Hanover, Pennsylvania – Sept 16, 2015: Ahead of the upcoming Synod on the Family in Rome, dozens of organizations are collecting petitions to Pope Francis, asking him to reinforce Church teaching on marriage and family. Today, the worldwide petition surpassed 615,000 signatures, including those of 8 cardinals, 167 bishops and hundreds of prominent civil leaders.
"College students from coast to coast are asking Pope Francis to reaffirm Church teaching at the Synod," said John Ritchie, director of Tradition Family Property Student Action, one of the pro-family groups gathering petitions.
"After Ireland and the U.S. Supreme Court both approved same-sex 'marriage,' a strong reaffirmation of Church teaching could save the sacred institution of marriage, strengthen the family and dispel the lies of the homosexual revolution," Ritchie stated. "Young Catholics -- even non-Catholics -- look to the Church as a beacon of morality and stability in our Godless culture, but some of our shepherds have issued confusing statements."
According to LifeSiteNews.com, Bishop Johan Bonny, a delegate at the upcoming Synod, stated, “Inside the Church, we must look for a formal recognition of the relational dimension that is also present in many homosexual, lesbian and bisexual couples.”
Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany, whose controversial statements have caused growing concern among the faithful, said, “... if the majority of the people wants such homosexual unions, the state has a duty to recognize such rights.”
Other media outlets report that Bishop Heiner Koch, another influential Church figure at the Synod, said, "Any bond that strengthens and holds people is in my eyes good; that applies also to same-sex relationships.”
"This prayerful petition asks Pope Francis to clear up the moral confusion that's been spreading against Natural and Divine Law," continued Ritchie. "If the enemies of the family continue to chip away at holy matrimony, the future of the family and civilization itself will be in even more serious peril."
The pro-family petition, Filial Appeal to His Holiness Pope Francis on the Future of the Family, will be hand delivered in Rome on September 29, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel.