Statement from Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz and the Diocese of Jackson on the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith’s declaration”Fiducia Supplicans” – on the pastoral meaning of blessings

By Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz
JACKSON – “Fiducia Supplicans,” the declaration issued by the Holy See’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) and approved by Pope Francis reminds us that each one of us is in need of God’s blessings, healing, compassion and mercy. To seek a blessing from a priest is to acknowledge the need for God in one’s life and the desire to grow stronger in a relationship with God.
The declaration does not change the church’s teaching on marriage as a union of one man and one woman in lifelong fidelity and openness to children; nor is it a step toward the ratification of same-sex unions nor a compromise of the church’s teaching on these irregular relationships.
It is a document on the nature of blessings and the pastoral use of giving informal, spontaneous blessings to individuals seeking to experience God’s healing love and grace in their lives.
To quote the document directly, the DDF sums up its declaration thusly:
“ … following the authoritative teaching of Pope Francis, this Dicastery finally wishes to recall that ‘the root of Christian meekness’ is ‘the ability to feel blessed and the ability to bless. This world needs blessings, and we can give blessings and receive blessings. The Father loves us, and the only thing that remains for us is the joy of blessing him, and the joy of thanking him, and of learning from him to bless.’ [Catechesis on Prayer: The Blessing (2 December 2020)] In this way, every brother and every sister will be able to feel that, in the church, they are always pilgrims, always beggars, always loved, and, despite everything, always blessed.” (FS #45)
The full text of the document may be found on line at:
I encourage all the faithful to read the actual document in its entirety.