Response to Bishop Johan Bonny’s “Open Letter”

Rome, 6 October 2014: Radical proposals by a Belgian bishop for the family Synod in Rome have been rejected comprehensively by a international coalition of pro-family groups.

Johan Bonny, the Catholic bishop of Antwerp, made the proposals in an Open Letter, published 1 September.

The response by Voice of the Family 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 here.