Statement from Voice of the Family on the Synod of Bishops’ interim report issued Monday:
An international coalition of pro-family groups has rejected the mid-way report of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, calling it “a betrayal”.
Voice of the Family responded to the report (relatio post disceptationem), published this morning and presented by Cardinal Péter Erdő. The report has been welcomed ecstatically by liberal Catholic commentators.
John Smeaton, co-founder of Voice of the Family, said:
“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.
“Many of those who claim to speak in the name of the universal Church have failed to teach the faithful. 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:
“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.”
Voice of the Family is an international lay coalition of major pro-life and pro-family organizations that has formed to offer expertise and resources to leaders of the church, the media, NGOs, and governments before, during, and after the Catholic Church’s Synod on the Family.