International coalition issues manifesto as Vatican family Synod opens

Rome, 5 October 2015: An international coalition of pro-family groups has issued a strongly-worded manifesto as the long-expected Ordinary Synod on the Family opens in the Vatican.

The manifesto (English; Italian; Spanish; French) has been issued by Voice of the Family www.voiceofthefamily.com which is comprised of 26 pro-life and pro-family groups from around the world, and was formed before last October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family.

“As Catholic laity working in the pro-life, pro-family movement”, reads the manifesto, “we are well aware, from our daily experiences, of the profound challenges facing the family in the modern world. We know also that there is nothing more essential to our success in responding to these challenges than the courageous witness of the bishops of the Catholic Church. The consequences for the family are devastating whenever this witness is absent.”

Noting “with alarm the increasing tendency of prominent figures within the hierarchy of the Church to promote positions contrary to the Catholic faith and the natural moral law”, Voice of the Family appeals to Pope Francis and the Church’s teaching authorities “to take all necessary steps to protect the integrity of Catholic doctrine and, by so doing, to protect our families from the ravages of the culture of death.”

The manifesto calls upon the Synod “firmly and unambiguously” to uphold the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, the evil of adultery, the wrongness of homosexual unions and the sinfulness of contraception. In particular, Voice of the Family urges to Synod Fathers to teach that:

  • “those who live in adultery cannot receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion without repentance and amendment of life”
  • “contraceptive methods [are] gravely contrary to the moral law and ha[ve] devastating consequences for the family, for society and for the Church”
  • “no form of union between persons of the same-sex can be approved in any way”
  • “parents [have the right] to be the primary educators of their children”.

In Evangelium Vitae paragraph 97, Pope John Paul II taught that “[i]t is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not help the young to accept and experience sexuality and love and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection.”

Voice of the Family is available in Rome for interview throughout the Synod, which concludes in the last week in October. Please contact: