08/12/2015, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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A filial appeal from Manila to the pope to stand by marriage

More than 400,000, including bishops and cardinals, have signed an open letter to the pope by a Catholic lay movement. For them, even the slightest moral concessions can have disastrous effects. The religious marriage is the only way to overcome the “ideological colonisation” taking place in the world.

Manila (AsiaNews) – More than 400,000 people, including 105 prelates, have signed a ‘Filial Appeal’, urging Pope Francis to stand by the traditional marriage in the forthcoming Synod on the Family in October.

Convinced that even slight moral concessions can have disastrous effects, this plea was spearheaded by concerned lay Catholics. However, 105 prelates, including bishops and cardinals, are among the signatories.  The petition will remain open until mid-September.

An association of lay people, the ‘Filial Appeal’, drew up the appeal, joined by 47 pro-life organisations like Pro-Life Philippines, Rosary for Life and Human Life International.

In addition to demands to the Synod, the group is circulating a booklet titled ‘Preferential Option for the Family’ with 100 questions and answers. Prepared by Mgrs Aldo's Cillo Pagotto, Robert Vasa and Athanasius Schneider, it deals with the topics before the upcoming Ordinary Synod.

In their press release, the petitioners ask Francis to stand up for traditional marriage. Seeing it as the only way Catholics can overcome “ideological colonisation,” they explain a papal intervention is needed to counter the ‘anti-Christian forces’ allegedly undermining people’s moral convictions.

The 14th Ordinary Synod on the family will be held in Vatican from 4 to 25 October 2015, on ‘The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world’.

The official working document, the Instrumentum laboris, was presented on 23 June 2015. Its topics include listening to the challenges of the family, the discernment of the family vocation, and the mission of the family today.

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