Catholics are asking Pope Francis to reaffirm traditional Church teaching on marriage and family at the Synod in Rome next month. A coalition of 58 pro-family groups is promoting a worldwide petition called Filial Appeal to His Holiness Pope Francis on the Future of the Family. So far the petition has been signed by 8 cardinals, 170 bishops and more than 625,000 concerned Catholics from a total of 160 countries.
Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza
"Catholics in general are deeply perplexed," said HIRH Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza, one of the prominent petition signers. "As the sexual revolution continues to claim the innocence of our children and rip the family apart, we find shepherds within the sacred walls of Holy Mother Church who issue statements that contradict and undermine 2,000 years of sound Church teaching."
Some prelates slated to attend the upcoming Synod have openly challenged Church moral doctrine. For example, in a recent interview with La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit periodical, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna spoke approvingly of homosexual unions. “We can and we must respect the decision to form a union with a person of the same sex," the prelate said, "[and] to seek means under civil law to protect their living together with laws to ensure such protection.”
However, many high-ranking Church leaders disagree with Cardinal Schönborn, a delegate at the upcoming Synod.
Cardinal Raymond Burke declared in a video interview released by Polonia Cristiana that, "It is heresy to teach that homosexual relations...are not disordered, to teach that they have positive elements."
In the same documentary video, Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga added: "... if we believe that homosexuals brought something into the Church, it is nothing but debauchery and licentiousness. ... The Holy Scripture beautifully says that such people will not get into Heaven."
Meanwhile, concerned Christian families -- including non-Catholic ones -- who signed the Filial Appeal petition are praying that Pope Francis will set the record straight, dispel the confusion, and reaffirm the Church's unwavering fidelity to divine and natural law.
Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza concluded: "In times like these, we must recall God's promise to Saint Peter, 'That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it' (Matt. 16:18). It is our duty to remain faithful, knowing that God has already won against the forces of darkness."
On September 29, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, the worldwide pro-family petition to Pope Francis will be officially presented in the Vatican.
Those who wish to sign the petition may still do so, here: