First Reactions: No To Francis' Homosex Blessings

Bishops and journalists comment on Francis' document "Fiducia supplicans" which "allows" practising homosexuals to be "blessed".

Homosexualist James Martin SJ: "Be wary of the 'nothing has changed' response to today's news. It's a significant change. In short, yesterday, as a priest, I was forbidden to bless same-sex couples at all. Today, with some limitations, I can".

Bishop Georg Bätzing, President of the German Bishops' Conference: "It is good that a treasure for the diversity of lifestyles is now being unearthed."

Bishop Joseph Strickland addresses the other bishops and says "that we all join with a voice of strength and joy in the Lord in these last days of Advent and say 'no' to this latest document. We really simply need to be a united voice saying 'no', we will not respond to this".

Former Vicar General Michael Fuchs of Regensburg Diocese, Germany: "Not with me."

Damian Thompson: "Francis and Fernandez delight in slippery language. I can imagine them chuckling at the confusion this will cause. Evasions, half-truths, propaganda stunts and lies: the hallmarks of this deceitful pontificate".

Ross Douthat: "As usual in this pontificate, the 'misleading' media headlines are the point" [because they convey exactly what Francis intends].

Phil Lawler "Today's Vatican directive allows (encourages?) Catholic priests to maintain a sort of ritual purity by saying they have not treated a homosexual union as a marriage, while in the eyes of the world [=everyone] they have done exactly that."

Reverend Ronald Vierling "The familiar pattern of the past sixty years is to drive a wedge between the doctrine of the faith/morals of the Church and pastoral practice. This is largely achieved by leaving a doctrine in place, but undercutting its binding authority on conscience."