MADRID (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal José Cobo of Madrid has moved to quash opposition to Fiducia Supplicans, warning his priests that “we are going to fully apply the Pope’s doctrine” on same-sex “blessings.”
Speaking to Religión Digital on January 8, Cobo expressed his full support of the December 18 text Fiducia Supplicans, which purports to open the door to “blessing” same-sex “couples.” “In Madrid we are going to fully apply the Pope’s doctrine, and that is why we are going to apply ‘Fiducia supplicans’ with the intensity that the document deserves and asks for, and whoever does not agree, I invite you to read it,” he stated.
The Vatican text, authored by Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández and signed by Pope Francis, has sparked international controversy, with a steadily growing number of cardinals, bishops, and priests expressing their opposition to “blessing” “couples” of the same-sex. But Cobo claimed in his interview with Religión Digital that the furor surrounding Fiducia Supplicans “is an artificial controversy, everything has been taken out of context.”
The resistance to same-sex “blessings” has been largely led by African bishops, with other prelates following suit, but groups of priests in the U.K., the U.S., and Australia have also voiced their collective opposition.
Led by Spanish-speaking priests from Spain and Latin America, a petition was subsequently launched calling upon Pope Francis to rescind the document. Going online on December 31, the petition already has over 10,500 signatures.
Citing Canon 212, the promoters of the petition (a number which has also now grown to over 300 clergy and lay) wrote how the faithful “have the right, and sometimes even the duty, by reason of their own knowledge, competence and prestige, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their opinion about what pertains to the good of the Church and to manifest it to the other faithful, always safeguarding the integrity of faith and morals, reverence for the Pastors, and with due regard for the common good and the dignity of persons.”
An earlier version of the petition’s text stated that “blessing couples in an irregular situation or in homosexual coexistence, even if it is extra-liturgical, contradicts God’s plan.” Such wording has since been removed.
SPAIN: A petition launched by over 150 Spanish priests calls on #PopeFrancis to “annul” Fiducia Supplicans.
“Blessing couples in an irregular situation or in homosexual coexistence, even if it is extra-liturgical, contradicts God’s plan,” they wrote. https://t.co/luKs080dop pic.twitter.com/DHOasnbqd5
— Michael Haynes 🇻🇦 (@MLJHaynes) January 5, 2024
The priests involved with the petition have faced backlash from their respective bishops, including Cardinal Cobo. He stated that he had reminded his clergy “they have an oath of fidelity to the Pope.”
As noted by the petition’s new lay leaders, four of the original priest signatories and promoters consequently withdrew their names from the petition following an order from their superiors. The petition was temporarily closed as the clerical leaders were replaced by lay leaders, but upon recommencing its operations signatures continued to pour in.
Commenting on this, Cobo stated that his priests who were involved “have been seriously admonished, they have been asked if they have anything against the Pope, and they have been reminded of their oath of fidelity to the Holy Father.”
He declared that “a priest cannot be part of a civil, public forum in which the Pope is insulted.” Cobo also decried the efforts of those who sought to hold conserve the Church’s way of being: “We are in a situation of mission, and some continue to react as if we were living a Church of conservation.”
Cobo argued that such opposition to same-sex “blessings” was evidence of priests being “more driven by ideology and respond more to pressure groups that are not Catholic. They don’t realize in whose hands they are in.”
Diocesan sources reportedly told Religión Digital that priests “can express their opinion, but never in civil spaces, on Internet pages, which have nothing to do with ecclesial dynamics, and that ultimately manifests itself opposed to the ordinary doctrine of the Holy Father.”
Cobo had served as auxiliary of Madrid for five and a half years, before taking possession of the see in July 2023. He was created cardinal by Pope Francis in September.