Huge petition askes Pope Francis for clarity about marriage

I saw this at Breitbart, in which your writer was cited. My emphases and comments:

POPE UNDER PRESSURE AS HALF A MILLION CATHOLICS URGE HIM TO REAFFIRM TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE [I’ll bet there are a lot more.]

More than 500,000 Catholics, including many senior clerics, have signed a petition calling on Pope Francis to reaffirm traditional teaching on marriage and the family after months of confusion over his supposed liberal stance on the issue. [Part of the problem arises from the fact that we often don’t know what the Pope is thinking.  Frankly, I don’t think he would try to change the meaning of marriage… apart from the fact that he really can’t, can he?]

The petition, which was started by U.S. conservative group TFP Student Action, calls on the Pope to “clarify the growing confusion among the faithful” at October’s Synod of Bishops and “implores” him to “prevent the very teaching of Jesus Christ from being watered down”. [The issue is confusion, surely.  The confusion is being created especially by Germans.  We shall see if the Holy Father tamps it down.]

The group accuses “dissident Catholic pressure groups” of attempting to subvert Church teaching on marriage, [yes… that is what they are doing] saying: “They are bombarding the Holy Father and the Synod Fathers right now with messages of revolt against traditional moral values as they clamor for “change, change, change” inside the Church.”

The petition has been signed by five Cardinals as well as numerous bishops and archbishops from across the world. Other major figures who signed the petition include former US senator Rick Santorum.

In October, bishops from around the world will meet in Rome to discuss the role of the family in the modern world and make recommendations to the Pope about how he should approach issues such as divorced and remarried Catholics.

Pope Francis has been noted for his statements that make him appear to support a liberal line on various social issues, most famously when he said “Who am I to judge?” when asked about a supposed gay lobby within the Vatican.

As Catholic blogger Father Z points out, however, nothing he said changed or violated Church teaching on the issue:

If they “accept the Lord”, and “have goodwill”… pretty clearly meaning, “if they are trying to live a good Christian life”, which involves continency and chastity, then I can’t point a finger at them and say they are evil, etc. “Who am I to judge?”, depends on what went before in the same sentence. It does not mean, “Anyone can do anything and we don’t have a right to make a moral judgement.”

Some liberal bishops have also suggested the Church should permit divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion under certain circumstances, but such a move is likely to face strong opposition, especially from non-Western bishops. [At least from non-Germans!]

TFP Student Action director John Ritchie said: “After Ireland and the US Supreme Court both approved same-sex marriage, a strong reaffirmation of Church teaching could save the sacred institution of marriage. The Catholic Church is the centre of history. It is the moral compass of the world. As the Church goes, so goes the world.

The Synod is coming and already some people are experiencing Synod Fatigue.

We have to stay focused on the Synod, even though it is going to get pretty tedious, under the onslaught of articles and books that are coming.

Stay the course.

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14 Responses to Huge petition askes Pope Francis for clarity about marriage

  1. L. says:

    Some must think that they laity are revolting.

  2. Scott W. says:

    Frankly, I don’t think he would try to change the meaning of marriage… apart from the fact that he really can’t, can he?

    I don’t think he would. However, like usury and contraception, true marriage can be pastoralized (if I may coin a word) until it is effectively a dead letter by theologians and if the Holy Father declines direct and unambiguous statements.

  3. “Frankly, I don’t think he would try to change the meaning of marriage… apart from the fact that he really can’t, can he?”

    I wonder what the Pope could possibly do or say to repair the damage already done by the last synod, its aftermath, and the run-up to the coming one. In actual Church practice, the treatment of marriage issues–at the communion rail and otherwise–has already been changed in large areas of the Church, where (for instance) the admission of homosexuals and divorced re-marrieds to communion is de facto already a settled issue.

    Changed practice results in changed beliefs, especially when officially stated doctrines (however unchanged) no longer determine practice. A section in H.J.A. Sire’s Phoenix from the Ashes: The Making, Unmaking, and Restoration of Catholic Tradition tells how the argument that “we’re not changing doctrine, just practice” was a favorite ploy of liberal activists at Vatican II and during the papacy of Paul VI, whose success is seen in the devastation of the past fifty years. For those old enough to remember, it now seems like déjà vu all over again.

  4. CradleRevert says:

    “I wonder what the Pope could possibly do or say to repair the damage already done by the last synod, its aftermath, and the run-up to the coming one.”

    Personally, I’d love to see the words “Let them be anathema” come from the Holy Father’s pen.

  5. McCall1981 says:

    In addition to the “Eleven Cardinals book”, and the “African Bishops book”, there will also be a new book from Bp. Laffitte (Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family) that promotes the traditional teaching on marriage:

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/kschiffer/vatican-official-offers-blunt-talk-and-deep-wisdom-about-family-life

  6. greenlight says:

    ““I wonder what the Pope could possibly do or say to repair the damage already done by the last synod, its aftermath, and the run-up to the coming one.”

    Personally, I’d love to see the words “Let them be anathema” come from the Holy Father’s pen.”

    Indeed. Short of that (and I sure can’t imagine that), I tend to agree. The damage is done.

  7. JenniO says:

    Here”s a dubious use of 21st Century communications technology – every time we want a change (or to stop a change),, let’s put together a petition signed by hundreds of thousands of people. Does anybody think the Vatican should jump through hoops to respond to petitions?

    Synod Fatigue, indeed. This Synod is scaring people but will almost surely turn out to change nothing. In centuries past the faithful didn’t know what was going on in the hierarchy. Now the internet has made us all pundits and caused us to have opinions about hypotheticals. My advice – stay away from news and speculation about the Synod.

  8. Bosco says:

    I saw this piece in The Guardian today and I think it suggests how ‘marriage’ and ‘family’ are destined to be ‘clarified’ for the Faithful and their children at the Synod in October.

    “Pope Francis sends letter praising gay children’s book”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/28/pope-francis-sends-letter-praising-gay-childrens-book

  9. Cantor says:

    I disagree only with the notation that “the confusion is being created especially by Germans.”

    The confusion is being created by every single deacon, monk, priest, bishop, cardinal, etc., who has not stood up in his pulpit and categorically declared the falsehood of the proposed changes, and every bishops’ conference that has permitted them to not do so. Sadly, that’s a whole lot more than Germans.

  10. Mike says:

    Henry,

    I read Sire’s book this summer. Very good. Yes, it’s the method of choice for the destroyers.

  11. arga says:

    It’s completely obvious what this pope and his synod will do: Of course they will not change the doctrine but they will “allow” Catholics to disobey it. It’s what Jesuits have become famous for advocating. Heretical priests in my diocese have been teaching this way for years.

  12. Gratias says:

    The defining moment of this Pontificate was “Who am I to judge” referring to gay Msgr. Ricca. The result of the Synod is preordained, I think.

  13. taffymycat says:

    there is a petition is for the very reason that P Francis scares everyone when it comes to hard issues. he seems a slender reed upon which to lean. has he condemnd the selling of baby parts or even abortion vociferously? has he stood up for the teachings of Jesus and his apostles on marriage? homosexualty is condemned eveywhere its mentioned in the OT or NT—yet gross moral errors seem to be non topics for this pope. climate change? how does that rate against a defenseless baby who is slaughtered in womb? i do understand why people are antsy and need a petition; they dont believe this pope to be made of the sterner stuff needed for moral dilemma we are in today.

  14. Mikhael says:

    Father,

    There’s a similar international petition (http://www.filialappeal.org/) that has little more than half a million signatures as well. Possible joint efforts may push this closer to a million.

    There is also a YouTube channel with Raymond de Souza promoting this appeal in various languages to Pope Francis to speak on marriage and the family (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2SijClebtsRB5Fih0VfVeQ/playlists)

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