When several hundred priests in England and Wales, in response to Pope Francis’ invitation to be forthright and honest, signed a statement urging the Synod on the Family to uphold the Church’s teaching on marriage, many Catholics on these shores expressed the hope that the American clergy would follow suit.
Well, they have.
Over 800 American priests (and counting) have signed a statement addressed to the Synod Fathers imploring them to “stand firm on the Church’s traditional understanding of marriage, human sexuality and pastoral practices.”
The statement makes explicit that it is made “in union with our brother priests in England and Wales.”
Germans: “We are forcing a new order on everyone.”
Italians: “How can we help?”
British: “Just hold it half a bloody moment.”
Americans: “What the Limeys said.”
Have we seen this movie before?
But anyway, the statement. Notably, at least four American bishops have already signed, including Their Excellencies Thomas Paprocki and James Conley – two prelates who along with a few of others (like this guy) are reminding the rest of the American episcopacy what bishops are supposed to look like.
Here is the statement in full:
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.
(List of signatories here)