The long-discussed issue of same-sex blessing as directed by the Vatican has met a Waterloo in our African continent. The Catholic bishops in Africa have vehemently and without mincing words declared that there will never be any Blessing for “same-sex couples” in Africa. This is contrary to the earlier Vatican pronouncement.

The Correspondent of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA attached to the city of the Vatican has reported that The Vatican declaration on the possibility of blessing “same-sex couples” and couples in other “irregular situations”, which the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith (DDF) released on December 18 will not be implemented in Africa. This is the position taken by our Catholic Bishops in Africa.

In a Thursday, January 11 statement, the leadership of the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) shares the “consolidated summary” of the responses of the Conferences of Catholic Bishops in Africa to Fiducia Supplicans (FS), and adds that the five-page synthesis “has received the agreement” of both the Holy Father and the Prefect of the DDF, Víctor Manuel Cardinal Fernández.

“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,” Catholic Bishops in Africa say in the statement that SECAM President, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo, signed.

The latest SECAM statement follows the December 20 appeal for opinions on FS from Presidents of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Africa and its Islands to have a “single synodal pronouncement”.

In the statement, Catholic Bishops in Africa express their belief that the “spontaneous” and non-liturgical blessings, which FS proposes, “cannot be carried out in Africa without” causing “scandals.”

FS, the Catholic Church leaders say, “caused a shockwave” in Africa and “has sown misconceptions and unrest in the minds of many lay faithful, consecrated persons, and even pastors.”

Since its release, FS has elicited mixed reactions and deep division among Catholic Bishops around the globe. The Prefect of DDF called upon each Local Ordinary to “make that discernment” on implementing FS.

Titled, “NO BLESSING FOR HOMOSEXUAL COUPLES IN THE AFRICAN CHURCHES: Synthesis of the responses from the African Episcopal Conferences to the Declaration Fiducia supplicans”, the January 11 SECAM statement cites a previous DDF Declaration on homosexuality, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), the Sacred Scriptures, and the “cultural context in Africa” as the basis of the Bishops’ decision against the implementation of FS in Africa.

“The constant teaching of the Church describes homosexual acts as ‘intrinsically disordered,’” they say, referring to the DDF 29 December 1975 “Declaration on certain questions concerning sexual ethics”, Persona Humana.

Homosexual acts, they add citing CCC 2357, “considered as closing the sexual act to the gift of life and not proceeding from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity, must not be approved under any circumstances.”

Catholic Bishops in Africa, who have expressed their opposition to the proposed blessing of “same-sex couples” have cited Biblical “passages which condemn homosexuality, notably Lv 18:22-23 where homosexuality is explicitly prohibited and considered an abomination,” SECAM statement indicates.

Another passage that Catholic Bishops in Africa have cited is what they have called the “scandal of the homosexuals in Sodom” in Genesis 19, which they say demonstrates that “homosexuality is so abominable that it will lead to the destruction of the city.”

“In addition to these biblical reasons, the cultural context in Africa, deeply rooted in the values of the natural law regarding marriage and family, further complicates the acceptance of unions of persons of the same sex, as they are seen as contradictory to cultural norms and intrinsically corrupt,” they have stated.

Catholic Church leaders in the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent after Asia have also gone on to fault the language of FS, saying it “remains too subtle for simple people to understand.”

The language of FS, they have continued, “remains very difficult to be convincing that people of the same sex who live in a stable union do not claim the legitimacy of their status.”

Rather than impart blessings as FS proposes, Catholic Bishops in Africa “insist on the call for the conversion of all.”

In the statement, SECAM President says Catholic Bishops in Africa have “strongly reaffirmed their communion with Pope Francis” and that they “will continue to reflect on the value of the general theme of this document (FS), apart from just blessings for couples in an irregular situation, that is to say on the richness of spontaneous blessings in everyday pastoral care.”