twelve o’clock, March 18, 2021 – 09:08
The chaplain of Poggioreale criticized with the indications of the Holy See: “It’s a hypocrisy”
of Elena Scarici
“God also blesses what men refuse to bless.” Fr Franco Esposito, chaplain of the Poggioreale prison, starts from this consideration, in finding the recent note of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “inappropriate” that denies the possibility for priests to give blessings to couples made up of individuals of the same sex. A consideration also posted on his Facebook profile with a photo of two girls kissing.
“It is not unjust discrimination – the note reads – no judgment on people”. But let’s see why Don Franco considers the note inappropriate. “I believe that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith could have avoided it, leaving individual pastors with a possible capacity for discernment in the choice of whether or not to bless a homosexual couple. Those who live in a community know well if those people have made a journey of faith and if there is love at the basis of that union, I don’t see why then the blessing cannot be imparted ”.
The pronouncement of the Holy See motivates the decision of the refusal with respect to the value of the blessings that are defined as “sacramental, liturgical actions of the Church” and therefore for this reason they require that what is blessed be “objectively ordered to receive and express grace in function of God’s designs “. Relationships “which involve a sexual practice outside of marriage – continues the note – that is, outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open to the transmission of life, do not respond to those designs of God even though positive elements are present in them”. «The thing doesn’t seem clear to me – the priest goes on to say – one thing is the sacrament, another is the blessing, giving a blessing to a homosexual couple does not mean doing it in function of the sacrament. And if some people can misinterpret it, this is, if anything, due to bad catechesis. There are many people who ask to be blessed, and in this I see the sign of the benevolence of God who loves everyone ». In the note from the Holy See it is specified that in reality this pronouncement does not imply any discrimination because it distinguishes between persons and union.
The negative response to blessing the union does not imply – according to the Congregation – a judgment on the individual persons involved who must be received “with respect, compassion and delicacy, avoiding any mark of unjust discrimination”. In fact, it is also specified that it is not excluded that blessings are given to individuals with homosexual inclinations but it declares that “any form of blessing that tends to recognize their unions is illegal”. «To me this statement seems like a hypocrisy – underlines the chaplain – if I perceive in the single homosexual person a feeling of good, this good remains also in couple, otherwise where would it end up? And so if there is good there can also be a blessing. I wonder where the mercy lies in refusing a blessing to two girls or two boys who love each other. Ultimately it seems to me that it all boils down to considering the sexual act “against nature” as the most important thing to judge and condemn. Isn’t it reducing a relationship of good, of love, to the sphere of the genitals? and consequently mortify the beauty and the good that is in every man or woman who is the image of the Father? ».
In his role as chaplain of Poggioreale, Don Franco often found himself listening to the sometimes sad stories of homosexual people who live in prison, a reality that is not always easy and that often discriminates. “It has often happened to me to confess homosexuals, people who already live in prison a profound reality of marginalization, acquitting them seemed to me the most appropriate thing”.
March 18, 2021 | 09:08