An international coalition of pro-life and pro-family organizations has strongly criticized the mid-way report on the Synod on the Family, calling it a “betrayal” of Catholic parents worldwide.
John Smeaton, co-founder of Voice of the Family, said those “controlling the Synod have betrayed Catholic parents worldwide.
“We believe that the Synod’s mid-way report is one of the worst official documents drafted in Church history,” he said.
Earlier today, the synod published the report, called a relatio post disceptationem. It was presented to the assembly by the synod’s relator general, Cardinal Péter Erdő.
Smeaton said “thankfully the report is a preliminary report for discussion, rather than a definitive proposal.” But he added it is “essential” that the voices of those lay faithful who sincerely live out Catholic teaching are also taken into account.
“Catholic families are clinging to Christ’s teaching on marriage and chastity by their finger-tips,” he said.
Patrick Buckley, Voice of the Family’s Irish representative, said the report represents “an attack on marriage and the family,” and added that it “in effect gives a tacit approval of adulterous relationships, thereby contradicting the Sixth Commandment and the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the indissolubility of marriage.
“The report undermines the Church’s definitive teaching against contraception, by using the coded language of ‘underlin[ing] the need to respect the dignity of the person in the moral evaluation of the methods of birth control,” he said.
He said such language “is the code of those who wish to reduce the Church’s doctrines to a mere guide, thus leaving couples free to choose contraception in so-called ‘conscience’.”
Buckley said the report “accepts wrongly” that there is a value in the homosexual orientation. He said this contradicts the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1986 Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons which says: “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”
Maria Madise, Voice of the Family’s coordinator, asked whether Catholics parents will now have to tell their children about contraception, cohabiting with partners or living homosexual lifestyles. “Will those parents now have to tell their children that the Vatican teaches that there are positive and constructive aspects to these mortal sins? This approach destroys grace in souls.”
She added it would be a “false mercy” to give Holy Communion to people who do not repent of their mortal sins against Christ’s teachings on sexual purity. “Real mercy consists of offering people a clean conscience via the Sacrament of Confession and thus union with God,” she said.
“Many of those who claim to speak in the name of the universal Church have failed to teach the faithful,” she added. “This failure has created unprecedented difficulties for families. No responsibility is taken for this failure in this disastrous mid-way report.”
“The Synod’s mid-way report will increase the incidence of faithful Catholics being labelled as ‘pharisees’, simply for upholding Catholic teaching on sexual purity.”
John Smeaton concluded by urging Catholics “not to be complacent or give in to a false sense of obedience, in the face of attacks on the fundamental principles of the natural law.
“Catholics are morally obliged to oppose the course being taken within the Synod,” he said.
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