A coalition of royals, prelates, and Catholic activists have sent a “filial appeal” to Pope Francis asking him to hold the line on Church teaching regarding the family.
The letter focuses on the Synod of Bishops to take place this October in the Vatican and expresses the signers’ “fears and hopes regarding the future of the family.”
Signers include a raft of dignitaries, many with titles most Americans would not know existed any longer. They include princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses, barons and baronesses, descendants of storied European royal families, and one exiled African king.
Kigeli V, exiled King of Rawanda, is a signer, along with the heads of the Imperial House of Portugal and Brazil, Prince Armand de Merode of Belgium, Duke and Duchess Antonello Del Balzo di Presenzano of Italy, Princess Monika of Lowenstein-Werthheim-Rosenberg, Baron Rudolf Pfyffer von Altishofen of France, and many others.
The letter says, “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.”
The signers trace the ongoing sexual revolution to the May 1968 “Sorbonne Revolution” in France and “morality opposed to both Divine and natural law.”
The letter “notes with anguish that, for millions of faithful Catholics, the beacon seems to have dimmed in the face of the onslaught of lifestyles spread by anti-Christian lobbies.”
Specifically, the signers believe “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.”
The signers ask the Pope to clarify Church teaching ahead of the fall meeting.
One of them, his Imperial Highness Herzog Paul von Oldenburg, otherwise known as Duke Paul, is descended from the royal households of both Russia and Germany, as well as other royal households of Europe. Duke Paul runs a pro-life and pro-family non-governmental organization at the European Parliament.
A number of cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church also signed the letter, including Cardinal Raymond Burke, who recently stepped down as head of the Vatican Supreme Court.
The letter grew out of their concern with the last raucous meeting of Catholic bishops last October that seemed to question longstanding Church teaching. The document produced at that meeting is the draft document to be debated by a larger group of bishops this fall.
There is even a website where “commoners” may sign the document; so far, more than 100,000 have done so.