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Communiqué on the reception in the UGCC of the Declaration of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith “Fiducia Supplicans” on the pastoral meaning of blessings

December 23, 2023, 14:46 1114

Communiqué on the reception in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of the Declaration of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Fiducia Supplicans on the pastoral meaning of blessings.

Communiqué on the reception in the UGCC of the Declaration of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith “Fiducia Supplicans” on the pastoral meaning of blessings
His Beatitude Sviatoslav in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican

Українською

Kyiv,
Ref. MA 23/326
22 December 2023 of the year of our Lord

Communiqué
on the reception in the UGCC
of the Declaration of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith “Fiducia Supplicans”
on the pastoral meaning of blessings

In response to numerous appeals from bishops, clergy, monastics, ecclesiastical movements and individual lay people of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church regarding the Declaration of the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith “Fiducia Supplicans” (December 18, 2023) on the pastoral meaning of blessings, after consulting with relevant experts and competent institutions, I wish to inform you of the following:

1. The Declaration above-mentioned interprets the pastoral meaning of blessings in the Latin Church, not the Eastern Catholic Churches. It does not address questions of Catholic faith or morality, refer to any precepts of the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches (CCEO), or refer to Eastern Christians. Thus, on the basis of the can. 1492 of the CCEO, this Declaration applies solely to the Latin Church and has no legal force for the faithful of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

2. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is one of the Eastern Catholic Churches. Therefore, it has its own liturgical, theological, canonical, and spiritual heritage, which all the faithful are obliged to observe and cherish (CCEO, canons 39–41). The meaning of “blessing” in the UGCC and the Latin Church is different.

3. According to the liturgical tradition of our Church, the blessing of a priest or bishop is a liturgical gesture that cannot be separated from the rest of the content of the liturgical rites and reduced to the circumstances and needs of private piety (UGCC Catechism “Christ is our Pascha,” par. 505–509).

4. According to the traditions of the Byzantine rite, the concept of “blessing” means approval, permission, or even an order for a specific type of action, prayer, and ascetic practices, including certain types of fasting and prayer. Certainly, the blessing of a priest always has an evangelizing and catechetical dimension and, therefore, can in no way contradict the teaching of the Catholic Church about the family as a faithful, indissoluble, and fertile union of love between a man and a woman, which Our Lord Jesus Christ elevated to the dignity of the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony. Pastoral discernment urges us to avoid ambiguous gestures, statements, and concepts that would distort or misrepresent God’s word and the teachings of the Church.

The blessing of the Lord be upon you!

† SVIATOSLAV

The UGCC Department for Information

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