800+ Sign Marriage Letter from American Priests to Synod, So Far
Four bishops and more than 800 American priests have signed a letter asking bishops at the upcoming Synod on the Family to uphold the definition of marriage, and signatures are still being compiled.
The short letter, written along the model of one signed by more than 500 priests in England and Wales, urges the bishops to “stand firm” regarding marriage and pledging to reach out in compassion to an “increasingly secular society” without compromising on Catholic teachings, because doctrine and practice must “remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.”
The letter (text below) is online at Credo Priests, where the names of all who signed can be read. Names are visible until the organizers have verified the online signatures.
Put together by a group of priests, the letter/statement is meant to demonstrate fidelity to Church teaching among American priests.
“The marriage covenant is a participation in the Sacred Covenant between Christ and His Church,” the Credo Priest website explains. “Any distortions or misunderstandings involving the marriage covenant inevitably will have an adverse effect on our understanding, living and preaching the New and Everlasting Covenant and our very worship as Catholics.
“The Holy Spirit is giving us an opportunity to renew, affirm and express our faith in the authentic teachings of Christ — and the Catholic understanding of the natural law — truths we’ve accepted by God’s grace after years of doctrinal and theological study, and prayer.”
The site also asks priests and all who visit it to pray for the Synod at daily Masses, when saying the rosary, and when praying the St. Michael prayer to “defend us in battle.”
Complete text of the Credo Priest letter
To the Synod Fathers:
In union with our brother priests in England and Wales (conforming to the teachings summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1650-51), we make our own the petition they signed urging the Synod Fathers in the upcoming Synod to stand firm on the Church’s traditional understanding of marriage, human sexuality and pastoral practices:
Following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2014 much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching. In this situation we wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.
We commit ourselves anew to the task of presenting this teaching in all its fullness, while reaching out with the Lord’s compassion to those struggling to respond to the demands and challenges of the Gospel in an increasingly secular society. Furthermore we affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and the millennial conviction that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.
We urge all those who will participate in the second Synod in October 2015 to make a clear and firm proclamation of the Church’s unchanging moral teaching, so that confusion may be removed, and faith confirmed.
If you are a priest and would like to sign the letter, click here.
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