Rome, 6 October 2014: Radical proposals by a Belgian bishop for the family Synod in Rome have been rejected comprehensively by a growing international coalition of pro-family groups.
Johan Bonny, the Catholic bishop of Antwerp, made the proposals in an Open Letter, published 1 September http://kerknet.be/admin/files/assets/subsites/4/documenten/SYNOD_ON_FAMILY_ENG.pdf
The response by Voice of the Family http://voiceofthefamily.info says that Bishop Bonny’s Open Letter:
- denies the reality of moral absolutes in the name of ‘proportionalism’, an approach to morality always condemned by the Church
- contradicts those teachings of the Second Vatican Council which uphold objective morality and moral absolutes, including in the area of sexual ethics
- quotes selectively from the Second Vatican Council, omitting crucial material which rejects the bishop’s approach
- rejects natural moral law, which the Church has upheld throughout its history
- effectively denies the indissolubility of marriage, by reducing it to the subjective decisions of couples
- offers no real support for couples in difficult situations
- ignores the needs of children, including the need to be protected from damaging effects of parents’ irregular situations
- gives no criteria for worthiness to receive Holy Communion, and no explanation how mortal sin could possibly be compatible with receiving Holy Communion
- fails to define ‘conscience’, even though it is a key topic in the Letter
- appears to endorse use of IVF, despite the fact that IVF has been repeatedly condemned by the Church, and typically involves the destruction of human life
- implies support for the myth of world ‘over-population’.
The full text of Voice of the Family’s response to Bishop Bonny can be read at http://voiceofthefamily.info/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/responsetobonny20141003.pdf
Voice of the Family is an initiative of Catholic laity from major pro-life/pro-family organisations, formed to offer their expertise and resources before, during and after the Synod. The Synod is being held in Rome until 19 October. Voice of the Family is operating in Rome throughout the Synod from its base close to St Peter’s Square.
The following truths are at the heart of Voice of the Family’s work:
- Marriage, the exclusive, life-long union of one man and one woman, is the fundamental foundation of a stable and flourishing society and is the greatest protector of children, born and unborn.
- The separation of the unitive and procreative ends of the sexual act, which is intrinsic to the use of contraception, has acted as a major catalyst of the culture of death.
- Parents are the primary educators of their children.
The number of pro-life/pro-family groups joining Voice of the Family is growing. To date the group is supported by:
- Campaign Life Catholics
- Campaign Life Coalition Canada
- Catholic Voice
- Culture of Life Africa
- European Life Network
- Hnutí Pro život ČR
- Human Life International (HLI)
- National Association of Catholic Families (NACF)
- Profesionales por la Ética
- Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)
Voice of the Family can be contacted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +39 33 833 09443 (Italian mobile) or +44 (0)20 7820 3148 (UK landline)
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