Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Archbishop Hartmayer encourages priests to read full text of ‘Fiducia Supplicans’

By GEORGIA BULLETIN STAFF | Published December 31, 2023

ATLANTA—In a Dec. 19 memo to archdiocesan priests, Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer OFM Conv., encouraged them all to read the full text of the declaration, “Fiducia Supplicans on the Pastoral Meaning of Blessings,” issued by the Vatican’s Discastery for the Doctrine of the Faith the previous day. 

“I do not want there to be confusion about what it says, and I believe the declaration is clear and helpful,” wrote the archbishop. 

In the memo Archbishop Hartmayer wrote that “Fiducia Supplicans” does not change church doctrine or practice.  

“Instead, it calls to mind Church teaching on human dignity and our constant need for God’s love and grace,” he wrote.  

The archbishop also shared the meaning of the word “blessing,” which in Latin signifies benediction. 

“It literally means ‘good words.’ At the end of Mass, every person in the congregation receives a blessing, no matter their status in the Church or in the world,” read the memo. “In the Catholic Church, we bless people, places and objects. These blessings are not sacraments, but they are signs of God’s love for us.”   

He concluded his comments with the closing lines of the Dicastery’s declaration reflecting upon Pope Francis’ teaching: “… ‘the root of Christian meekness’ is ‘the ability to feel blessed and the ability to bless […]. This world needs blessings, and we can give blessings and receive blessings. The Father loves us, and the only thing that remains for us is the joy of blessing him, and the joy of thanking him, and of learning from him […] to bless.’ In this way, every brother and every sister will be able to feel that, in the Church, they are always pilgrims, always beggars, always loved, and, despite everything, always blessed.’”