Please sign Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage

80 Catholic figures reaffirm their loyalty to the Magisterium of the Church on the family and Catholic morals

A Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline was disclosed today by a group of 78 Catholic personalities, including cardinals, bishops, priests, eminent scholars, leaders of pro-family and pro-life organizations and influential figures of civil society.

The statement was disclosed by the association Supplica Filiale [Filial Appeal], the same organization that collected, between the two Synods on the family, nearly 900,000 signatures of Catholic faithful (including 211 prelates) in support of a petition asking Pope Francis a word of clarification to dissipate the confusion disseminated in the Church on key issues of natural and Christian morality since the consistory of February 2014.

Noting that the confusion has only grown in the faithful after the two Synods on the family and the subsequent publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (with its more or less official adjacent interpretations), the signatories of the Declaration of Fidelity feel the urgent moral duty to reaffirm the immemorial teaching of the Catholic magisterium on marriage and family and the pastoral discipline practiced for centuries with regard to these basic institutions of a Christian civilization. This grave duty, according to the signatories, becomes even more urgent in view of the growing attack that secularist forces are unleashing against marriage and the family; an attack that does not seem to find any more the accustomed barrier in Catholic doctrine and practice, at least in the way they are now generally presented to public opinion.

Solidly supported by a crystalline and indisputable teaching, confirmed by the Church in recent years, the Declaration is concatenated around 27 statements upholding those truths explicitly or implicitly denied or rendered ambiguous in the present ecclesial language. According to the signatories, what is at stake are unchangeable doctrines and practices concerning, for example, faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the respect due to this Sacrament, the impossibility of receiving Communion in a state of mortal sin, the conditions of true repentance that enable to receive sacramental absolution, the observance of the Sixth Commandment of the Law of God, the most serious obligation not to give public scandal and not lead the people of God to sin or to relativize good and evil; the objective limits of consciousness when taking personal decisions, etc.

The Declaration of Fidelity is already available in English and Italian and it will soon be available also in French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Whoever wants to adhere to it can do so by signing at the address http://www.filialappeal.org/

(* For more information contact supplicafiliale@gmail.com)


Declaration of Fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline


(For the full text of the Declaration consult www.filialappeal.org)

Errors about true marriage and family are widespread today in Catholic circles, particularly after the Extraordinary and Ordinary Synods on the family and the publication of Amoris Laetitia.

In the face of this reality, this Declaration expresses the resolve of its signatories to remain faithful to the Church’s unchangeable teachings on morals and on the Sacraments of Marriage, Reconciliation and the Eucharist, and to Her timeless and enduring discipline regarding those sacraments.

In particular, the Declaration of Fidelity firmly upholds that:

  1. Regarding chastity, marriage and the rights of parents

– All forms of cohabitation more uxorio  outside of a valid marriage gravely contradict the will of God;
– Marriage and the conjugal act have both procreative and unitive purposes and that each and every conjugal act must be open to the gift of life;
– So-called sex-education is a basic and primary right of parents which must always be carried out under their attentive guidance;
– The definitive consecration of a person to God through a life of perfect chastity is objectively more excellent than marriage.

  1. Regarding cohabitation, same-sex unions and civil remarriage after divorce
  • Irregular unions can never be equated to marriage, deemed morally licit, or legally recognized;
  • Irregular unions radically contradict and cannot express the good of Christian marriage, neither partially nor analogously, and should be seen as a sinful way of life;
  • Irregular unions cannot be recommended as a prudent and gradual fulfilment of the divine law.

III. Regarding Natural Law and the individual conscience

  • The conscience is not the source of good and evil, but a reminder of how an action must comply with divine and natural law;
  • A well-formed conscience will never reach the conclusion that, given the person’s limitations, his remaining in an objectively sinful situation can be his best response to the Gospel, nor that this is what God Himself is asking from him;
  • People cannot look at the Sixth Commandment and the indissolubility of marriage as mere ideals to strive after;
  • Personal and pastoral discernment can never lead divorcees that are “remarried” civilly to conclude that their adulterous union can be morally justified by “fidelity” to their new partner, that withdrawing from the adulterous union is impossible, or that, by doing so, they expose themselves to new sins;
  • Divorcees that are “remarried” civilly and who cannot satisfy the grave obligation to separate, are morally obliged to live as “brother and sister” and to avoid scandal, in particular any display of intimacy proper to married couples.
  1. Regarding discernment, responsibility, state of grace and state of sin
  • Divorcees that are “remarried” civilly and who choose their situation with full knowledge and consent of the will are not living members of the Church, as they are in a state of serious sin that prevents them from possessing and growing in charity;
  • There is no halfway point between being in the grace of God or being deprived of it by mortal sin. Spiritual growth for someone living in an objective state of sin consists in abandoning that situation;
  • Since God is omniscient, revealed and natural law provide for all particular situations, especially when they forbid specific actions “intrinsically evil”;
  • The complexity of situations and the varying degrees of responsibility among cases do not prevent pastors from concluding that those in irregular unions are in an objective state of manifest grave sin, and to presume in the external forum that they have deprived themselves of sanctifying grace;
  • Since man is endowed with free will, voluntary moral acts must be imputed to its author, and such imputability must be presumed;
  1. Regarding the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist
  • The confessor is bound to admonish penitents regarding transgressions of God’s Law, and to ensure they truly desire absolution and God’s pardon, and are resolved to re-examine and correct their behavior;
  • Divorcees that are “remarried” civilly and remain in their objective state of adultery, can never be considered by confessors as living in an objective state of grace and entitled to receive absolution or be admitted to the Holy Eucharist, unless they express contrition and firmly resolve to abandon their state of life;
  • No responsible discernment can sustain that admission to the Eucharist is permitted to divorcees that are “remarried” civilly and live openly more uxorio, under the claim that, due to diminished responsibility, no grave fault exists, because their outward state of life objectively contradicts the indissoluble character of Christian marriage;
  • Subjective certainty in conscience about the invalidity of a previous marriage is never sufficient, on its own, to excuse divorcees that are “remarried” civilly from the material sin of adultery, or to permit them to disregard the sacramental consequences of living as a public sinner;
  • Those who receive the Holy Eucharist must be worthy to do so by being in the state of grace and, therefore, divorcees that are “remarried” civilly and lead a public sinful lifestyle, risk committing a sacrilege by receiving Holy Communion;
  • According to the logic of the Gospel, men who die in the state of mortal sin, unreconciled with God, are condemned to hell forever;
  1. Regarding the Church’s maternal and pastoral attitude
  • The clear teaching of the truth is an eminent work of mercy and charity;
  • The impossibility of giving absolution and Holy Communion to Catholics living manifestly in an objective state of grave sin stems from the Church’s maternal care, since She is not the owner of the Sacraments, but a faithful steward;

VII. Regarding the universal validity of the Church’s constant magisterium

  • The doctrinal, moral and pastoral questions concerning the Sacraments of the Eucharist, Penance and Marriage shall be resolved by interventions of the Magisterium and, by their very nature, preclude contradictory interpretations or the drawing of substantially diverse practical consequences from it;

While the plagues of divorce and sexual depravity spread everywhere, even within the life of the Church, it is the duty of bishops, priests and Catholic faithful to declare, with one voice, their fidelity to the Church’s unchangeable teachings on marriage and to Her uninterrupted discipline, as received from the Apostles.

List of the first signatories (full text of the declaration can be found here)

  1. Wolfgang Waldstein, Professor emeritus of the University of Salzburg, member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (Austria)
  2. His Eminence Jãnis Cardinal Pujats, Archbishop emeritus of Riga (Latvia)
  3. The Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana (Kazakhstan)
  4. Josef Seifert, Professor of Philosophy at the The International Association for the Study of the Philosophy of Edith Stein (IASPES), Founding Rector and Professor of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein (Austria)
  5. Anca-Maria Cernea, President of the Ioan Barbus Foundation (Romania)
  6. Vincent-Jean-Pierre Cernea (Romania)
  7. Efrem Jindráček, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum (Rome-Italy)
  8. His Eminence Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna, Founder and first president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family (Italy)
  9. His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (Vatican)
  10. Fr. Nicola Bux, Professor at the Theological Faculty of Puglia (Italy)
  11. The Most Rev. Andreas Laun, Auxiliary Bishop of Salzburg (Austria)
  12. The Most Rev. Juan Rodolfo Laise, Archbishop emeritus of San Luis (Argentina)
  13. Fr. Antonius Maria Mamsery, Superior General of the Missionaries of the Holy Cross in Singida (Tanzania)
  14. Fr. Giovanni M. Scalese, B., Ecclesiastical superior of the mission sui iuris in Afghanistan
  15. Fr. José María Iraburu, Former Professor of Spiritual Theology at the School of Theology of Northern Spain; President of the Gratis Date Foundation and editor of the Site InfoCatólica (Spain)
  16. The Most Rev. Juan Claudio Sanahuja, Doctor in Theology, Professor of Moral Theology and the Sacraments, journalist (Argentina)
  17. Dr. Alma von Stockhausen, Professor of Philosophy and Founder of the Gustav-Siewerth Academy in Weilheim-Bielbronnen (Germany)
  18. Dr. Rudolf Hilfer, Faculty of Physics and Mathematics, Institute for Computational Physics at the University of Stuttgart (Germany)
  19. Adolpho Lindenberg, Co-Founder of the Brazilian Society for the Defence of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and President of the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute (Brazil)
  20. John Smeaton, Chief Executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and co-founder of Voice of the Family (United Kingdom)
  21. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, Professor, economist and banker, Former President of IOR (Italy)
  22. Dr. Massimo de Leonardis, Director of the Department of Political Sciences at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart – Milan (Italy)
  23. Count Giorgio Piccolomini (Italy)
  24. Countess Felicitas Piccolomini (Italy)
  25. Tommaso Scandroglio, Professor of Ethics and Bioethics at the European University (Italy)
  26. Giovanni Turco, Professor of Philosophy of Public Law at the University of Udine (Italy)
  27. I.R.H. Prince Dom Luiz of Orleans-Braganza, Head of the Imperial House of Brazil
  28. Isobel Camp, Professor of Philosophy at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum of Rome (United Kindgom)
  29. H. Duke Paul of Oldenburg (Germany)
  30. H. Duchess Pilar of Oldenburg (Germany)
  31. Prince Carlo Massimo (Italy)
  32. Princess Elisa Massimo (Italy)
  33. Paolo Pasqualucci, Former Professor of the Philosophy of Law at the Faculty of Jurisprudence at the University of Perugia (Italy)
  34. Corrado Gnerre, author and Professor of Religious Sciences (Italy)
  35. I.R.H. Prince Dom Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza (Brazil)
  36. John Laughland, author and Ph. D. Philosophy (United Kingdom)
  37. Robert Lazu, author and Ph. D. Philosophy (Romania)
  38. David Magalhães, Professor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Coimbra (Portugal)
  39. Enrico Maria Radaelli, author, Research director for research for the Department of Metaphysics of Beauty and Philosophy of Arts (Italy)
  40. Fr. Brian Harrison, Former Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico; Scholar-in-Residence, Oblates of Wisdom Study Center (USA)
  41. Roberto de Mattei, Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at the European University of Rome (Italy)
  42. Fr. Dr. Marc Hausmann, Doctor and Professor of Philosophy (Austria)
  43. Fr. Alfredo Morselli, Theologian and author (Italy)
  44. Ambassador Emilio Barbarani (Italy)
  45. Ambassador Héctor Riesle Contreras, former Chilean ambassador to the Holy See (Chile)
  46. Archduchess Alejandra of Habsburg (Mrs. Hector Riesle Contreras) (Austria, Chile)
  47. Fr. Fernando Palacios, Doctor of Canon Law (Spain)
  48. James Bogle, Barrister and former President of Una Voce International (United Kingdom)
  49. John-Henry Westen, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief LifeSiteNews.com (Canada)
  50. Luis Fernando Pérez Bustamante, Director of InfoCatólica (Spain)
  51. Maria Guarini, Director of the Site “Chiesa e Post Concilio” (Italy)
  52. Caio Xavier da Silveira, Co-founder of the Brazilian Society for the Defence of Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP), President of the Fédération Pro Europa Christiana (France)
  53. Gianandrea de Antonellis, President of the European Institute of Research, Studies and Formation (I.E.R.E.F.) (Italy)
  54. Mauro Faverzani, Editor of “Radici Cristiane” (Italy)
  55. Federico Catani, author and doctor in Religious Sciences (Italy)
  56. Guido Vignelli, author and researcher on the family (Italy)
  57. Maria Madise, Coordinator of Voice of the Family (Estonia)
  58. Cristina Siccardi, writer and historian (Italy)
  59. Mario Navarro da Costa, Director, Tradition, Family, Property Washington Bureau (USA)
  60. Mathias von Gersdorff, writer and lecturer (Germany)
  61. Marchioness Gabriella Spalletti Trivelli Coda Nunziante (Italy)
  62. Virginia Coda Nunziante, President of Famiglia Domani (Italy)
  63. Raúl del Toro, Professor of organ and organist (Spain)
  64. María Arratíbel , Professor of music (Spain)
  65. Daniel Iglesias Grèzes, Secretary of the Catholic Cultural Centre “Fe y Razón” (Uruguay)
  66. Pedro Luis Llera Vázquez, Catholic School Director (Spain)
  67. David González Cea (signs as Alonso Gracián), Thomist philosopher and writer (Spain)
  68. José Miguel Arráiz, Catechist and founder of ApologeticaCatolica.org (Venezuela)
  69. Antonello Brandi, President Pro Vita Onlus (Italy)
  70. Suzanne Pearson, Delegate, Emperor Karl League of Prayer (USA)
  71. Paul N. King, President and Founder, The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy (USA)
  72. Donna Fitzpatrick Bethell, Chairman of the Board of Christendom College, former Under Secretary, US Department of Energy (USA)
  73. Alessandra Nucci, Writer and Director of the magazine Una Voce Grida (Italy)
  74. Néstor Martínez, Licentiate in Philosophy, Professor and writer. Co-Founder of “Fe y Razón” (Uruguay) 
  75. Javier Paredes, Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Alcalà (Spain)
  76. The Honourable Justin Shaw (United Kingdom)
  77. Caroline Shaw (United Kingdom)
  78. Bruno Moreno, Licentiate in Physics and Ecclesiastical Studies, writer and editor of Vita Brevis (Spain)
  79. Juan José Romero, Editor and Consultant for Communications (Spain)
  80. Alberto Zelger, President of the Centro Culturale Nicolò Stenone (Italy)

The full text of the declaration can be read here.