Converts ask synod not to betray them

By Maria Madise, manager of Voice of the Family

Over 130 prominent adult converts have signed a joint open letter to Pope Francis and to the bishops attending the Ordinary Synod on the Family. Among the signatories are well-known figures such as Bishop Peter Elliott of Melbourne, Australia; Professor John Finnis; Scott & Kimberley Hahn; and Fr Brian Harrison. They write (inter alia):

  • “As you prepare for the Synod on the Family we hope that you will be encouraged by the multitude of lay faithful who were, and continue to be, attracted to the Church in large part because of what she proposes about the human being in her teaching about sexual difference, sexuality, marriage and the family.”
  • “But as converts we also know the tendency, wherever ecclesial bodies lack a visible, historical, and authoritative bond with Christ through His vicar, to adapt Christianity to the dominant mentality.”
  • “We are writing you, however, because of our concerns about certain proposals to change the church’s discipline regarding communion for Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried … We do not see how these proposals can do anything other than contradict the Christian doctrine of marriage itself. But we also fail to see how such innovations can be, as they claim, either pastoral or merciful.”
  • “We look to you to uphold Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage with the same fidelity, the same joyful and courageous witness the Catholic Church has displayed throughout her entire history.”

I converted from Protestantism to the Catholic Faith in 2002. After approaching the Church gradually over two or three years and learning more about Her teaching and tradition I just realized that there is no point in being a Protestant, if I find nothing to protest against in the Catholic Church.

The lack of sacramental life in my home country of Estonia has left a moral vacuum. That is one of the reasons why I welcome the converts’ letter and share deeply their anxiety about proposals which would undermine the Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Communion. It would be heart-breaking for me and countless other converts if the Synod Fathers betrayed us by deforming the beauty of some of the very things which attracted us to the one true Church. Please pray for the Church at this critical hour.