No Dubium About Irregular Unions

A Propitious Family (

A furore has arisen in the rather staid response of the Congregration for the Doctrine of the Faith to the ‘Dubium‘ – doubt, or question – about the blessing of ‘irregular unions’, in this case, two homosexual persons.

The response of the Magisterial body is brief and clear – one page – with its key text stating:

the order that makes one fit to receive the gift is given by the “designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord”. These are designs to which “relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage” do not correspond, for they are “outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life.” However, not only these unions – as if the problem were only such unions – but any union that involves sexual activity outside of marriage, which is illicit from the moral point of view, according to the perennial teaching of the ecclesial Magisterium.

This all implies a power that the Church does not possess, because she does not have the power over God’s designs, which would otherwise be rejected and denied. The Church is not the arbiter of these designs and the truths they express, but their faithful interpreter and witness.

This simply makes sense, given what Christ has revealed, which the Church safeguards and teaches, and what we all believe as Catholics. Yet certain German bishops and ‘theologians’ remain unconvinced, because, it seems, they are unconvinced of their Faith, stating this reply lacks sensitivity, pastoral sense and so on.

What heartens this writer is that this reply goes a long way to clarifying the ambiguities inherent in Pope Francis’ synodal letter Amoris Laetitia, to which this year is dedicated, along with Saint Joseph (and the two are not unconnected). ‘Pastoral accompaniment’, if it is not to be a tragic fool’s errand, means journeying with others in the truth, and leading them to the Truth.

And the truth of marriage and family – husband, wife, male and female, along with their children – is the end and point of sexuality, and there is no doubt about that.