56 PM ET USA

    In order to avoid the obvious appearance of being a "couple", I think it would be advisable for all individuals outside of the relationship of a family composed of a husband, wife, and their own children to present themselves for a blessing one by one in a line similar to the Communion line in a Novus Ordo Mass. This pertains especially to those who are civilly married, but who are prohibited from sacramental Matrimony because of their chosen living arrangements. Can the Vatican be this naive?