Synod report ‘worst in Catholic history’
Conservative Catholics are expressing fury over a preliminary report of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, calling it a ‘betrayal’ and ‘an attack on marriage and the family’.
According to the BBC, senior clerics taking part in a review of Catholic teachings on the family – currently taking place in Rome – called on the Church to adopt a more positive stance on homosexuality. They said:
Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?
John Smeaton, Director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and co-founder of Voice of the Family (pictured above with his son), is outraged:
Those who are 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.
Thankfully the report is a preliminary report for discussion, rather than a definitive proposal. 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.
Patrick Buckley, Voice of the Family’s Irish representative, said:
The Synod’s mid-way report represents an attack on marriage and the family. For example, the report 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.
This 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’.
The report accepts wrongly that there is a value in the homosexual orientation. This contradicts the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s 1986 Letter on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons: ‘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, said:
What will Catholics parents 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.
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.
John Smeaton concluded:
We urge 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.
The authors of the report appear to have been swayed by a devout married couple who, early in the Synod, urged the Pope to freely welcome gay couples into the Church.
Ron and Mavis Pirola, above, former members of the Pontifical Council for the Family, delivered the comments during a testimony at Vatican City last Monday.
The Pirolas, Australians who have been married for 57 years, said welcoming gay couples into the fold would serve as a “model of evangelisation.”
As an example, they spoke about family friends’ experience with a gay son.
Friends of ours were planning their Christmas family gathering when their gay son said he wanted to bring his partner home too. They fully believed in the Church’s teachings and they knew their grandchildren would see them welcome the son and his partner into the family. Their response could be summed up in three words, ‘He’s our son’.
The couple continued:
What a model of evangelisation for parishes as they respond to similar situations in their neighborhood! It is a practical example of what the Instrumentum Laboris [the Synod’s working document] says concerning the Church’s teaching role and its main mission to let the world know of God’s love.
The BBC points out that:
Pope Francis is the first pontiff ever to have used the word ‘gay’ in public rather than refer to ‘homosexuals’.
Hat tip: Marcus Robinson