THE SERVANT GENERAL
A CRISIS OF TRUST
October 26, 2015
We laypeople are the ones who live the challenges posed by
life-long marriage, by family life, by passing on the faith
to future generations. We laypeople make up 99.9+% of our
Church. We laypeople are equal in worth and dignity with prelates
and clerical authorities in our Church, as well as having
the same responsibility for the life and mission of our Church.
As such, we laypeople must advance to the forefront in the
defense and strengthening of our faith, especially in matters
of family and life.
We must not allow any watering down of our faith, even if
done by those in the highest levels. We must boldly speak
out against accommodation of sin, political correctness, undermining
of Church doctrine, weakening of the catholicity (being universal)
of our Church, and any other acts that can only weaken our
Church and start her off on the slippery slope of self-destruction.
Know you faith. Work tirelessly to share the authentic Christ.
Fight for orthodoxy within. Keep our Church counter-cultural
rather than being absorbed by the secular culture. Let the
light of Christ shine forth in the midst of ever-deepening
darkness in the world.
Pope must address Synod-created crisis of trust
ROME, October 24, 2015 (Voice of the Family) - “There’s
a crisis of trust regarding the family between faithful lay
Catholics and those in authority at the highest levels of
the Church – and only the Pope can restore
that trust” according to Voice of the Family, a coalition
of 26 major pro-life and pro-family organisations from five
continents formed just before an Extraordinary Synod on the
Family which took place in Rome last year(i).
As this year’s Ordinary Synod on the Family closes at
the Vatican, Voice of the Family is saying to the Pope: “Holy
Father, enough is enough”.
John Smeaton, co-founder of Voice of the Family and chief
executive of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
in the UK, explained:
“Paragraphs 84 – 86 of the final report published
today can be interpreted as providing a number of clear openings
to the reception of Holy Communion by those living in public
adultery, and thus to the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament
and the scandalising of the faithful, not least our children
“One is mindful of the words of Our Lord: ‘he
that shall scandalise one of these little ones that believe
in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged
about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth
of the sea’, Matthew 18:6
“Trust between the Catholic lay faithful and the Church
authorities in Rome was breached this year by the Synod’s
working document, the Instrumentum Laboris[ii],
which undermined Church doctrine
on contraception, parents as the primary educators of their
children, fornication, adultery, homosexuality and on other
“The laity’s trust was further weakened by the
Pope’s special appointment to the Synod of leading prelates
who have demonstrated support for positions contrary to the
teaching of the Church on family or life issues.
“The crisis of trust between laity and Church authorities
became still worse last week when Pope Francis told a gathering
of bishops during the Synod that he ‘felt the need to
proceed in a healthy decentralization of power to the Episcopal
Conferences’, a power which he said earlier in his papacy
would include ‘genuine doctrinal authority’.
“In view of openly heterodox
positions adopted by presidents of Episcopal conferences in
particular countries[iii], ‘decentralisation of power’
on doctrinal matters would risk obscuring the universal nature
of the one true faith.
“Will sanction for homosexual unions and adultery be
granted by bishops’ conferences in one country and denied
in another? Spouses, parents and families would be abandoned
to the wolves by any such fudged arrangement,” John
“In the name of conscience,
the Synod organisers and leading Synod Fathers[iv] appeared
to be seeking to abolish the notion of intrinsic evil, that
is sin: – on contraception, on cohabitation, on homosexuality
and on other fundamental matters. How can
parents hope to teach their children the truth and meaning
of human sexuality and the sanctity of human life when the
notion of intrinsic evil is abolished? Certain
Synod Fathers and Synod organisers are speaking the language
of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF),
and not acting as shepherds of the laity.
“Only the Pope can restore trust between Catholic laypeople
and Church authorities in Rome. Confusion on fundamental doctrinal
matters, which has reigned at the Family Synod, is only serving
to assist powerful international bodies opposed to the family
and to the sanctity of human life. Holy Father, enough is
further information contact: John Smeaton +44 7885 914344
Maria Madise: +44 7507 742957
Anthony Ozimic: +44 7939 177683 John-Henry Westen (North America):
+1 613 633 9006
24th October 2015
Pope Francis announced in October 2013 that two synods
would be held in 2014 and 2015 to discuss “the pastoral
challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”.
[ii] Voice of the Family analysis of instrumentum Laboris
[iii] In England and Wales, for example, Cardinal Nichols,
the president of the Bishops’ Conference, has openly
challenged Catholic teaching on homosexuality on BBC television
and in the press.
In Germany, Cardinal Marx, the president of the German Bishops’
Conference, has attacked the Church’s doctrine and discipline
regarding the reception of Holy Communion by those living
in public adultery.
[iv] Chicago Archbishop Blaise Cupich, a Synod participant
appointed by Pope Francis, for example affirmed that “conscience
is inviolable” and suggested that Holy Communion, when
requested “in good conscience”, should be given
to divorced and remarried couples and even homosexual ones: