ROME, 2 October 2014: The strong statements given by Cardinals Raymond Burke and Gerhard Muller in the lead-up to next week’s Synod have been hailed by a growing international coalition of pro-family groups.
The coalition, named Voice of the Family http://voiceofthefamily.info made the comments today from its operational base steps away from St. Peter’s Square in Rome.
Maria Madise, Voice of the Family’s coordinator, commented: “We are greatly heartened by the robust response of Cardinal Burke to disturbing and confusing proposals coming from other Cardinals to weaken radically the Church’s Gospel-based disciplines on marriage. We agree with Cardinal Burke that these “fundamentally flawed “proposals amount to “disobedience to, or a non-adherence to, the words of the Lord himself.” As head of the Church’s judicial system, Cardinal Burke is the Church’s top expert on the legal gravity of these proposals.” See Notes for Editors (1) below.
Miss Madise continued: “Voice of the Family is also very grateful for Cardinal Muller’s homily in Cordoba this week, in which he rejected the idea of watering down the Gospel to accommodate secular demands. Cardinal Muller insisted that ‘the family should be firmly defended’ and Christ’s love is the only answer to the cross of marriage breakdown. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Muller’s voice is one of the most important in the Church’s hierarchy, second only to the Pope himself.” See Notes for Editors (2) below.
“This firmness from Cardinals Burke and Muller is essential for the faithful to witness in the midst of the current storm of debate surrounding next week’s Synod. Spouses and families are done a disservice when the Church’s doctrines are misrepresented as merely ‘ideals’ which can be ‘adapted’ or even rejected in ‘conscience'”, concluded Miss Madise.
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 will be held in Rome between 5 and 19 October.
Three fundamental principles inform the group’s mission:
- 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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Notes for editors:
(1) Cardinal Raymond Burke, tele-conference, 30 September 2014. From the report by the National Catholic Register http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/kasper-proposal-a-flawed-solution-says-panel :
Cardinal Burke was one of the contributors to the essays in the book Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church, which was a public response to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal. Cardinal Burke explained that it was a response to Cardinal Kasper’s request “for a dialogue” about marriage: “We came to the conclusion that the direction proposed by Cardinal Kasper is fundamentally flawed, and so we believe our book is a positive contribution to get this discussion back on the right track.”
He said Cardinal Kasper is “urging a direction which, in the whole history of the Church, it has never taken” and would involve a “disobedience or at least a non-full adherence” to the teaching of Jesus Christ about the indissolubility of marriage in the Gospel.
(2) Cardinal Gerhard Muller, homily, 28 September 2014, Cordoba cathedral. From the report by Catholic News Agency http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-mueller-do-not-remove-challenges-of-gospel-40921/ :
“We can ‘deconstruct’ the Gospel and Tradition and remake them to the liking of today’s world, making their demands easy and accommodating them to the fragile, superficial, immature and post-modern man.”
However, he cautioned, if we were to deprive ourselves “of the chance to confront our lives with the divine Word, we would also lose the chance to enjoy the authentic happiness that Christ brings, who did not come to take away the crosses of life but to make our burden lighter and to encourage us to always do the will of God.”
We encounter the Lord’s company “on the road that leads to Easter” and not in a watered-down form of Christianity that makes no demands, he said.
“Only Christ and his love can make the cross of illness, of a job loss, of loneliness and widowhood, of infidelity or the failure of marriage, less burdensome,” the cardinal explained.
He also stressed the importance of defending life, the family and religious freedom.
“The family should be firmly defended as the place and environment in which each person is filled with love and grows in his or efforts and willingness to sacrifice,” he said.
“The duality between man and woman is necessary for the constitution of a marriage and a family, and no child should be deprived of his natural right to have a father and a mother.”
Citing St. John Paul II’s encyclical Centesimus Annus, Cardinal Mueller underscored the defense of “the right to life, of which the right of a child to grow up under the heart of a mother is an integral part.”
He noted that “the Christian promotion of the rights of man is clear with regards to the information and construction of a collective conscience, in everything related to the questions of the inviolability of human life, seeking to influence the norms and laws aimed at defending life.”
The Church stands up for the dignity of each person, “as the foundation of life in common for all people of different beliefs,” he said.
“On the basis of natural law, the Church, in close union with other social groups, must confront the State or certain totalitarian ideologies that seek to suppress or eliminate religion or freedom of conscience, as the Second Vatican Council made clear in its Declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae,” the cardinal explained.