Pinoys join global petition for ‘traditional marriage’ ahead of synod

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MANILA, June 30, 2015—Standing for traditional marriage and in solidarity with prominent Catholic personalities and organizations worldwide, an alliance of some 47 pro-life and pro-family groups in the Philippines joins the growing public clamor to defend the future of the family in view of the forthcoming Synod in October through a signature campaign.

A family awaits the arrival of Pope Francis at the NAIA airport from Tacloban, Jan. 17, 2015. (Photo: Kendi Ocampo)

Fears, hopes

“Our fears arise from witnessing a decades-long sexual revolution promoted by an alliance of powerful organizations, political forces and the mass media that consistently work against the very existence of the family as the basic unit of society,” their petition letter reads.

It continues: “In fact, we see widespread confusion arising from the possibility that a breach has been opened within the Church that would accept adultery—by permitting divorced and then civilly remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion—and would virtually accept even homosexual unions when such practices are categorically condemned as being contrary to Divine and natural law … Paradoxically, our hope stems from this confusion.”

READ: Marriage has had its day at Court, but religious freedom could soon follow 

Pillars of Christian civilization

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Dr. José María Alcasid, a physician volunteering for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), said on Sunday, June 28, during the training session of the Catholic Faith Defenders (CFD) Metro Manila, that it is necessary to protect the family, as well as tradition and private ownership, from elements bent to destroy it.

“Tradition, family, and property are the pillars of Christian civilization,” the physician explained, encouraging everyone to support the fight against what Pope St. John Paul called the “culture of death” by signing their petition.

“This is a very important thing. We see the trend. We will not go with the times. We will go against the times … Just because something is in fashion means it’s right,” Alcasid stressed.

Family Synod

He pointed out the signatures collected will be presented to the Holy Father ahead of the Synod on the Family.

To date, the coalition has gathered close to 300,000 signatures from individuals and groups in different countries.

READ: Bishops to revisit concepts, presuppositions on gay marriage after US ruling  

Filial appeal

The coalition also notes, “Truly, in these circumstances, a word from Your Holiness is the only way to clarify the growing confusion amongst the faithful. It would prevent the very teaching of Jesus Christ from being watered-down and would dispel the darkness looming over our children’s future should that beacon no longer light their way.”

It further implores Pope Francis to “do so with a heart devoted to all that You are and represent.”

“We do so with the certainty that Your word will never disassociate pastoral practice from the teaching bequeathed by Jesus Christ and his vicars—as this would only add to the confusion,” it adds.

PH supporters

  • According to Alcasid, some of the prominent Filipino Church leaders who signed the petition include:
  • Archbishop Ramón C. Argüelles of Lipa
  • Archbishop Ángel N. Lagdameo of Jaro
  • Archbishop John F. Du of Palo
  • Retired Bishop Raúl Q. Mártirez of San José de Antique
  • Fr. Melvin P. Castro of Tarlac, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (ECFL)

Furthermore, their official website lists the following names:

  • Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebú
  • Fr. José Francisco Syquía, head of the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM)’s Office of Exorcism
  • Fr. Elijah Maria Pantorilla, OFMConv., National Director of Militia Immaculata Philippines
  • Dr. Rene Bullecer, Director of Human Life International
  • Eric B. Manalang, President of ProLife Philippines
  • José V. Romero, Former Philippine Ambassador to Italy
  • Renato S. de Villa, Former Secretary of National Defense
  • Betty Roxas-Chua, President of Rosary for Life-Philippines
  • Fr. Joselin Gonda, Parish Priest and Rector of the Shrine of Padre Pio in San Pedro, Sto. Tomas
  • Fr. Joseph A. Faller, Director of the Kamay ni Hesus Shrine Lukban

To sign the petition, interested parties may visit: http://filialappeal.org. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

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