Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar: Pope Francis should withdraw ‘Fiducia Suppicans’!

By Bishop Ratko Ratko Perić

Bishop Emeritus of Mostar, Croatia

English translation of original written in Croatian, which can be found here

Traduction française

The statement Fiducia supplicans on the pastoral meaning of blessings was issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 18, 2023. It is the first statement by the same institution after the declaration Dominus Iesus on the unity and saving universality of Jesus Christ and the Church, on August 6, 2000.

Creator’s blessing

How was it from the beginning?

“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female created he them. And God blessed them and said to them: Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it!” (Genesis 1:27-28).

This act and intention of God can be discerned from that biblical sentence:

First, in the beginning God created man, i.e. male and female, in his own image, breathing into them a soul with reason and free will.

Second, he blessed them as a complementary married couple with a purpose in life.

Thirdly, this purpose is fruitfulness, the multiplication of people, populating and subjecting the land to their management with the awareness that it is God’s land.

Fourthly, everything that is contrary to that creative plan, is not the image of God, has no purpose and goal of God and therefore does not have God’s blessing either.

What happened over time?


The name comes from Sodom, with which Gomorrah is connected, the neighboring cities where the Dead Sea is today, located between Israel, Palestine and Jordan. These cities are an example of sexual perversion called sodomy. The Bible describes their wickedness and their destruction by fiery sulfur rain with the story of Abraham’s cousin Lot and his family: his wife and two daughters, as he had already “wiped off the face of the earth” with the flood all the people of that time in that part of the world, except the righteous Noah, because every thought in man’s mind was “only wickedness” (Genesis 6:5), and as the Babylonian city cursed the people who wanted to reach the sky with a tower through their arrogance (Genesis 11:8).

In the Old Testament

Sodomy is considered an ungodly shame = nefandum flagitium, as moral theology calls it. Why? Because Sodom allowed every kind of sin against human nature as God created, legislated and blessed it.

According to the oral and written traditions that reached the final redaction of the Pentateuch of Moses, we read in Genesis: “And the inhabitants of Sodom were very wicked, sinners against the Lord” (13:13). It is not described here what exactly the sin of the Sodomites consisted of, but from this wording: “very wicked”, it can obviously be concluded that there are no sins that they did not commit against God’s law and order, that is, against human nature or common sense as works of God. It’s as if it’s enough to say “Sodom” and you immediately know what’s going on.

In the same book of Genesis, God, who appears with two angels in human form, tells Abraham: “There is a great cry against Sodom and Gomorrah that their sin is too great” (18:20). It has not yet been determined precisely what made the sin in Sodom “too heavy”. Abraham dares to intercede with God for the Sodomites starting from the number fifty and downwards. And each time God promises him that he will not destroy Sodom if there are so many inhabitants who are not infected with the Sodom virus. If Abraham had gone lower than 10, it is likely that the Lord would have mercifully responded to Abraham’s request, for the sake of Abraham’s friend. But there weren’t even ten of them, just Lot’s family of four.

The book of Genesis in chapter 19 shows the specific crime and punishment of Sodom. When the two mentioned angels came before Sodom, they found Lot at the entrance to the city. He hosts them in his house.

Tuesday »citizens of Sodom, young and old, all the people down to the last man, surrounded the house. They called Lot and said to him: ‘Where are the people who came to you last night? Bring them out to us so that we can kiss them?'” (Genesis 19:4-5).

Here, the sinful practice of the Sodomites is explicitly spoken of, that men sin against men in a carnal, unnatural way. The people of Sodom would even abuse two angels of God in their Sodomic perversions.

The Levitical Code, from the 13th century BC, strictly prohibits:

»Don’t lie with a man as you lie with a woman. That would be an abomination” (18:22).

This same Old Testament Jewish Law, a little further on, prescribes:

“If a man were to lie with a man as one lies with a woman, both would commit an abomination. Let them be killed, and let their blood fall on them” (Lev 20:13).

And here is the punishment on the citizens of Sodom. After Lot was saved,

The Lord “rained down sulfurous fire from heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah, and destroyed those cities, and all that plain, all the inhabitants of the city and all the vegetation on the earth” (Genesis 19:24-25).

The sin against human nature shown in these four mentioned places consists in this:

  • – that the inhabitants of Sodom are “very wicked”, “themselves sinners against the Lord”, i.e. against his creation, moral order and law;
  • – that their sin is “too heavy”, i.e. unbearable, kills not only the soul, but also the body;
  • – that such a sin is a real “abomination”, i.e. the abomination of desolation in the realm of life; and
  • – that such a sin is such a “heinous act” that deserves the death penalty, moreover, all the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah were also destroyed. Like when a man dies, infected with an epidemic, and all his clothes and house are burned!

“The Law of God is perfect, it strengthens the soul; the Lord’s law is reliable – the ignorant learn” (Ps 19:8). And human iniquity weakens the soul and the ignorant freaks out!

It is, therefore, about terrible crimes against human nature as God created it, blessed it and ordered it to be respected and served, not to go against it. God created and determined male and female, endowed them with the natural ability to give birth and raise children as complementary beings, to maintain life on earth. And people over time turned God’s order upside down and decided on their own that man with man, woman with woman sin and annul God’s creative project task and associated blessing. God ordained that a woman give birth and as a mother lovingly raise her children, but some people have turned God’s order upside down and teach that as few births as possible or that they themselves will eugenically determine how many will be born and which one will be the right one.

In the New Testament

In his inaugural sermon in Galilee, the Lord Jesus uttered the first words: “Repent and believe the Gospel!” (Mk 1:15). The basic message of Jesus is: conversion from every evil that destroys, and complete faith in the Gospel that saves! That is the good news of Jesus.

The Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans writes about unnatural passions that have been activated both among men and among women:

“That is why God gave them over to shameful passions: their wives replaced natural intercourse with unnatural ones, and so also men, abandoning natural intercourse with women, became enflamed with lust for one another, and men committed shameful acts with men and received the deserved reward of their deviation.” (Romans 1:26-27).

The apostle, as one inspired, declares that “male worshipers” will not see the kingdom of God:

“Don’t be fooled! Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor soft travelers, nor adulterers, nor thieves, nor gluttons, nor drunkards, nor swearers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10).

In the same list, with regard to the violation of God’s order, Paul includes both “adulterers” and “robbers”! These “masculinists” are not only defilements of boys.

In these two places, the apostle uses the most severe terms for these abuses of both male and female persons: to replace natural communion with unnatural deviation. Neither perverts nor sodomites not only do not have God’s blessing, but they will not inherit the kingdom of God. Is there a bigger penalty?

In the time of the Fathers of the Church

Numerous holy fathers in their commentaries on the mentioned biblical texts refer to the wickedness of Sodom and their punishments. Here are just two examples:

Tertullian says: “[All] other raging passions – ungodly towards bodies and genders – beyond natural law, let’s drive them not only from the threshold, but from every shelter of the Church, because these are not crimes, but monsters”.[1]

Augustine similarly: “Wickedness that is against nature should be condemned and punished everywhere and always, such as the wickedness of the Sodomites, for example.” If all nations started them, according to the divine law, they would all be blamed with equal guilt, because that law did not make people such that they could communicate among themselves in this way”.[2]

Some recent teachings and interpretations

Jesuits in the 17th century. In 1612, the supreme superior of the Society of Jesus, Claudio Acquaviva (1543-1615), elected general of the Order in 1581, served as superior for 34 years, until his death, condemned the moral position that held that some light pleasure in deliberately sought sexual desires it does not involve mortal sin. Not only did he oblige the Jesuits to obey that teaching under the threat of excommunication, but he imposed on them the obligation to reveal the names of those Jesuits who violated even the spirit of the decree.[3] There was sealed the decision that no sin against the Sixth and Ninth Commandments had lightness or smallness of matter – parvitas materiae, especially not in the area of sodomy. It is noticeable that this rigorous view did not apply to any other commandment of God.

The Second Vatican Council does not have the explicit words: homosexuality or homosexuality in any document.

Persona humana, statement on some issues of sexual ethics, 1975.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith signed by the head, Card. Francis Šeper and Archbishop Jérôme Hammer’s secretary, and was previously “approved and confirmed” by Pope Paul VI, says:

»According to the objective moral order, acts in homosexual relationships are deprived of their essential and irreplaceable goal. Holy Scripture condemns them as severe depravity and even portrays them as a fatal consequence of abandoning God”.[4]

When man does not keep God’s law, then he is condemned to keep man’s illegal law.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1992,

With the introductory apostolic constitution Fidei depositum of Pope John Paul II, prepared under the leadership of the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Card. Joseph Ratzinger, states that the “sin of Sodom” is among the five sins that cry out to heaven.[5] The Catechism talks about homosexuality in several places, usually with these qualifications:

that same-sex relationships cannot be approved under any circumstances[6];

that these are grave sins[7];

that homosexual persons, who have an objectively disordered tendency, through their effort, struggle, prayer, self-denial can bring them closer to Christian perfection,[8] and that in this sense the Church should help them to free them from their sinful state.

Veritatis splendor, 1993,

the encyclical of Pope John Paul II, mentions the concept of homosexuality only once:

“On the basis of the naturalistic understanding of the sexual act, contraception, direct sterilization, autoerotism, premarital relations, homosexual relationships and artificial insemination would be morally unacceptable”.[9]

The “naturalistic” concept is that strange theological understanding according to which some changeable human behaviors are attributed an unchanging character. This is what some “Catholic” theologians say that the Catholic Church teaches, says the encyclical! “They say that man, as a rational being, not only can, but actually should freely determine the meaning of his behavior”. You should be your own moral standard! Regardless of God’s law.

In Pope Francis’s Responsum to the 5 Cardinals

To the Question: “Does the Church have the authority to bestow blessings on same-sex unions?” – Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2021, gives the Answer, signed by the head, Card. Luis Ladaria, a Jesuit, and Archbishop Giacomo Morandi’s secretary, informed and authorized to be published by Pope Francis, proclaims this traditional truth:

“The Church does not have, nor can it have, the power to bless same-sex unions”.[10]

The definition is understandable and unquestionable, it does not need new clarifications and responses, unless the terms: “authority”, “blessing” and “same-sex community” mean something completely different.

Belgian bishops have been practicing some “blessings” of homosexual communities for years, reported Antwerp Bishop Johann Bony, a delegate to the 5th General Assembly of the Synod Way, which was held in Frankfurt from March 9 to 11, 2023. The bishop said that the Belgian bishops had previously were on an official visit to the Vatican from November 21 to 26, 2022, and that the Pope, in the audience of November 25, approved the “blessing of homosexual couples” if all the bishops agreed with it. All 11 Belgian bishops agree with this, reports the Antwerp prelate, except that the French-speaking bishops have the same texts in French, not in Flemish.[11]

Fiducia supplicans, 2023

Here we are at the Statement on the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings, which, without consultation with the cardinals and bishops who are members of the Dicastery, was compiled by the new head of the Office for the Doctrine of the Faith, Card. Victor Manuel Fernandez, co-signed by the secretary Msgr. Armando Matteo, returned Ex audientia from Pope Francis on December 18, and announced.

In a strict liturgical sense, the blessing requires that what is being blessed be in accordance with the will of God as expressed in the teaching of the Church.[12] The Lord Jesus, on leaving this world, raised his hands and blessed the disciples. And while he was blessing them, he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. The disciples returned to Jerusalem and blessed God all the time in the Temple (cf. Lk 24:50-53). Here Jesus gives his divine blessing to the apostles in a descending sense and the apostles in an ascending sense bless God, i.e. praise him, thank him for all the work of redemption.[13]

Under III. point Statement from numbers 31 to 41 talks about “blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples”. The statement tries in every way to notice the difference between the sacramental blessing of a married couple that follows the church formula and ceremony, from the “blessing” of an irregular or same-sex “couple” that does not follow any formula or ceremony. In other words, a “pastoral”, informal, unformulated, non-ritual, spontaneous, random, incidental, momentary “blessing” differs from a “liturgical” sacramental, ritual, formulated, prescribed blessing. The key to the theme is ambiguous in that such irregular “couples” and same-sex “couples” are given a “blessing” in a “church” context and by a “church” ordained minister. The term “couple” is mentioned as if it were a legal “couple”, even if two signs of the cross were made on two people. The same words “blessing”, “ordained minister” are attached to two different realities and with different meanings.

We all know that in no area of life can there be more ambiguity, various allusions, ambiguous jumps, deliberate intrusions, double standards, multi-layered concepts, double messages than in the area of sexuality, that is, the Sixth and Ninth Commandments of God. And that in conversations, in the media, on film, in cartoons. The serious evangelists did not record any ambiguous jokes about Jesus, and it can be assumed that there were some from the corrupt Pharisees and Sadducees. What is the need for us to introduce confusion and at the same time say: there is confusion here, watch out for confusion. We emphasize only the thought from the Statement:

“It should neither ensure nor promote the rite of blessing of couples in an irregular situation. At the same time, the proximity of the Church to people should not be prevented or prohibited in every situation where they could seek God’s help with a simple blessing. In a short prayer that precedes this spontaneous blessing, the ordained minister might pray for individuals to have peace, health, the spirit of patience, dialogue and mutual help – but also God’s light and strength so that I can fully fulfill his will”.[14]

Let’s try to break down the given point:

First, everything is put in a conditional form, in no way obligatory.

Second, it should neither provide nor promote a “couple blessing ceremony” on irregular occasions. Here, an even greater optionality and at the same time contradiction in the phrase “rite of blessing of couples” is highlighted. This contradiction is expanding.

Thirdly, it should not be prevented or forbidden for the Church to approach them with an ordained minister to pray for peace, health, a spirit of patience, dialogue, “mutual help”.

Fourth, to also pray for God’s light and strength so that these “couples” can completely fulfill the will of God and that he accompanies them as individuals with a “spontaneous blessing” of a few seconds, and that they remain unrepentant and unconverted in adulterous or Sodomic “couples” and lawlessness.

A reasonable believer wonders: if everything is in this conditional form, and if the Church should neither promote nor not promote, the “rite” of “blessing” such “couples”, the Church should neither prohibit nor forbid proximity, and that by ” “ordained” minister, how can we hope that these “couples” in irregular situations of persistent adultery or persistent same-sex relationships will completely fulfill the will of God without any conditions and signs of their repentance and exit from unnatural lawlessness and sin?

In no. 41. The statement says that apart from the indications presented, no other answers should be expected from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith in possible ways to standardize details or practical aspects with regard to blessings of this kind.

However, as soon as two weeks passed and the rain of declarations from individual Bishops’ Conferences and other church organizations and persons appeared, the need to issue a special press release became apparent.

Announcement on the acceptance of the statement Fiducia supplicans, 2024. The Dicastery here introduces the practice of interpreting its Statement with a new document, the Announcement, from January 4, 2024, i.e. 16 days after the Statement, it develops a catechesis on the pastoral blessing of irregular and same-sex couples.

Why? Because it is

  • – a certain number of Bishops’ Conferences of the world, each in its own way, refused to accept the pastoral “blessing” of adulterous and homosexual “couples”;
  • – an even greater number of individual cardinals and bishops, each in their own way, rationally and morally criticized individual points of the Declaration;
  • – a considerable number of individual priests, monks, and lay persons, each in their own way, distanced themselves from the Declaration, and
  • – several Catholic associations declared that they are not in favor of such a Declaration.[15] From all the above-mentioned criticisms, an indelible question arises: Who cares that this kind of confusion is allowed in the Church of God with its already existing two-millennium doctrinal clarity? To mix schism with the unity of the Church? With orthodox heresy? With healthy biblical and traditional food she unnecessary?

From the Announcement of the Dicastery, a thought about the content and time of the “blessing” should be highlighted:

“In that case, the priest can pray a simple prayer: “Lord, look at these children of yours, give them health, work, peace and that they can help each other. Free them from everything that is contrary to your Gospel and allow them to live according to your will. Amen”. He then ends with the sign of the cross on each of the two persons. – We are talking about something that lasts about 10 or 15 seconds. Does it make sense to deny this kind of blessing to these people who asked for it?” [16] asked the Cardinal Head together with the Secretary, this time without Ex audientia.

What does that mean:

First, when a stable “Sodom couple” comes to the priest and confidently asks him (fiducia supplicans) for a “blessing”, and the priest prays the above-formulated prayer individually over one and the other homosexual to help each other, for Jesus to free them from everything what contradicts the Gospel and that they live according to God’s will, and they persistently continue to live in a “Sodom couple”?

Second, if a priest makes the sign of the cross or “blessing” over homosexuals individually, who do not recognize an unnatural sin as a sin and thus sin against the Holy Spirit, without repentance and without conversion, is it exposed to the general opinion that he is “blessing” the sinful union of same-sex persons?

Thirdly, if the priest finishes it all quickly, in 10-15 seconds according to the above prayer formula, can such a spontaneous “blessing” which is not a blessing, but is a blessing, be denied to individuals who live in an unnatural state of sin? All the recommendations of the Communication are based on the principle of contradiction, because always, from creation through redemption to the present state, such a simple and spontaneous “blessing” of an irregular adulterous “couple” and a same-sex “couple” was considered a sacrilegious, sinful counterattack to God’s blessing of the created married couple, male and women (Genesis 1:28) for the sake of bearing children and helping each other in life.


Pastor aeternus, the dogmatic constitution on the Church of Christ of the First Vatican Council, in 1870, precisely determines the ministry of Peter’s successors:

“And Peter’s heirs were not promised the Holy Spirit so that in with his revelation they announced a new doctrine, but with his help they guard the sacred and faithfully present the revelation, or deposit of faith [depositum fidei], received from the apostles”.[17]

Therefore, we believe that the Bishop of Rome, the High Priest, is keeping before his eyes the thought that the Lord Jesus said to Peter at the Last Supper – and in Peter to his successors – Peter, I have prayed for you that your faith may not weaken. So when you come to your senses, strengthen your brothers! (Luke 22:32). In faith, truth and love.

We believe that the Holy Father loves Jesus more than others, as the Lord asks and expects from Peter (John 21:15-17), and from his successors. And at the same time, the resurrected Jesus commands Peter every time to graze his lambs and sheep, i.e. to be the shepherd of Jesus’ flock.

We believe that the Holy Father can disprove the Statement of December 18, 2023 and the Announcement of January 4, 2024, documents that have been convincingly demonstrated in these last three weeks – both legally and liturgically, and morally and dogmatically – at the world church level that they are imbued with ambiguity, ambiguity and contradiction, which has never been a teaching characteristic of the Catholic Church.

We believe that the Holy Father, through the action of the Holy Spirit, will find a way to “preserve the sacred and faithfully present the revelation, or treasure of faith, received from the apostles”, and resolutely devalue the mentioned documents, because “it was not so from the beginning” (Mt 19:8). nor throughout the entire history of the Catholic Church until the 21st century, ambiguous documents, imbued with the play between natural legal marriage and irregular “couples” and unnatural same-sex unions. The word of the apostle is: “God is not to be trifled with” (Gal 6:7).


[1] Tertullian (d. 155 – d. 220), Christian writer, De Pudicitia – On chastity, 4: Reliquas autem libidinum furias impias et in corpora et in sexus ultra iura naturae non modo limine, verum omni ecclesiae tecto submovemus , quia non sunt delicta, sed monstra.

[2] St. Augustine (354-430), church teacher, Confessiones, III.,8,15: Itaque flagitia quae sunt contra naturam, ubique ac semper detestanda atque punienda sunt, qualia Sodomitarum fuerunt. Quae si omnes gentes facerent, eodem criminis reatu divina lege tenerentur, quae non sic fecit homines ut se illo uterentur modo.

[3] Patrick Boyle (1932-2022), American Jesuit, Parvitas Materiae in Sexto in Contemporary Catholic Thought (Lanham, University Press of America, 1987), p. 14-16. The general’s decree referred to the Jesuit Order, but it had an impact, through the Jesuit professors, on a wider circle of believers.

[4] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Persona humana, statement, December 29, 1975, no. 8, Zagreb, 1976, KS Dokumenti, no. 47. The entire number 8 is dedicated to the issue of homosexuality, which is mentioned 7 times:

[5] Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1867. Other sins that cry out to heaven: the blood of Abel; the wail of the oppressed people in Egypt; the wailing of the stranger, the widow and the fatherless; injustice to the employed worker.

[6] KCC, no. 2357.

[7] KCC, no. 2396.

[8] KCC, no. 2358-2359.

[9] John Paul II, Veritatis splendor – Splendor of truth, encyclical addressed only to brothers in the bishopric, August 6, 1993, no. 47. Zagreb, 1998, Documents KS 107.

[10] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Responsum, February 22, 2021. Published March 15, 2021.

[11] See the link with further links:

[12] Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Fiducia supplicans [FS] – Trust that prays, statement, December 18, 2023, no. 9. The statement has 5,620 words, 45 numbers, 31 notes, 20 of which refer to the teachings of Pope Francis.

[13] FS, no. 18.

[14] FS, no. 38.

[15] – (January 8, 2024)

[16] Announcement on the acceptance of the statement of Fiducia supplicans, no. 5 –

[17] DS, no. 3070. Neque enim Petri successoribus Spiritus Sanctus promissus est, ut eo revelante novam doctrinam patefacerent, sed ut, eo assistente, traditam per Apostolos revelationem seu fidei depositum sancte custodirent et fideliter exponerent.

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