Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Voice of the Family team leaves Rome inspired by Epistle at Mass today

As our Voice of the Family team leaves Rome today after a month of engaging with the Family Synod, I take this opportunity of thanking so many people for your prayers and encouragement.

One very positive outcome of the Synod has been the development of a dynamic coalition of pro-family and pro-life groups and individuals of all faiths and none who are determined to put their experience and expertise at the service of the truth about life and the family.

Pictured above, left to right, are Georges Buscemi, President of Campagne Quebec-Vie, myself, Matthew McCusker, the author of most of Voice of the Family's publications, Dr Vincent Cernea, Dr Anca-Maria Cernea, whose outstanding intervention as a lay participant in the Synod we blogged on earlier, Maria Madise, Voice of the Family manager, and Pat Buckley, veteran SPUC lobbyist at the UN in New York and Geneva and an indispensable member of the Voice of the Family Team.

Others who formed part of our daily working team came from Australia, France, Italy, the US, whilst the Voice of the Family coalition comprises 26 pro-life and pro-family groups from five continents.

The immensity of the battle ahead is nowhere more clearly reflected than in the tragic decision of 94% of Synod Fathers voting to undermine Catholic teaching on the rights and duties of parents as the primary educators.

The most important target for the pro-abortion lobby is planting the culture of death in the soil of the hearts and minds of young people around the world - as I have spelled out in detail on many previous occasions. They do this chiefly by promoting pornographic, anti-life sex education programmes in schools, (including in Catholic schools in England and Wales and in many other parts of the world, bypassing parents with the cooperation of Catholic authorities).

It is abundantly clear that it's up now to lay people in the Church and all citizens of good will to uphold and to promote Catholic teaching, which is also the natural law, upheld in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, on the matter of parents as the primary educators of their children.

Cardinal Burke told us yesterday that he always tells parents to check carefully as to what's being taught in their children's schools.

For SPUC's part, we have our long established Safe at School project which helps parents do just that and to fulfil their rights and duties spelled out in Pope John Paul II's encyclical Familiaris Consortio:
Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centres chosen and controlled by them. In this regard, the Church reaffirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education, by entering into the same spirit that animates the parents. (FC, 37)
So, following the Family Synod, whilst we must be soberly realistic about the immensity of the task ahead, we must deeply encouraged by emergence of a broad and tough coalition of lay groups and individuals who are determined to work with church leaders around the world to serve the unchangeable truth of Catholic teaching on parents as the primary educators of their children and on a number of other issues.

Today's epistle at Mass, St Paul's letter to the Ephesians (2,19-22), seemed most appropriate in this regard:
Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
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