The Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast have expressed their reservation regarding the potential blessing of “Same-Sex couples” and couples in “irregular situations.” This concern is articulated in response to Fiducia Supplicans, the December 18 Declaration from the Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith (DDF). In a statement shared with ACI Africa on December 29. Members of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast emphasized the perceived risk of confusion and scandal that could arise within the local church. If same-sex couples were to be blessed.
The apprehension is rooted in the assertion that “acts of homosexuality are intrinsically disordered,” as stated in the DDF’s December 29, 1975. Declaration on certain questions concerning sexual ethics known as Persona Humana. The CECCI members argue that homosexuality goes against natural law and contend that such as “close the sexual act to the gift of life.” While lacking true affective and sexual complementarity.
According to the Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast, these acts are based on their intrinsic nature, and “cannot be approved under any circumstances.” They reference the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Sacred Scriptures to support their stance against the approval of homosexual acts.
Furthermore, the members of the Episcopal Conference of Ivory Coast emphasize their awareness of the cultural attachment of their people to values derived from Natural Law concerning marriage and family matters. They express their concerns that the potential blessing of same-sex couples as allowed by the Declaration of Fiducia Supplicans poses challenges within their ecclesial context. According to CECCI, the cultural importance of Natural Law is deeply ingrained in the ethos of their society.
CECCI members argue that homosexuality not only contradicts their ancestral and cultural values but also implies. Through Fiducia Supplicans and endorsement by the Church of a reality that they perceive as inherently evil, unnatural, and contrary to their customs and traditions.
As a response, the Catholic Bishops in Ivory Coast acting as spiritual guides, reasserts their commitment to family values and the sacrament of marriage between a man and woman, as ordained by God. They explicitly direct ordained ministers to refrain from blessing same-sex couples and couples in irregular situations.
In solidarity with their counterparts in various African countries including Malawi, Zambia, Cameroon, and Kenya. The Ivory Coast Bishops join a global division within the Catholic Church concerning the implementation of Fiducia Supplicans.
The Prefect of the DDF, Carfinal Victor Manuel Fernandez, acknowledges the reluctance of certain Catholic Bishops to implement the declaration. He encourages Local Ordinaries to exercise discernment. Understanding that objections stem from concerns about the perceived endorsement of irregular unions. Cardinal Fernandez, particularly citing the context in Africa where legislation penalizes the declaration of being gay. Suggests that local bishops should individually assess the applicability of Fiducia Supplicans in their respective dioceses.