The next synod must not repeat betrayal of children brought up by same-sex couples

Voice of the Family wishes to draw attention to the following three submissions, which have been made to the Supreme Court of the United States of America by six children brought up by parents or guardians who were living a homosexual lifestyle.

Please take the time to read these documents and share them widely, including with your clergy and bishops. It would be very valuable to send them especially to the cardinals and bishops attending the synod from your country (please contact us to find out who your representatives are). Please be aware that the documents do contain some references to sexual practices and sexual abuse.

Joint brief filed by Dawn Stefanowicz and Denise Shick

Joint brief filed by Katy Faust and Heather Barwick

Joint brief filed by Robert Lopez and B.N. Klein

While we do not agree with all the sentiments expressed, for instance Voice of the Family affirms the Catholic Church’s opposition to homosexual civil unions, we welcome the courage of the authors and the insights that their testimony provides into so many of the problems faced by children living in such contexts. The Ordinary Synod on the Family must ensure that the real problems faced by families, and especially those that affect children, are at the heart of its considerations next October.

Voice of the Family commentary

One of the many reasons that the relatio post disceptationem of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family caused grave concern was its remarks about homosexual unions and the children entrusted to the care of homosexual couples.

In a section entitled “Welcoming homosexual persons” it was asked if Catholics were capable of “welcoming these people, guaranteeing them a fraternal space in our communities”, and of “accepting and valuing their sexual orientation.” The document failed however to share the teaching of the Catholic Church that while those with homosexual tendencies should always be “accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2358) homosexual acts are always morally wrong.

This unbalanced presentation of Catholic doctrine seems designed to please those engaged in homosexual acts who, as the document states, “wish to encounter a Church that offers them a welcoming home.” However, it is impossible to obscure the teaching of the Church in order to create a more “welcoming” atmosphere; this kind of false, inauthentic compassion ultimately denies those suffering from homosexuality, or any other wound, the healing mercy they need.

The damage however extends far beyond those who will be deceived by this false compassion; it is all families, and especially children who are harmed by it. In their efforts to “welcome” those engaged in homosexual practices the authors of the interim report implied that homosexual unions were in some sense legitimate. They wrote “unions between people of the same sex cannot be considered on the same footing as matrimony between men and women”; this choice of the words clearly implies that there is “some footing” on which homosexual unions can be considered legitimate. The promotion of homosexual unions undermines the family based on marriage, as demonstrated by the important research carried out by Dr Patrica Morgan.

The document’s most grave betrayal of the family is the reference to “children who live with couples of the same sex”. The document merely states that the Church “pay special attention” to such children “emphasizing that the needs and rights of the little ones must always be given priority.” This wholly inadequate statement makes no reference to the appalling psychological consequences that can result for children concerned. Nor does it make reference to the fact that many such children will be conceived by artificial methods of reproduction, which involve the large-scale destruction of human embryos. The child, as emphasized by Mgr Michel Schooyans, is rapidly becoming a consumer product and yet, in the face of this unprecedented crisis, the synod on the family remained silent. In the final relatio synodi all mention of children was removed from this section; children brought up by those living a homosexual lifestyle, like unborn children being killed in the womb, are not considered at all in the final report of a synod purportedly held to face the pastoral challenges facing the family. This shameful neglect of the most vulnerable of all family members must not be repeated by the Ordinary Synod in October 2015.

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Voice of the Family is an initiative of Catholic laity from major pro-life/pro-family organisations.>Find out more