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Subject Still on the current papal document Fiducia Supplicans, there have been varied decisions from various bishops and various episcopal conferences all over the world regarding this one document. While some seem to support the document, many others reject outrightly this papal decision. RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA has published lots of articles on this issue one may be wondering why all these news on one single matter arising from the Holy Father. Today, it appeared that the last has not been heard on this document.  In her thinking, the North African Bishops conferences have come out with a strong point on the issue at stake. This conference unlike many others has suggested that the document should be subjected to calm. This decision is coming at the back of the Analysis in the Ongoing Synod.

There is a need to subject Fiducia Supplicans (FS) which permits members of the Clergy to bless “same-sex couples” and couples in other “irregular situations” to the ongoing Synod on Synodality that Pope Francis extended to 2024, Catholic Bishops in North Africa have said.

In a Final Communiqué following their January 11- 15 Plenary Assembly in Morocco’s Archdiocese of Rabat, members of the Regional Episcopal Conferences of North Africa (CERNA) say the Declaration that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith (DDF) released on December 18 needs re-examination “in a calm manner”.

“Faced with the risk of entrenched positions and instrumentalization likely to jeopardize the unity of the Church, it seems to us that the subject deserves to be re-examined calmly in the context of the synodal dynamic underway in the universal Church,” CERNA members say.

The Catholic Church leaders who minister in the predominantly Muslim Northern African countries of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco encourage familiarity with the five-page press release, which DDF released to provide clarification on FS. The Church leaders who minister in the predominantly Muslim countries of Libya, Tunisia, Western Sahara, Algeria, and Morocco invite the people of God in their region to

“Take the time to read and discuss this document and the explanatory note published on 4 January 2024 by the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith,” CERNA members say about the DDF Press Release indicating that FS implementation will depend “on local contexts and the discernment of each diocesan bishop with his diocese.”

They describe FS as a document that invites the people of God “to re-examine and evaluate our ecclesial practice of discernment, and to look more closely at concrete ways of working towards reconciliation and communion.”

“It’s an opportunity to assess our practical attitudes to welcoming and accompanying people,” CERNA members further say in their January 15 communique.

They continue, “As far as the pastoral practice of blessings is concerned, when a person individually asks for a blessing, with the corresponding disposition of the heart, it will be given.”

However, the Catholic Church leaders in the North African region say, “When people in an irregular situation come together to ask for a blessing, it may be given on condition that this does not confuse the people concerned themselves or for others.”They invite the people of God under pastoral care to “avoid any spirit of polemics, and to cultivate everything that contributes to the communion and unity of the universal Church.”

Since its release, FS has elicited mixed reactions and deep division among Catholic Bishops around the globe.  On January 11, members of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) said FS will not be implemented in Africa.

In a statement that SECAM President, Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo signed, Catholic Bishops in Africa said the blessing of “homosexual unions or same-sex couples” would bring about “confusion and would be in direct contradiction to the cultural ethos of African communities.”

Such blessings “cannot be carried out in Africa without” causing “scandals”, they said, and expressed their awareness about the fact that FS “caused a shockwave” in Africa and “has sown misconceptions and unrest in the minds of many lay faithful, consecrated persons, and even pastors.”

In an appearance on an Italian talk show on January 14, Pope Francis defended FS, underlining that “the Lord blesses everyone” and that a blessing is an invitation to enter into a conversation “to see what the road is that the Lord proposes to them.”

“The Lord blesses everyone capable of being baptized, that is, every person,” the Holy Father emphasized.