Dearest Synod Fathers,
As you gather in Rome to discuss the challenges and issues facing Catholic families, we, the Catholic laity, are concerned that the Church’s perennial witness to her doctrine and discipline on human sexuality and marriage is being confused, distorted and manipulated by various forces inside and outside of the Church.
We therefore implore the Synod to hold fast to the natural law and to the Traditions which were passed down to us by the Lord (Cf. 2 Thess 2:15) in defending and upholding the Church’s teaching on homosexuality and the indissolubility of marriage.
In particular, we humbly ask that the Synod’s final document on this question explicitly reiterate and confirm the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality and the indissolubility of marriage.
2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
Divorce and so-called remarriage:
2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:
- If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another’s husband to herself.178
2385 Divorce is immoral also because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society.
2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.179
We categorically reject and denounce any and all efforts to separate or diminish the necessary bond between the Church’s discipline and its doctrine in these matters or any other area of ecclesial or family life. We affirm that there is no contradiction between doctrine and discipline and that discipline must be ordered to what our Holy Faith teaches, lest our witness become an exercise in hypocrisy by preaching fidelity while practicing infidelity.
At a time of crisis in the Church and the culture at large, the Catholic laity need a strong and clear voice which reaffirms Catholic teaching in these areas.
We trust and have every good hope that you will recognize your solemn duty in holding fast to the Catholic Faith, and we pledge our prayers and sacrifices to that end in the forthcoming year and during your holy Synod.
Yours faithfully in Jesus Christ, Our Bridegroom