The issue, it seems, is Germany.
From The Pillar:
The statement from the CDF comes just days after several senior curial officials told The Pillar that there was growing concern in the Vatican that plans for same-sex blessings, proposed by the so-called Synodal Way undertaken by the German bishops’ conference, were already being brought into practice in some places.
The same officials, including those close to the CDF, told The Pillar last week that, while the CDF and other Vatican departments were ready to respond to German challenges to Church teaching and discipline, Cardinal Ladaria and other curial department heads were waiting for a clear lead from Pope Francis before confronting the German bishops.
The CDF’s answer to the dubium, a formal question seeking clarification on Church teaching, did not specifically mention the German synodal process, or identify who had originally submitted the question for response. However, one curial official close to the CDF told The Pillar on Monday that “the answer was to Germany.”
“The dubium was asked and answered, but to publish the response was necessary because of the public confusion being created by certain bishops in Germany, and the synodal process – which is not a synod at all.”
Pope Francis has warned in the past that the German synodal assembly, which began in 2019 and is scheduled to conclude next year, has no authority to change the discipline or doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The Congregation for Bishops has previously rejected the German synodal plan, its subject matter, structures, and proposed outcomes as “not ecclesiologically valid.”
Nevertheless, the German process has continued, developing recommendations on changes to the Church’s canon law and doctrinal teaching in several areas, including Church governance, sexual morality, priesthood, and women’s ordination. In November last year, Pope Francis has expressed his “dramatic concern” at the direction taken by the German bishops
Several German bishops have stated publicly their support for introducing same-sex blessings, despite their conflict with Catholic teaching and discipline.
Meanwhile, closer to home, Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich yesterday released this response to the Vatican decree:
Today’s response, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, offers nothing new on the Church’s teaching on the Sacrament of Matrimony. Regardless, it needs to be read in the context of the teachings in the Catechism and the encouraging statements of Pope Francis to LGBTQ persons about their relationship to the church, as well as his urging that pastors welcome them with respect and sensitivity, recognizing, as the Congregation response does today, the many positive elements in same-sex relationships, “which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated.” Yet, the understandable reaction among many to this response will be disappointment. This should prompt us in the Church and in the archdiocese to redouble our efforts to be creative and resilient in finding ways to welcome and encourage all LGBTQ people in our family of faith.