More than 829,000 Catholics, including hundreds of bishops, have signed a petition calling on Pope Francis to reaffirm traditional teaching on marriage and the family after months of confusion over his supposed liberal stance on the issue. Several Filipino cardinals, bishops and dignitaries count among those who have signed the petition, which was started by a U.S. student action group called TFP Student Action.
The petition calls on the Pope to “clarify the growing confusion among the faithful” at October’s Synod of Bishops and implores him to “prevent the very teaching of Jesus Christ from being watered down”. The appeal can be signed in the website http://filialappeal.org.
The letter expresses concern that immutable dogmas may be undermined in the upcoming Synod of Bishops. Signers include royals, dignitaries, prelates, and lay faithful who want the Holy Father to reaffirm those aspects of Catholic teaching that have been under attack in recent months. The appeal also draws attention to issues such as abortion, same-sex unions, and divorce.
Cardinals Gaudencio Rosales and Ricardo Vidal are among the signers, along with several other Philippine archbishops and bishops, namely: Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, John Du of Palo, Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Romulo T. De la Cruz of Zamboanga, Buenaventura Famadico of San Pablo, Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, Reynaldo G. Evangelista of Imus, Jose Colin M. Bagaforo of Cotabato, and Raul Q. Martirez of San Jose de Antique.
Other prominent Filipino personalities who have signed the petition include: Fr. Jose Francisco Syquia, Head of the Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism, Fr. Elijah Maria Pantorilla, OFM, National Director of the Militia Immaculata, Eric B. Manalang, President of ProLife Philippines, Senator Vicente C. Sotto III, Senate of the Philippines, Jose V. Romero, Former Philippine Ambassador to Italy, Renato S. De Villa, Former Secretary of National Defense, Betty Roxas-Chua, President of Rosary for Life-Philippines, and many others. At least 47 pro-life and pro-family groups in the Filipinos have signed the petition.
The filial appeal asks Pope Francis to “reaffirm categorically the Catholic teaching that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion and that homosexual unions are contrary to Divine and natural law.” ∎