THE SERVANT GENERAL
PROPOSALS TO SYNOD
February 1, 2015
Voice of the Family has put forth its points in relation
to the ongoing discernment regarding the contentious points
in the Vatican’s consideration of the well-being of
the family, to be taken up in the upcoming October synod.
We agree with these points, and it is helpful for us to understand
and accept the points being taken, as a way of strengthening
our own faith and understanding of the current discussions.
Voice of the Family submits proposals
to synod consultation
January 29, 2015 (VoiceoftheFamily.info) -- Representatives
of Voice of the Family attended the conference held by the
Pontifical Council for the Family in Rome from January 22-24.
At the conclusion of the conference the President of the Council,
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, encouraged delegates to submit
to him those points that they thought should be included in
the PCF’s own submission to the Synod Secretariat.
of the Family has today sent Archbishop Paglia the text
We ask all Catholics to pray that the Ordinary Synod in October
2015 will resist all attempts at manipulation by those pursuing
a radical agenda and will reaffirm unambiguously the full
teaching of the Catholic Church, which alone can resolve the
crisis facing the family.
SUBMISSION TO THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL OF THE FAMILY CONSULTATION
FROM VOICE OF THE FAMILY
Voice of the Family respectfully suggests that the
Pontifical Council for the Family include the following points
in its submission to the Synod Secretariat.
The natural moral law
The Instrumentum Laboris prepared for the Extraordinary
Synod contained many problematic texts on the subject of the
natural law such as the following statement:
"The language traditionally used in explaining the term
“natural law” should be improved so that the values
of the Gospel can be communicated to people today in a more
intelligible manner. In particular, the vast majority of responses
and an even greater part of the observations request that
more emphasis be placed on the role of the Word of God as
a privileged instrument in the conception of married life
and the family, and recommend greater reference to the Bible,
its language and narratives. In this regard, respondents propose
bringing the issue to public discussion and developing the
idea of biblical inspiration and the “order in creation,”
which could permit a re-reading of the concept of the natural
law in a more meaningful manner in today’s world."
This paragraph, and others like it, indicate an extraordinary
confusion about the reality of the natural law and the relationship
between the natural and supernatural orders.
The lineamenta for the Ordinary Synod does not make
any reference to the natural law, despite the concept being
a fundamental underpinning of both philosophy and theology.
This omission is extremely grave because it is through understanding
the natural law that men and women, both within and without
the Church, can come to understand that moral norms are dictated
by reason and ordered to true human flourishing rather than
imposed by authority in an arbitrary manner.
The Ordinary Synod must therefore clearly reaffirm the traditional
understanding of the natural law.
Conservative estimates indicate that over one billion unborn
human lives have been destroyed by abortion since the proliferation
of permissive abortion legislation around the world following
the legalisation of abortion in the Soviet Union in 1920.
Abortion is the gravest attack on the family because it attacks
the relationship between a mother and father and their child.
The profound love that should exist between parent and child
is instead replaced by betrayal and death.
There was no reference to this deliberate killing in the final
relatio of the Extraordinary Synod. Nor was there
any mention of the destruction of human life caused by in
vitro fertilisation or abortifacient forms of contraception.
It is perhaps even more scandalous that the only indirect
mention of abortion was a reference to a “decline in
population” partly due to “a mentality against
having children promoted by the world politics of reproductive
health” (No. 10) Here cardinals and bishops adopt the
euphemism of the pro-abortion lobby and do nothing to explain
what “reproductive health” really involves, namely,
the killing of unborn children or the prevention of their
The Ordinary Synod needs to face the reality of abortion –
to call things by their proper name – and to call all
Catholics and people of good will to combat the greatest violation
of human rights in human history.
As well as destroying innocent life abortion wounds all other
members of the family. Families marked by abortion are truly
‘wounded families.’ Pastoral care for these families,
based on the truth about abortion, needs proposing with urgency.
The controversy caused by Cardinal Kasper’s proposals
must be brought to an end by the Ordinary Synod. We are convinced
that the Synod must:
Reaffirm the indissolubility of marriage and clearly state
that all sexual activity in invalid civil unions constitutes
the grave sin of adultery.
and fully explain the nature of mortal sin and the impossibility
of receiving Holy Communion without repentance and a firm
purpose of amendment.
and clearly propose that God will always provide those
in difficult situations the grace to remain without sin.
Catholics must be called to exercise heroic virtue.
We also recommend that the Synod teach clearly that cohabitation
is a grave sin and is psychologically and spiritually harmful.
The gravity of cohabitation must not be minimised by seeking
to find positive aspects of sinful situations.
The discussion of contraception in the lineamenta
is inadequate. The Ordinary Synod needs to propose the fullness
of the Church’s teaching. This full presentation needs
to explain the beauty and gift of marriage and human sexuality.
It also needs to uphold the Church’s teaching on the
gravity of acting contrary to the moral law. The consequences
of the widespread use of contraception have been disastrous
for individuals, the family and society as a whole. It should
be explained that this is the result of the separation between
the procreative and unitive aspects of the sexual act. It
should further be noted that this acts as a major catalyst
of the culture of death. As a result of the separation of
the two ends of the sexual act the procreation of new human
life is increasingly viewed as a ‘choice’, rather
than as the primary end for which marriage was ordained by
God. In this context unborn human life is more readily seen
as a ‘problem’, especially if the pregnancy is
‘unplanned.’ Abortion effectively becomes a form
of birth control.
The use of contraception is also linked to abortion in a much
more direct way; many forms of hormonal contraception can
act as abortifacients.
It is of crucial importance that the Ordinary Synod affirms
the Church’s teachings clearly and without ambiguity.
Euthanasia and ‘assisted suicide’
The omission of any reference to euthanasia and ‘assisted
suicide’ in this document is almost as striking as the
omission of abortion. Euthanasia is the deliberate killing
of individuals whose lives are no longer deemed worth living.
‘Assisted suicide’ refers to assistance given
to a severely disabled person who has expressed a wish to
end their life but is not capable of taking their own life.
Both practices are now legal in a number of countries and
there is much pressure for their legalisation in nations across
the world, particularly in developed nations. In Belgium the
euthanasia of the children has also been legalised.
The legalisation of euthanasia and ‘assisted suicide’
puts the vulnerable at risk of being killed involuntarily,
or of being put under pressure, of varying kinds, to take
their own life. Both practices indicate a view that certain
lives are not worth living and are associated with a eugenic
Both of these crimes attack the family, in which the elderly
and the vulnerable should be cherished and protected not killed
by euthanasia or “assisted suicide”. The Ordinary
Synod must not neglect this grave problem.
The Ordinary Synod must correct the damage caused by the 2014
Synod by clearly reaffirming that the pastoral care of persons
with homosexual tendencies must be based on the teaching of
the Church; “Although the particular inclination of
the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong
tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus
the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.”
(Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral
Care of Homosexual Persons, CDF, 1986).
It must also be made clear that civil unions of homosexual
persons cannot be accepted. The Synod also needs to deal with
the threats posed to freedom of Christians, and other citizens,
from an ever more militant and intolerant ‘homosexual
rights’ lobby. In many countries children are also being
indoctrinated into the homosexual ideology.
The lineamenta contains no reference to the threat
posed by so-called ‘gender theory’, which denies
the reality of the distinction between male and female, masculinity
This theory poses a fundamental threat to human society, and
particularly to children. In his Christmas Address to the
Roman Curia in 2012 Pope Benedict XVI warned that:
to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of
nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense
of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while
in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound
falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution
contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea
that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity,
that serves as a defining element of the human being. They
deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously
given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According
to the biblical creation account, being created by God as
male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature.
This duality is an essential aspect of what being human
is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something
previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the
creation account: “male and female he created them”
(Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this:
it was not God who created them male and female –
hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves.
Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the
human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into
question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The
manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our
environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental
choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there
is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself
what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created
state as complementary versions of what it means to be human
are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of
man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any
longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the
child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the
dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce,
from being a subject of rights, the child has become an
object to which people have a right and which they have
a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes
the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker
himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of
his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at
the core of his being. The defence of the family is about
man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied,
human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending
suggest that the Ordinary Synod take up the problems discussed
by the Holy Father in this address.
Modern methods of sex education are harmful to the physical,
psychological, intellectual and spiritual development of our
children. Problems include:
The introduction of children to sexual matters too early
in their childhood; this distorts the healthy development
of the child
indoctrination of children into an ideological view of
human sexuality not compatible with natural reason or
the teaching of the Church
encouragement of abortion, contraception, pornography,
fornication, homosexuality, divorce and ‘remarriage’
undermining of the rights of parents as the primary educators
of their children
crisis will continue to escalate until our children once again
learn the truth about human sexuality from their parents and
are protected from false understandings propagated by schools,
governments, the media and many forms of entertainment.
The truths contained in the PCF’s excellent 1995 document
The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality need to be re-proposed
at the Synod.
Parents as primary educators
In the lineamenta a brief mention is made of parental
rights. The report states “Parents, then, are able to
freely choose the type of education for their children, according
to their convictions.” This statement is inadequate
for two reasons. Firstly, it does not fully state that parents
are themselves the primary educators of their children who
possess the right and the duty to educate their children,
both in accordance with temporal needs and according to the
teaching of the Catholic Church.
The second grave omission is that there is no mention of the
severity of the threat currently faced by parents. The most
pressing threats, which vary from nation to nation, include:
The denial of the right of parents to home-school their
– The denial of the right of parents to control what
their children are taught in schools i.e. through the imposition
by the state of compulsory anti-life, anti-family sex education.
– The provision of access to abortion and contraception
in schools without parental knowledge or consent.
– The requirement for teachers to instruct children
in the new definition of ‘marriage’ in countries
where ‘same-sex marriage’ has been legalised.
– Attempts to prevent Catholic schools from teaching
that their religious beliefs are objectively true.
is one of the most urgent problems facing families. It must
be addressed by the Ordinary Synod.
Threats to freedom
The freedom of those who live according to the natural law
and the teaching of the Catholic Church is being increasingly
Cases are multiplying all over the world of individuals who
have seen their livelihoods destroyed or threatened by, for
example, a vigorous and intolerant homosexual lobby which
demands complete approval and compliance. Cases include attempts
to force B&B owners to accept homosexual couples sharing
beds on their premises and to force bakers to bake cakes celebrating
‘same-sex marriages’. We have also seen employees
punished for expressing their views on ‘same-sex marriage’
and homosexuality and religious ministers and street preachers
arrested for sharing their traditional Christian views. Most
seriously of all we see children being indoctrinated into
the ‘homosexual rights’ agenda in their schools.
All of this has developed against a longer term background
of threats to the right to conscientious objection to involvement
in grave moral offences such as abortion. Medical professionals
and teachers are particularly at risk of having their careers
destroyed by the intolerance of those who wish to impose practices
contrary to the moral law.
Concern is growing across the Catholic world. Parents fear
that their children will grow up in a world where they will
have to endure suffering and persecution if they strive to
live according to the natural moral law and the teaching of
the Church. This problem must be dealt with by the Ordinary
Reprinted with permission from Voice of the Family.