08 April 2015, The Tablet

Hundreds of back call to uphold marriage teaching

More than five hundred lay people have signed a letter calling on the Church not to change its teaching on Communion for remarried divorcees.

The move comes after 461 priests signed a similar letter urging that traditional teaching on marriage be upheld.

In this week’s letter, which was sent to the Catholic Herald, the lay signatories expressed their support for the clerics’ letter.

They wrote: “As laity, we all know from our own family experiences, or those of our friends and neighbours, the harrowing trauma of divorce and separation, and we sympathise with all those in such situations.”

But that trauma, they claimed, was the very reason that the Church must proclaim the indissolubility of marriage.

“For the sake of those in irregular unions, for the sake of those abandoned and living in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and above all for the sake of the next generation, it is essential that the Church continues to make it quite clear that sacramental marriage is indissoluble until death,” the letter reads.

It concludes with a request to the bishops, to represent them and “the Church’s unwavering teaching” at the forthcoming Synod on the family in the autumn.

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, previously criticised the priest-signatories for treating the Synod like a battle and for airing their concerns in the press.


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