Filipinos join ‘filial appeal’ to Pope Francis

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MANILA, August 4, 2015— Filipinos count among the hundreds of thousands of people from across the world who joined a “filial appeal” to Pope Francis to uphold the Church’s teaching on family.

The letter, which now has more than 400,000 supporters, expresses concern that immutable dogmas may be undermined in the upcoming Synod of Bishops to take place in the Vatican this October.

Signers include royals, dignitaries, prelates, and lay faithful who want the Holy Father to reaffirm those aspects of Catholic teaching that have been under attack in recent months.

The appeal, which is led by concerned lay Catholics, also draws attention to issues such as abortion, same-sex unions, and divorce.

Seeing it as the only way Catholics can overcome “ideological colonization,” the signatories explain in a press release a papal intervention is needed to counter the “anti-Christian forces” allegedly undermining people’s moral convictions.

Cardinals Gaudencio Rosales and Ricardo Vidal are among the signers, along with Archbishops Angel Lagdameo of Jaro, John Du of Palo and Ramon Arguelles of Lipa.

According to the petitioners, the Church should uphold sound doctrine and consistent discipline based on the Lord’s teachings when facing the “propaganda machine of neo-pagan customs.”

‘Preferential option’

The “filial appeal” Association also aims to spread the booklet “preferential option for the family.”

In 100 questions and answers, the manual written by Bishops Aldo di Cillo Pagotto, Robert Vasa, and Athanasius Schneider, covers the issues expected to be tackled at the forthcoming Synod.

The work has been translated into various languages and has been distributed to bishops worldwide.

Due to increasing demands, thousands more are requesting for additional copies to be given to pastors, pastoral workers, and the ordinary faithful.

PH petitioners

In the Philippines, at least 47 pro-life and pro-family groups have lent their names to the appeal, among which are Pro-Life Philippines, Rosary for Life, Human Life International, and St. Thomas More Law Society.

Other Filipino church leaders who are supporting the appeal include Bishops Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao, Buenaventura Famadico of San Pablo, Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, and retired San Jose de Antique Bishop Raul Martirez. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

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