At the UK’s Catholic Herald, for which I write a weekly column, find the following:
Nearly 500 priests in England and Wales urge synod to stand firm on Communion for the remarried
Priests says that doctrine and practice must ‘remain firmly and inseparably in harmony’
Almost 500 priests in England and Wales have signed a letter urging those attending this year’s family synod to issue a “clear and firm proclamation” upholding Church teaching on marriage.
In the letter, published in this week’s Catholic Herald, the priests write: “We wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.”
Last year’s extraordinary synod provoked heated debate on the question of whether remarried Catholics should be permitted to receive Holy Communion – a proposal presented by retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper.
In what is thought to be an unprecedented step, 461 priests in England and Wales have joined together to urge synod participants to resist the proposal.
[… SKIPPPING TO THE LETTER…]
Full text of the letter and list of signatories:
SIR – Following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2014 much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching. In this situation we wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.
We commit ourselves anew to the task of presenting this teaching in all its fullness, while reaching out with the Lord’s compassion to those struggling to respond to the demands and challenges of the Gospel in an increasingly secular society. Furthermore we affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.
We urge all those who will participate in the second Synod in October 2015 to make a clear and firm proclamation of the Church’s unchanging moral teaching, so that confusion may be removed, and faith confirmed.
[… ALL THE SIGNATORIES…]
Fr. Z kudos to all these good priests.
Also, my friend His Hermeneuticalness Fr. Tim Finigan, PP in Margate, has a few things to say at his fine blog HERE:
There have been one or two queries. A couple of priests have asked whether they could sign it as they did not have the chance to do so. [I would have signed it, but I am not a priest of England and Wales.] I understand that the organisers of the letter did try to send a copy to every priest in England and Wales, but a database with such a large number of entries is bound to have a few mistakes. Unfortunately, I am told that there is no easy way to add signatures now. This was a competely independent undertaking of a small number of priests who are actively working in parishes.
One or two lay people have asked if a letter could be organised for laity to sign. I would recommend lay people to keep in touch with Voice of the Family and to share ideas with them because they are a specifically lay group. Priests and laity each have their own important apostolates
Anybody, priest or lay faithful, who agrees with the priests’ letter can help by using their own social media channels to publicise the letter and speak to others about the key points in it.
It is also open to every member of the Christian Faithful (clerics and laity) to manifest their concerns to the Holy See. Here are two possible addresses to write to:
HE Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri
Secretary General, Synod of Bishops
Palazzo del Bramante
Via della Conciliazione, 34
HE Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller
Prefect for The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11
00193 Rome Italy