ROME — Sixteen pro-life and pro-family advocates have launched a new video pleading with Pope Francis to end what they describe as “doctrinal confusion” as a result of the pontiff’s recent document on the family, Amoris Laetitia.

That document, released in April, appeared to open a cautious door for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to return to Holy Communion.

The new 30-minute film, titled “Plea to the Pope,” comes in the wake of what the producers, LifeSiteNews, believe is “confusion” caused by the pope’s Apostolic Exhortation. The group is also inviting people to sign a pledge to pray and fast for Francis, so that “he might be given the grace to speak the truth with clarity and courage.”

Roughly 300 people had signed the pledge in the 22 hours after it was issued.

Among those in the video’s line-up is Bishop Athanasius Schneider, an ethnic German born in the former Soviet Union, who today serves as auxiliary bishop for the diocese of Maria Santissima in Kazakhstan. He opens the video appealing to the pope to “state more clearly the issue of family, [and] of the sacredness of marriage.”

The group claims they launched the appeal out of love for Francis and the Church.

“I love the Holy Father. I pray for him every day,” said John Henry Westen, the co-founder and editor of LifeSiteNews, in the film.

“And I [raise these concerns] out of great love for the Church. But we need to work for Christ and his truth. And I need to defend my own family, and [statements he has made are] a threat to the faith of my children.”

Westen believes that there has been too much “purposeful ambiguity,” with Francis “leaving things open so that there is confusion” not only in Amoris Laetitia, but in the pope’s interviews and documents in general.

“This is a horror – that Catholics, who believe and love the faith, are now confused on the fundamentals of the faith in these areas where the teaching means life or death,” he said.  “Eternal life or death.”

The papal document on the family has, in fact, produced contradicting readings.

A senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, Jesuit Father Thomas Reese, said recently the pontifical document, also known as The Joy of Love, allows bishops to make their own interpretations.

“Somebody in the diocese next door could release a letter that says something totally different,” Reese told the Associated Press, reacting to recent guidelines released by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia stating that only divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who live as brother and sister, refraining from sexual intimacy, are eligible to receive Communion.

Much of the debate has focused on access to the sacraments for couples in what the Catholic Church traditionally defined as “irregular situations,” particularly people who were divorced and civilly remarried without an annulment, with bishops and cardinals disagreeing on what did the pope meant.

The petition from LifeSiteNews, a conservative, pro-life Catholic website, is not the first one directed at Francis on a wide range of matters.

For instance, on July 11 an international group of “Catholic academics and pastors” released a statement saying they have petitioned Rome to address what they perceive to be serious theological problems with Amoris Laetitia, which is the result of a two Synods of Bishops on the family.

The group directed its appeal to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome. They want Francis to repudiate “the errors listed in the document in a definitive and final manner, and to authoritatively state that Amoris Laetitia does not require any of [those errors] to be believed or considered as possibly true.”

Petitions have become a popular way to deliver a message, and it’s not only conservative Catholics who are using different platforms to mobilize the faithful at the grassroots levels.

For instance, last June, three national Catholic organizations that advocate for LGBT equality were among 30 church reform groups launching a campaign A Church for Our Daughters to promote what they call “the full equality of women in the Catholic Church.”

Call To Action, DignityUSA, and New Ways Ministry joined with other organizations such as the Women’s Ordination Conference, Future Church, and 8th Day Center for Justice and Peace to circulate a petition on equality which was delivered to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Huntington Beach, California.