Will you join the nearly-500 priests in England who recently signed a public statement defending the Church’s teachings on the nature and indissolubility of marriage, and asking for clarity from the upcoming Synod on the Family?
Following the amazing success of the priests initiative in England, Voice of the Family, a lay initiative made up of 23 pro-life and pro-family groups from around the world, is now working to promote the initiative internationally.
To add your name to the letter, simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name, parish and/or religious order, and affirm that you wish to be added as a signatory to the letter.
The full text of the open letter appears below. A fuller explanation of this initiative follows after that.
FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER TO THE PRESS
Following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2014 much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching. In this situation we wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia. We commit ourselves anew to the task of presenting this teaching in all its fullness, while reaching out with the Lord’s compassion to those struggling to respond to the demands and challenges of the Gospel in an increasingly secular society. Furthermore we affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony. We urge all those who will participate in the second Synod in October 2015 to make a clear and firm proclamation of the Church’s unchanging moral teaching, so that confusion may be removed, and faith confirmed.
It is most likely that, like us, you will have followed the events of last October’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops and its aftermath with interest. Like us, you may also have been left unsettled and deeply concerned by some of the statements coming out of that Synod, and the manner in which the Synod was at times reported by the media and interpreted by those with a secular ideological agenda. There is now a distorted general sense that the Church’s moral teaching could be changed and that Catholic practice could be altered regardless of doctrine. Even some committed Catholics are making statements that do not reflect the settled teaching of the Church, nor the clear message of the New Testament.
As pastors of souls you will be only too aware of the confusion this has caused to those to whom you minister. All too often it is those who have been most faithful to the teaching of the Church and have made great sacrifices in order to conform their lives to the Gospel, who have been left in greatest distress.
Pope Francis exhorted the participants of the Extraordinary Synod: 'Speak freely and from the heart. And listen humbly to each other.’ Inspired by the Holy Father’s invitation, we wish to make our voice heard.
Above is the text of a letter which we intend and now propose to publish in the Catholic/national press. It states our adherence to the Church’s traditional doctrine and discipline of marriage, and our request that this will be affirmed without ambiguity by the Synod to be held later in 2015. We also make clear our commitment to serve all those who struggle to live out the demands of the Gospel amidst the often difficult circumstances of modern life. Clarity in teaching is never opposed to good pastoral practice, but is rather its foundation.
Please join your brother priests around the world in making this statement, for which we know many people are longing. We invite you to sign the letter and return it, without delay, to the email address provided.
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