Bishop's Blog / Statement from the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

By Joseph Strickland
Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Share On:

I pray that many dioceses will follow this path...

Statement of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

regarding the Declaration Fiducia supplicans, published by the

Dicastery of the Doctrine of Faith and approved by Pope Francis on December 18, 2023



The manifest purpose of the Declaration of the Holy SeeFiducia supplicans, is to allow “the possibility of blessing couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples.” (Presentation). At the same time, the document insists that such blessings are performed “without officially validating their status or changing in any way the Church’s perennial teaching on marriage.” 


The fact that the document does not give permission for the “marriage” of same-sex couples should not blind pastors and faithful to the great deception and the evil that resides in the very permission to bless couples in irregular situations and same-sex couples. Such a blessing directly and seriously contradicts Divine Revelation and the uninterrupted, bimillennial doctrine and practice of the Catholic Church. To bless couples in an irregular situation and same-sex couples is a serious abuse of the most Holy Name of God, since this name is invoked upon an objectively sinful union of adultery or of homosexual activity.


Therefore, nonenot even the most beautiful, of the statements contained in this Declaration of the Holy See, can minimize the far-reaching and destructive consequences resulting from this effort to legitimize such blessings. With such blessings, the Catholic Church becomes, if not in theory, then in practice, a propagandist of the globalist and ungodly “gender ideology.”


As successors of the Apostles, and faithful to our solemn oath on the occasion of our episcopal consecration to preserve the deposit of faith in purity and integrity, according to the tradition always and everywhere observed in the Church since the time of the Apostles, we exhort and prohibit priests and the faithful of the Archdiocese of Santa Maria in Astana from accepting or performing any form of blessing whatsoever of couples in an irregular situation and same-sex couples. It goes without saying that every sincerely repentant sinner with the firm intention to no longer sin and to put an end to his public sinful situation (such as, e.g., cohabitation outside of a canonically valid marriage, union between people of the same sex) can receive a blessing.


With sincere brotherly love, and with due respect, we address Pope Francis, who  by allowing the blessing of couples in an irregular situation and same-sex couples  does not walk uprightly according to the truth of the Gospel (see Gal. 2:14), to borrow words with which Saint Paul the Apostle publicly admonished the first Pope in Antioch. Therefore, in the spirit of episcopal collegiality, we ask Pope Francis to revoke the permission to bless couples in an irregular situation and same-sex couples, so that the Catholic Church may shine clearly as the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim 3:15) for all those who sincerely seek to know the will of God and, by fulfilling it, to attain eternal life.


Astana, 19 December 2023


Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

+ Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

Joseph Strickland

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland was named the fourth bishop of Tyler in September of 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to being named bishop, he served a number of roles in the diocese, including vicar general, judicial vicar, and pastor of the Cathedral parish. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1985.
Prev:  An Iimportant article that clearly addresses Fiducia Supplicans
Next: Letter to Priests- December 21, 2023