“Filial appeal” to Pope Francis asking him to hold the line

This is pretty interesting…

From Breitbart:


A coalition of royals, prelates, and Catholic activists have sent a “filial appeal” to Pope Francis asking him to hold the line on Church teaching regarding the family.

The letter focuses on the Synod of Bishops to take place this October in the Vatican and expresses the signers’ “fears and hopes regarding the future of the family.

Signers include a raft of dignitaries, many with titles most Americans would not know existed any longer. They include princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses, barons and baronesses, descendants of storied European royal families, and one exiled African king.

Kigeli V, exiled King of Rawanda, is a signer, along with the heads of the Imperial House of Portugal and Brazil, Prince Armand de Merode of Belgium, Duke and Duchess Antonello Del Balzo di Presenzano of Italy, Princess Monika of Lowenstein-Werthheim-Rosenberg, Baron Rudolf Pfyffer von Altishofen of France, and many others.

The letter says, “Our fears arise from witnessing a decades-long sexual revolution promoted by an alliance of powerful organizations, political forces and the mass media that consistently work against the very existence of the family as the basic unit of society.”

The signers trace the ongoing sexual revolution to the May 1968 “Sorbonne Revolution” in France and “morality opposed to both Divine and natural law.”

The letter “notes with anguish that, for millions of faithful Catholics, the beacon seems to have dimmed in the face of the onslaught of lifestyles spread by anti-Christian lobbies.”

Specifically, the signers believe “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.”


Everyone needs to stand up and be counted.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Francis, One Man & One Woman and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. msc says:

    I suspect that having a bunch of superannuated royals on our side won’t do us any good in the public’s eye. As a republican this list is enough to give me the shivers.

  2. HeatherPA says:

    I saw this a little bit ago at The Catholic Thing. Robert Royal was promoting it so I signed it.

  3. HeatherPA says:

    And yes, I am in disbelief I signed a document that asked the Pope to please affirm our loud publicly that he is, in essence, the Pope and that the Roman Catholic faith is the same now as it always has been.

  4. Sonshine135 says:

    I find this to be very interesting. When else would large groups of royalty take a stand like this? I think they may know something we don’t: They have been brought up with their family stories and know the harm of these “revolutions”.

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    I feel most appreciative towards anyone who would publicly ask the Holy Father to continue to teach and promote authentic Catholic doctrine, and not allow changes that would cause havoc and divide Catholics further. I would very much like to thank the people who made such an important request of Pope Francis, thank them sincerely. Every single Catholic who cares about the faith need wait no longer for their opportunity to defend it. Now is the acceptable time. No one is unimportant, and certainly, anyone with a royal title of any kind deserves acknowledgement. The potential of this affects everyone who really cares about our Catholic faith, from the high to the low, and everybody in between. I sent my letter to our local Bishop the other day.

  6. Spade says:

    I signed it. Couldn’t believe I had too.

  7. mburn16 says:

    How about a public service announcemen, Fr. Z? Posting the Contact info for the Vatixan might prompt a few more letters.

  8. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    I hope they don’t mail it.

  9. Polycarpio says:

    I’m with MSC. This is not putting our best foot forward: bad optics. I mean, what’s our next move–to get the torch-wielding mob from “Frankenstein” to throw their support behind us. Not a lick of good will come out of this–petitions usually go exactly nowhere–and the potential to tarnish our image and make it look like it’s the people’s Pope vs. a bunch of people in castles is fodder for late night monologues just waiting to happen. Ugh!

  10. Monica says:

    Ouch, Dr. Peters!
    Good for these royals. As Father Z said, everyone needs to stand up and be counted. I signed TFP’s petition at the March for Life.

  11. kpoterack says:

    The vast majority of people who have signed (over 100,000 now) are not royalty. The website simply lists in one section “personalities” who have signed which, indeed, has quite a few – but not exclusively – members of various royal families. It also has academics, clergy, members of prolife organizations, etc. (I agree, I wish they would not have included so royalty in the “personalities” section, however it will be the actual list that will go to Pope Francis, not the “personalities” who have signed section.)

    Sign it.

  12. pseudomodo says:

    Maybe with this pope we will get an “Agatha Christie” indult for doctrine concerning the traditional family!

  13. wolfeken says:

    Wow, I am glad I was not a cleric or a monarch during the French Revolution with some of the commenters above.

    Didn’t Saint Thomas Aquinas write monarchy is the best form of government? He of course qualified that to reflect the realities of bad men, but goodness, Americanism seems to be alive and well here.

  14. jacobi says:

    What have things come to. European Catholics, royal or otherwise, having to plead with the pope to support established immutable Catholic doctrine on one of the seven sacraments, Marriage, and having to remind the pope that he must hold fast in condemning one the the four sins crying out to heaven for vengeance.

    What on earth or rather in Heavens have things come to?

  15. Traductora says:

    I guess they’re not in the right peripheries. Nor is anybody else here.

    This whole thing is becoming more and more unreal to me every day. I can’t believe we’re now having to sign a petition begging the Pope to remain loyal to Catholic teaching. Unfortunately, I can easily believe that he will just ignore it. Wrong peripheries, after all.

  16. Lin says:

    I signed it early out!

  17. mburn16 says:

    In many places in Europe, royals have taken the role of respected sTatesmen. Powerless but nonetheless influential.

  18. RJHighland says:

    Hey the Pope threw his support behind the legislation in Slovakia to ban gay marriage and gay adoption, they have posters of him giving a thumbs up to the legislation in Slovakia. Way to go Pope Francis!!! (I love saying that, rather than smacking my forehead and shaking my head in disbelief) Let us pray the legislation passes!! At this point I support anyone that actually publically comes out and supports authentic Catholic teaching because there seem to be so few that are not caving to the passions of the world fudging teachings, whether religious, politicians, royalty or serfs.

  19. Gerard Plourde says:

    Given that Pope Francis has made no pronouncement regarding the family that is at odds with Catholic Teaching and that his record in Argentina on this issue is orthodox, one wonders why this is thought to be necessary.

  20. Andrew says:


    Perhaps some folks need to be reminded that the Blessed Virgin was from a royal lineage as was St. Josef. Moreover, the catalogue of Saints includes many members of royal families, including kings and queens. How many Presidents have been canonized?

  21. Suzanne Carl says:

    Is there a potential French King on the list?

  22. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:


  23. Iacobus M says:

    “But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us. ” Mark 9:39-40

  24. Mike says:

    To paraphrase Benedict XVI, when each follows the light of conscience, formed in truth, he becomes a king…

  25. Geoffrey says:

    This initiative reminds me why I am proud to be a monarchist. There is one correction that should be noted: the article refers to “the heads of the Imperial House of Portugal and Brazil”. Those are actually two different houses: the Most Serene House of Bragança would be the royal house of Portugal and the House of Orléans-Bragança would be the imperial house of Brazil. The latter is a cadet branch of the former.

    “The character of kings is sacred; their persons are inviolable; they are the anointed of the Lord, if not with sacred oil, at least by virtue of their office. Their power is broad—based upon the will of God, and not on the shifting sands of the people’s will… ” (Rt. Rev. John Healy, 17th Archbishop of Tuam in Ireland).

  26. Emilio says:

    I’m quite surprised by some of the aversion to royalty and aristocracy above. What would some of you have them do with their ancestry and heritage? God bless and help them if they are helping to preserve the Church. Queen Sofia of Spain, the late Queen Fabiola of Belgium, Queen Mathilde of Belgium (said to be close to Opus Dei), the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Prince Adam of Lichtenstein, the Princess von Thurn und Taxis, and Princess Alessandra Borghese… these are ALL known to be faithful and devout in their Faith… so faith among royals, and the relevance and example of religious royals is not exactly dead.. at all. To paraphrase Pope Francis, we are all of us subjects of a Crucified King.

  27. Gail F says:

    I’m surprised at the vehement comments about royalty. What have they ever done to bother you personally? I am an American, I don’t have any counts or princes or kings… but what’s it to me if they exist? They are people just like us and if they support the family then I’m happy to hear about it. And though I am quite happy with a republic, thank you very much, I also love my saints and I am very partial to Bl. Karl von Hapsburg and his wife Zelie, about as saintly and as devoted to family as anyone could be. They were royalty, so it can’t be ALL bad.

  28. The Cobbler says:

    If there’s one thing I like about nobility, it’s that everyone hates them for the wrong reasons.

  29. Bea says:

    I, too,saw it a week or so ago and already signed it.

  30. Patti Day says:

    I signed it and hope it will show Pope Francis that both high born and ordinary folk the world over share this deep concern over where our Church seems to be headed.

  31. Latin Mass Type says:

    Somewhere on the web recently I saw an article about this, but it was illustrated by a photo of the Windsors!

    I thought it was particularly ironic in light of Queen Elizabeth allegedly saying that she thought gay marriage was wonderful…

  32. nhoward says:

    msc: As a monarchist I would ask you how many Catholic American politicians would sign this petition.

    I signed this petition a couple of weeks ago, and sent in my own personally written letter to Francis today. Sad that it’s come to this.

  33. Christ_opher says:

    America Needs Fatima are still running their petition you can sign up here!


  34. Mariana2 says:

    mburn16 says:

    “In many places in Europe, royals have taken the role of respected sTatesmen. Powerless but nonetheless influential.”

    Perfectly true, and very good.

    Some funny reactions above.

  35. Mightnotbeachristiantou says:

    The above commenters do not dislike royalty, but are making the point that have royalty on your side(European ones) make many in the world uncomfortable. It is about image/PR.

    Most European royalty have more children than the average in their countries. They have an understand of family that some commoners do not. Some will say oh look at those royals still trying to rule over us and if the royals think it is a good idea it must be wrong.

  36. RAve says:

    Some of these people have recognized royal or or aristocratic titles (however weak their actual power is). Good on them for throwing whatever weight they have toward something good.

    Pretenders to nonexistent thrones, kindoms, empires, duchies, principalities, baroness, and counties (Austrians, Germans, and Italians mentioned above in the comments) are play-acting almost as much as men/women who have surgery and pretend to be women/men and ask everyone else to indulge their fantasies.

  37. Mariana2 says:

    Suzanne Carl,

    There is Countess Helene of Limburg-Stirum. That’s Princess Helene of France, sister to the Orleans pretender to the throne.

  38. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    This reminds me, in its own way, of that Pope Francis-recommended futuristic novel, Lord of the World by R.H. Benson, where all of the Royal families move to Rome…

  39. Imrahil says:

    What Emilio said. (I’ve been told that an American statesman, forgotten who, appeared in Congress – not the one in Vienna, but the one in Washington – in 1815 and said: “The Bourbons are restored to the French throne; Europe is free again.”)

    When I was in America once with a group, telling about our native country, we were telling, naturally, about the usual sightseeing sights: castle here, castle there, castle there…

    I haven’t yet forgotten a little girl who exclaimed in wonder: “you have castles?” To her, I guess, we had directly jumped out of fairyland.

    Ah yes, and in the Bavarian parliament, the archbishop may begin an address with the words “Your Royal Highness” when a Royal Highness is present. When HIH Archduke Otto died, his dead body was transported in sort-of triumph back to Austria, making station in Munich with the governor, etc., in attendance. You need not be fierce anti-monarchist just because you are a republic or even personally a republican.

    That said,
    How many Presidents have been canonized?

    None I know of, but President Garcia Moreno obviously was a heroic fighter for Catholicism, Prime-Minister Robert Schuman was of reknowned saintliness and has a cause pending, and Chancellor Dollfuß, though his politics is certainly not above criticism (he loopholed himself through the Austrian constitution to establish himself as a dictator – though he may have felt it was the lesser evil) courageously fought Nazism and, when assassinated by it, reportedly died piously.

  40. LionsDenn84 says:

    Signed it. Besides royalty, many important members of the sacred hierarchy have also signed, including Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Medina, and Bishop Schneider. You can sign here: http://www.filialappeal.org

  41. Imrahil says:

    Dear Mariana2,

    the law of succession in France is exclusively male-line.

    Dear Venerator Sti Lot,

    I had the same thought.

    Dear Rave,
    the latter part is simply not true.

    (Ah and if all it is about is recognition by some arbitrary state power, which would be rather bureaucratic-formalistic in itself: the Princedom of Liechtenstein and the Princedom of Monaco have quite officially accorded to the Hereditary Princess or resp. the sister of the Prince the title “Royal Highness”, although the princedoms per se only accord their ruling families a “Serene Highness”. Why so? Because they stem from, or resp. are married to, one of these supposedly so play-acting German dynasties which are generally granted the higher style.)

  42. Mariana2 says:

    Dear Imrahil,
    I know, Princess Helene was just the only person belonging to the family of the Count of Paris I spotted in the list.

    And Dear Mightnotbeachristiantou, thanks for the explanation! Seems very strange to me!

  43. Gerard Plourde says:

    One would hope that the lives of the noble signers (and for that matter those of all signers who are public figures) more closely resembles St. Louis of France than Henry VIII of England so as to avoid impairing the petition’s integrity.

  44. pannw says:

    Poor Pope Francis. I would bet this is heart wrenching for him, to know that people doubt his faithfulness to the Church and her teaching. I suppose it is largely his own fault, as I too have felt confused and worried, but he does defend the Truth, as a couple of people above have noted, and as reported in Crisis Magazine just yesterday, yet we rarely hear about it. So I would feel more comfortable with this plea if it was for him to make it clear that he upholds the Truth and that his intentions are being misrepresented by people with an agenda, rather than to ask him to uphold the Truth as if he might be planning to do otherwise.

    I really will be shocked if he does anything other than uphold Church Teaching. I can not bear to think of him doing otherwise, because he is my Pope and I love him. It is too sad to think he would endanger himself by opposing the clear teaching of Our Lord. God have mercy. It is sad enough to think of him endangering himself by opposing the evil forces aligning against the Church who will turn on him when he finally does uphold the Truth. I think he knew that the minute he was elected and that was the cause for the look on his face as he walked onto the balcony. If I had to wager, I would say I think he takes Monsignor Benson’s “The Lord of the World” very seriously and sees many signs of the times.

    I will continue to believe that he is setting up the situation to find out just where people stand (know your enemies), get all arguments out in the open and then set the record straight once and for all, until he gives me proof to the contrary. God help him and give him strength.

    Venerator Sti Lot says: “This reminds me, in its own way, of that Pope Francis-recommended futuristic novel, Lord of the World by R.H. Benson, where all of the Royal families move to Rome…”

    I hadn’t thought of that. I should read it again.

  45. Bea says:

    Thanks for the link, Christ_opher
    I went and signed that petition, too.

  46. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Signatories may, of course, experience different things, but I read the petition itself, not as expressing doubt, but indeed as a plea “for him to make it clear that he upholds the Truth and that his intentions are being misrepresented by people with an agenda” in a Cardinal-Burkean way – a plea for more emphatic clarity, and soon.

  47. mvhcpa says:

    Although as a US citizen I see the benefits and legitimacy of republican government, I also respect and see the benefits of God-fearing monarchy. However, for anyone who sees Catholic monarchy as not only the only legitimate governmental system but also the be-all end-all best and incorruptible system, I have three words for you: Henry. The. VIII. How’d that work out for you.

Comments are closed.