461 priests sign letter declaring “unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage”

The priests, from England and Wales, affirm "that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony."

The Catholic Herald has a breaking story signaling yet more push back against the confused language and mushy thinking that emerged during last October’s Synod:

Almost 500 priests in England and Wales have signed a letter urging those attending this year’s family synod to issue a “clear and firm proclamation” upholding Church teaching on marriage.

In the letter, published in this week’s Catholic Herald, the priests write: “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.”

Madeleine Teahan, Associate Editor at the Catholic Herald, further reports that some of the priests indicate they were pressured by bishops and other Church leaders to not sign the letter:

One signatory, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed there “has been a certain amount of pressure not to sign the letter and indeed a degree of intimidation from some senior Churchmen”.

Another, who also asked not to be named, said the issue of Communion for the remarried was “a matter of pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel”.

He said: “Mercy requires both love and truth. There’s a lot at stake. Not all priests would be comfortable expressing themselves in an open letter, but I’d be very worried if there were priests who disagreed with the sentiments it contains…”

The letter notes that following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops “much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching.” The priests declare their “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.” They also “affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.”

Notable priests signing the letter include “theologians Fr. Aidan Nichols and Fr. John Saward, and Oxford physicist Fr Andrew Pinsent. Fr Robert Billing, spokesman for the Diocese of Lancaster, Fr Tim Finigan, blogger and Catholic Herald columnist, and Fr Julian Large, provost of the London Oratory, have also signed the letter.”

Read the entire text on the Catholic Herald site.


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About Carl E. Olson 1145 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications.