Nearly 500 faithful priests in England and Wales sign letter urging Synod to stand firm!

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.


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.

Yours faithfully,


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
00193 Roma

HE Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller
Prefect for The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11
00193 Rome Italy


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  1. Supertradmum says:

    Fantastic news and ignore my email….Let us pray for all these “good men”.

  2. Shane says:

    According to the BBC there are about 4,500 Catholic priests in England and Wales, so quite a significant proportion of them signed this (over 10%). Hopefully the organisers of the letter will come up a mechanism for more priests to sign it.

  3. Cantor says:

    This is nearly one in ten priests in England and Wales. Imagine if one in ten US priests (and all other countries) followed suit. But then imagine if one in ten Catholics sent individual letters to the Vatican! That would be more than six million from the US alone — and 100 million from around he globe! They’d need to start a whole new Vatican archive just for the occasion.

  4. Tom Piatak says:

    I note that one of the signatories is Fr. Ian Ker, the biographer of John Henry Newman. Apparently, the biographer of Newman disagrees with Cardinal Kasper’s claim that Kasper’s proposal would represent a legitimate development of doctrine.

  5. Joseph-Mary says:

    Wow! I am impressed. From what I have read of the condition of the Church in England, I am also surprised and very happily so. This needs to happen all over the world! The true faithful do NOT want any ‘pastoral’ changes in doctrine that further attacks sexuality and marriage truths.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    Father, did you see the SPUC update highlighting the fact that some priests were pressured not to sign this?

    Here is the link

  7. So much worrying about a Synod….I suspect that when the actual Synod takes place this Autumn, it will be anti-climactic. There are important things to worry about in this messed-up world. A Synod is not one of them. [I wish that you were right. You aren’t, but I wish it.]

  8. LionsDenn84 says:

    This is fantanstic! And the language is similar to the “Filial Appeal” to Pope Francis being promoted by various pro-family groups, which can be signed by the laity:

  9. iPadre says:

    God bless our brothers!

    This is going to take a lot of prayer, penance and sacrifice. “Not by prayer alone…”

  10. pelerin says:

    Am I being a pessimist as I don’t think 10 % is a significent proportion at all? I would have hoped that 100 % would have signed but perhaps that is being too optimistic.

  11. Bosco says:

    I see Fathers Ray Blake and John Hunwicke among the signatories. Huzzah!

  12. Akita says:

    Wonderful! Beautiful!

    It seems so right that this comes from Great Britain where so many suffered and continue to suffer for the One, True Faith.

    St Margaret Clitherow pray for us!
    St Robert Southwell pray for all priests!
    St Edmund Campion pray for us!
    St Thomas more pray for us!
    St. John Fisher pray for all priests!
    Lord have mercy on all heretics!

  13. mhazell says:

    I am blessed to be able to say that both my parish priest and the priest who pastors our EF community here in the diocese of Hallam have signed this letter! Our diocesan chancellor is also a signatory!

    A big thank you to all the priests who have signed this letter for their fidelity and witness to the Sacrament of Marriage! And prayers – lots of prayers – to our Mother Mary and blessed Joseph for the Synod!

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    It is inspiring to see almost 500 priests sign this request. Perhaps more would have signed but were fearful of fallout. This may not be far-fetched, as we have seen. But, as pelerin said, 10% is a statement in itself. Blimey. Where’s the rest.
    Thank God for our faithful priests! If we must, I’m resigned to be part of the “smaller church” Pope Benedict XVI spoke of so prophetically.

  15. Gabriel Syme says:

    This is excellent, well done to those English and Welsh priests.

    Let us all hope and pray that the clergy in other countries rally and follow this good example.

  16. benedetta says:

    AustinCatholics, I agree with Fr. Z — it would be great to not have to worry. My observation over many years has been that certain movements, when grassroots support is lacking, try to feign it via tactics by various means. These seem to have been gearing up since last spring. When some would try to use force to get their way, it is never easy or peaceable, for anyone (by force in this context I mean, deception, inducements, propaganda, etc…in other contexts though it is just what it means).

  17. Andreas says:

    Now if something like this effort could also be generated in Germany and Austria, then that would make quite a statement. Actually, the Catholic News Agency website has a report “German prelate breaks rank with Cardinal Marx, insists on fidelity to Rome” ( that may prove to be the start of something in this regard.

  18. JARay says:

    Most heartening. Well done those faithful priests.

  19. tecumseh says:

    Speaking from England I can think of several priests who’s names one would have expected to see but are missing. Maybe “time lag” or other communication problems….maybe pressure not to sign.

    Whatever, at long last priests are showing some resistance. We didn’t get to where we are at without passing the last 50 years in a state increasing decrepitude …..due mostly to the Novus Ordo.

    It has to go…..the sooner the better.

  20. Reconverted Idiot says:

    So wonderful, yet completely unsurprising, to see my parish priest’s name among the signatories.
    Deo Gratias.

  21. SanSan says:

    Common on U.S. Priests, let’s outdo them!

  22. benedictgal says:

    The sad thing is that Cardinal Nichols doesn’t seem to be too pleased with the letter. Methinks he might be channeling Cardinal Wolsely (sp?). Nonetheless, these priests took a courageous stand in defense of the Faith.

    Henry VIII will NOT be vindicated by the Synod or any other act so long as faithful clergy and laity unite to uphold Church teaching.

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