In response to a planned day of blessings for same-sex partners in Germany, the Bishop of San Sebastián on Wednesday called on Catholics to join in prayer for the Church in Germany to be faithful to the Magisterium and not to fall into rebellion. 

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said March 15 that the Church hasn’t the power to bless same-sex unions.

However, members of the Church in Germany have announced a May 10 event, “Blessings for the unions of people who love each other,” with the participation of priests, deacons, and pastoral workers, and supported by some bishops, such as Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen.

Bishop José Ignacio Munilla Aguirre tweeted April 14: “I invite you to join a chain of prayer and fasting for the unity of the Church in Germany and throughout the world. Lord, grant us communion in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church!”

In a statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner, Bishop Munilla stressed that "there is an understandable concern in the People of God,” noting that as the synod in Germany plays out, there has been “a palpable lack of unity regarding the faith of the Catholic Church."

"This is not a subjective assessment, we have heard the concern in this regard publicly expressed by various bishops and cardinals in the German Church; while we have learned how different agencies of the Holy See are trying to accompany and illuminate the synodal process," he said.

 "Unity is a great miracle that the Holy Spirit has been at work for two thousand years in the Church, at the same time, it is a great challenge and responsibility for all of us who comprise the Church," the bishop said.

Bishop Munilla explained that “moved by the sensus ecclesiae, the spontaneous reaction of many of the faithful - especially contemplative souls who give their lives for the Church - has been to give themselves over to prayer and fasting for the unity of the Church.”

The Bishop of San Sebastián reiterated the need to pray for the unity of the Church since "we are not facing a battle on a human level, but rather dealing with the evil spirit that hates the Church of Christ and wants to see it divided.”

Bishop Munilla stressed that the “unity of the Church cannot be sustained by a certain ideological sensibility, nor by a consensus among worldly sensibilities" but rather "it is a gift of the Spirit, which requires our personal and communal conversion, which makes possible the acceptance of the gift of Revelation whole and entire.”

The CDF issued a “Responsum ad dubium” March 15 replying to the question, “does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?” The doctrinal congregation answered, “Negative”, explaining its reasoning in an “explanatory note” and accompanying commentary.

In recent years, German bishops in particular have been increasingly outspoken in demanding “discussions about an opening” towards acceptance of practiced homosexuality and the blessing of homosexual unions in the Church.

The plays a central role in one of four forums that constitute the “Synodal Process” underway in Germany.