Rome, 29/9/2015 -- This morning the Filial Appeal to Pope Francis on the future of the family was delivered as a result of a signature campaign in 178 countries.
In view of the opening of the Ordinary Synod on the Family, the 790.190 signatories— including 202 cardinals, archbishops and bishops—ask Pope Francis to say “a clarifying word” to dissipate the “widespread confusion arising from the possibility that a breach has been opened within the Church that would accept adultery—by permitting divorced and then civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion—and would virtually accept even homosexual unions when such practices are categorically condemned as being contrary to Divine and natural law”.
Only an intervention from the highest authority can help the disoriented faithful to see through the confusion that has been created over the years and that has become much worse in our days.
The spokesman of this initiative, Tommaso Scandroglio, professor of Ethics and Bioethics in the European University of Rome commented that the Filial Appeal “has had widespread repercussions in the Italian and International press”. He added “the repercussions in the mass media, the number of signatures collected and the number of personalities who have signed indicate that a substantial number of believers are very worried about certain theological tendencies present in the Church today”.
“The initiative—according to Scandroglio—takes place constructively amidst the climate of discussion and dialogue regarding these subjects. An example is the handbook Preferential Option for the Family—100 Questions and Answers relating to the Synod, that has been distributed along with the collection of signatures. It aims to spread the teaching of the Catholic Magisterium on these matters. Tens of thousands of copies of the handbook, authored by three bishops, have been requested from all over the world”.
Amongst the many signers of the Filial Appeal we highlight, in the ecclesiastical sphere: Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship; Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, former primate of Brazil and secretary emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome; Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila; the bishops of the Military Services of the United States and Brazil, respectively Archbishops Timothy Broglio and Fernando Guimaraes. The President of the Episcopal Conference of Madagascar, The Most Rev. Désiré Tsarahasana, Archbishop of Toamasina. Prelates who direct large diocese such as Ramón Arguelles, Archbishop of Lipa in the Philippines (2.700.000 faithful); the Archbishop of Tucumán, Argentina, Alfredo Zecca (over one million faithful); The Most Rev. Aldo di Cillo Pagotto, Archbishop of Paraíba, Brasil, (over one million faithful) and the Archbishop of Manizales, in Colombia, Gonzalo Restrepo (over 800,000 Catholics). In Africa, we can mention the diocese of Maputo, Mozambique, with more than 1,200,000 Catholics, where both the current Archbishop Francis Chimoio and his predecessor Cardenal Alexandre dos Santos have signed. In Asia, amongst the signatories are the Archbishop of Astana, Kazakhstan, Tomasz Peta and the Archbishop of Trivandrum in India, Calis Soosa Pakiam. There are several signatories amongst European archbishops and bishops including the eparchs and bishops from the Greek Catholic rites.
In the political sphere some of the signatories are: Dr. Alejandro Ordóñez Maldonado, Procurator General of the Republic of Colombia; Rick Santorum, former US Senator; H.I.R.H. Dom Luiz de Orleans-Braganza, Head of the Imperial House of Brazil; members of the European Parliament Anna Zaborska (Slovakia) and Ruza Tomasic (Croatia).
Signatories from the academic world include members of the Pontifical Academy for Life: Josef Seifert, former President of the International Academy of Philosophy; Luke Gormally, Director Emeritus of The Linacre Centre for Healthcare Ethics; and Wolfgang Waldstein, professor emeritus of the University of Salzburg. Other university personalities include Professor Stephan Kampowski of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, as well as Professor Massimo de Leonardis, Director of the Department of Political Sciences at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart – Milan.