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Editor’s note: A group of signatories of this February 2 filial appeal have now written an open letter pointing out to the world’s bishops and cardinals that the mockeries of a sacrilegious funeral for a transgender activist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral will come to each parish should they fail to stop the implementation of Fiducia Supplicans. Click here to read the full text of the open letter.

UPDATE: Since the publication of this filial appeal on February 2, one bishop, more than 100 priests, and at least 500 Catholic scholars from all over the world have added their signatures. Among these new signatories are Bishop Joseph Strickland, Dr. Gavin Ashenden (former Anglican bishop and Catholic convert), Professor Josef Seifert, Dr. Janet Smith, Dr. Taylor Marshall, Dr. Timothy Flanders (editor-in-chief of, Fr. Janvier Gbénou (known under his pen name Fr. Jesusmary), Luigi Casalini (editor of the Italian blog Messainlatino), Matt Gaspers (managing editor of Catholic Family News), Dr. Claude E Newbury and Dr. Thomas Ward, Professor John Rao, Catholic author Leila Miller, Paul A. Byrne. M.D. (president, Life Guardian Foundation), Dr. Jules Gomes, Fr. Donald Calloway, Fr. Lee Bennett, Fr. Jerry J. Pokorsky Pastor, Fr. Timothy Sauppé, Fr. Phillip W. DeVous, Fr. Denis M. Donahue, Fr. Gerard M. Byrne (England), Fr. Eunan Mc Donnell PHD (Ireland), Fr. Jakub Ostrożański R.C.I., Fr. Krzysztof Kukulka OFMConv. (Poland), Fr. Jean-Paul Tidi Makambila (Congo), Fr. Gabriel Sukharsky (Ukraine), Fr. Viktor Bilous (Ukraine), Fr. Michael E.Rodríguez, Fr. Edmund A Castronovo, Fr. Carlos Miguel Viego, Ph.D., Fr. Dwight P. Campbell, STD, JD, Professor Andre Villeneuve, and Fr. John P. Lovell.

Due to the large number of signatories, it will take a little bit longer than expected to publish the entire list of signatories.

(LifeSiteNews) — Today, the feast of Candlemas, some 90 clergymen, scholars, and authors are publishing a new statement that joins the chorus of those Catholic voices opposed to the papally approved Fiducia Supplicans, a document permitting blessings of homosexual couples and other couples in irregular unions. The signatories address the bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church, asking them to forbid such blessings in their respective dioceses and to ask Pope Francis to withdraw the document altogether.

The authors point out that there has been a very strong reaction against this document issued by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and signed by Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández, saying that “a relevant part of the world episcopate has practically rejected it, due to its evident break with Scripture and the Tradition of the Church.” Even cardinals such as Cardinal Robert Sarah and Cardinal Gerhard Müller have spoken up against this Vatican document.

The filial appeal argues against the document as follows:

Therefore, the concrete sign that is given with such blessing, in front of the whole world, is that “irregular couples,” extramarital and homosexual alike, according to the Catholic Church, would now be acceptable to God, precisely in the type of union that specifically configures them as couples. Nor does it make sense to separate “couple” from “union,” as card. Fernández has tried to do, since a couple is a couple because of the union that gives existence to it.

In light of the gravity of this new Vatican document, the signatories insist that bishops “definitely” are not to “remain silent, “since the scandal that has already occurred is serious and public, and if it is not stopped, it is bound to be more and more amplified.”

Among the signatories are numerous personalities known to LifeSite readers, such as Father Gerald Murray, Father Robert Sirico, Father Glen Tattersall, Deacon Nick Donnelly, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Professor John Lamont, Professor Roberto de Mattei, Professor Anna Silvas, Dr. Gerard van den Aardweg, and Professor John and Anna Rist. Among journalists, there can be found Philip Lawler, his wife Leila, and Eric Sammons, as well as LifeSite’s own editor-in-chief, John-Henry Westen.

This filial appeal is being published simultaneously in multiple languages on websites such as (Spanish), (German), Sandro Magister (Italian and French), Crisis Magazine, InfoCatólica, Edward Pentin, and more.

READ: Cardinal Müller calls Fiducia Supplicans a ‘failed document’ that needs to be ‘rewritten’

Priests, scholars, and public figures are still invited to add their own signature to this filial appeal. They can write to [email protected] by February 15. On February 17, an updated list will be published.

Please see here the full text of the Filial Appeal:


Filial Appeal

To all Cardinals and Bishops of the Catholic Church

Your Eminences, Your Excellencies:

We, the undersigned Catholic priests, scholars, and authors, write to you on the occasion of the latest document published by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Fiducia Supplicans, which has caused so much scandal in the Church during this last Christmastime.

As is widely known, a relevant part of the world episcopate has practically rejected it, due to its evident break with Scripture and the Tradition of the Church. Twenty episcopal conferences, dozens of individual prelates, and even cardinals invested with the highest positions, such as Cardinal Müller and Cardinal Sarah, have expressed an unequivocal condemnatory judgment. So have also the UK, USA, and Australian Confraternities of Catholic Clergy. Never in the history of the Catholic Church has a document of the Roman Magisterium experienced such a strong rejection.

Indeed, despite its explicit reaffirmation of the traditional doctrine of the Church on Marriage, it turns out that the pastoral practice that the document allows is in direct opposition to it. So much so, that the document has been very favorably received by those few episcopates and prelates that for decades have been openly advocating a change in the doctrine on sexual morality. It is evident that the practical message that this new declaration transmits is much more in line with the program and ideas of those who want to change the doctrine, than with the doctrine itself that the document claims to keep intact.

The document effectively attempts to introduce a separation between doctrine and liturgy on the one hand, and pastoral practice on the other. But this is impossible: in fact, pastoral care, like all action, always presupposes a theory and, therefore, if pastoral care performs something that does not correspond to the doctrine, what is actually being proposed is a different doctrine.

The blessing of a couple (whether “liturgical” or “pastoral”) is, so to speak, a natural sign. The concrete gesture sayssomething naturally, and therefore has a natural, immediate communicative effect, which cannot be artificially changed by the verbal caveats of the document. A blessing as such, in the universal language of humanity, always implies an approvalof what is being blessed.

Therefore, the concrete sign that is given with such blessing, in front of the whole world, is that “irregular couples,” extramarital and homosexual alike, according to the Catholic Church, would now be acceptable to God, precisely in the type of union that specifically configures them as couples. Nor does it make sense to separate “couple” from “union,” as card. Fernández has tried to do, since a couple is a couple because of the union that gives existence to it.

The fact that other significant and accidental circumstances such as timing, location, or ornaments such as flowers and wedding clothes are excluded from the act does not change the nature of the act, since the central and essential gesture remains. Furthermore, we all know from experience what such “restrictions” are worth and how long they last.

The fact is that a priest is imparting a blessing on two people who present themselves as a couple, in the sexual sense, and precisely a couple defined by its objectively sinful relationship. Therefore—regardless of the intentions and interpretations of the document, or the explanations the priest may try to give—this action will be the visible and tangible sign of a different doctrine, which contradicts traditional doctrine.

Let us remember that the traditional doctrine on the subject must be considered infallible, since it is unequivocally confirmed by Scripture and Tradition, a universal and uninterrupted tradition, ubique et semper. And it must be remembered that this is a doctrine of natural law, which does not allow for any change.

In practice, the faithful will not even be aware of the subtle theoretical justifications introduced by the Declaration, much less those that were added in the recent clarification on the Declaration. The message that is effectively launched, and that the people of God, and the entire world, will inevitably register and are already registering is that: The Catholic Church has finally evolved, and now accepts homosexual unions, and, more generally, extramarital unions.

This situation fully justifies the decided rejection of so many episcopal conferences, so many prelates, so many scholars, and so many ordinary lay people. In this context, it is definitely not justifiable, especially for a cardinal or a bishop, to remain silent, since the scandal that has already occurred is serious and public, and if it is not stopped, it is bound to be more and more amplified. The threat does not become smaller but more serious, since the error comes from the Roman See, and is destined to scandalize all the faithful, and above all the little ones, the simple faithful who have no way of orienting and defending themselves in this confusion: “Whoever offends one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for him if a donkey’s millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Mt 18,6).

The pastors and all those who have some responsibility in the Church have been constituted as sentinels: “If the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the horn, so that the people are not warned, and when the sword comes he kills one of them, he will perish because of him, but I will ask the watchman to account for his blood” (Ez.33,6).

In light of the above we fervently implore you to:

(1) Follow the brave example of so many brother bishops around the world: please forbid immediately the application of this document in your diocese.

(2) Please ask directly the Pope to urgently withdraw this unfortunate document, which is in contradiction with both Scripture and the universal and uninterrupted Tradition of the Church and which clearly produces a serious scandal.

In this difficult moment, a clear word of truth would be the best example of your faithful and courageous dedication to the people of God entrusted to you, a sign of fidelity to the true mission of the Papacy and at the same time the best help for the pope himself, an eloquent “fraternal correction,” which he urgently needs in this last and most critical period of his pontificate and probably of his life. If you act promptly, there is still some hope that he may rescue his pontificate and his own person from a stain that could otherwise weigh on him indelibly, not only in history, but in eternity.

Initial Signatories 

Edmund P. Adamus, MA, Secretary to Commission of Inquiry into Discrimination Against Christians, UK 

Wolfgang R. Ahrens, PhD Philosophy, Chile 

Sergio González Arrieta, MA in Classics and History, Chile 

Gil Bailie, Founder and President of the Cornerstone Forum 

Dr Heinz-Lothar and Raphaela Barth, Bonn, Germany 

Donna F. Bethell, JD, USA 

Judie Brown, President, American Life League, Falmouth, Virginia 

Dr Dr Sergio R. Castaño, CONICET, Argentina 

Paweł Chmielewski, commentator for Polonia Christiana, Warsaw, Poland 

Michelle Cretella, MD, USA 

Edgardo J. Cruz Ramos, President, Una Voce Puerto Rico 

Dr Tomasz Dekert, religious studies scholar, Rajbrot, Poland 

Deacon Julian L. Delgado, MD  

Roberto de Mattei, historian, President of Lepanto Foundation, Rome, Italy 

Deacon Nick Donnelly, MA, England 

C. Joseph Doyle, Executive Director, Catholic Action League of Massachusetts

Rev. Angelo Luigi Fratus, Montfort Missionary, Zambia  

Rev. Stanisław Gibziński, Portsmouth Diocese, England 

Corrado Gnerre, professor of theology and founder of Il cammino dei tre sentieri 

Maria Guarini, author, Editor of Chiesa e postconcilio 

Michael K. Hageböck, headmaster and journalist, Germany 

Michael Hichborn, President of the Lepanto Institute, Virginia 

Maike Hickson, PhD, Front Royal, VA 

Prof. Dr.rer.nat. Dr.rer.pol. Rudolf Hilfer, Stuttgart, Germany 

Rev. Joseph Illo, Pastor, Star of the Sea Parish, San Francisco, California 

Marek Jurek, former Marshal of the Polish Parlament, Wólka Kozodawska, Poland 

Bogusław Kiernicki, President, Saint Benedict Foundation, Dębogóra, Poland 

Kacper Kita, publicist, international policy analyst, Poland 

Rev. Donald Kloster, Lumen Christi Academy Principal, Pipe Creek, TX 

Dr Dr Adorján F. Kovács, Frankfurt am Main, Germany 

Dr Thaddeus Kozinski, Memoria College  

Gabriele Kuby, sociologist and author, Prien am Chiemsee, Germany 

Peter A. Kwasniewski, PhD, Lincoln, Nebraska 

Dr John R. T. Lamont, D.Phil. 

Philip F. Lawler, author, Editor of Catholic World News 

Leila M. Lawler, author 

Rev. Joseph Levine, Pastor, Holy Family Catholic Church, Burns, Oregon 

Pedro L. Llera, director of educational centers, Gobiendes, Spain 

Maria Madise, Managing Director, Voice of the Family, UK 

Rev. Patrick H. Magee FLHF, Fall River, MA 

Dr Regis Martin, professor of theology, Franciscan University Steubenville 

Brian M. McCall, Orpha and Maurice Merrill Chair in Law, University of Oklahoma  

Deacon Eugene McGuirk, Front Royal, Virginia 

Dr Justyna Melonowska, psychologist and philosopher, Warszawa, Poland 

Rev. Cor Mennen, emeritus lecturer in Canon Law, Seminary of ‘s-Hertogenbosch 

Dr Paweł Milcarek, Editor of Christianitas, Brwinów, Poland 

Sebastian Morello, PhD, Senior Editor of The European Conservative 

Rev. Alfredo Morselli, Italy 

Rev. Gerald E. Murray, JCD, Pastor, Church of the Holy Family, New York, NY 

Dina Nerozzi, MD, child psychiatrist and endocrinologist, former professor at the University of Rome 

Doyen Nguyen, MD, STD, moral theologian, bioethicist, USA/Portugal 

Rev. Daniel R. Nolan, FSSP, Littleton, CO  

Deacon Dr Bart Overman, Den Bosch, The Netherlands  

Michael Pakaluk, PhD, professor of ethics and social philosophy, Washington, DC 

Gottfried Paschke, theologian, retired professor of mathematics, Bad Homburg, Germany 

Paolo Pasqualucci, retired Professor of Philososophy, Faculty of Law, Perugia, Italy 

Rod Pead, Editor, Christian Order, UK  

Dr Claudio Pierantoni, PhD History of Christianism, PhD Philosophy, Chile  

Rev. John A. Perricone, PhD, adjunct professor of philosophy, Iona College in New Rochelle, New York 

Prof. Thomas Pink, emeritus professor of philosophy, King’s College, London 

Rev. Andrew Pinsent, MA, Dphil, PhB, STB, PhL, PhD, FRSA, University of Oxford, UK 

Tomasz Rowiński, historian of ideas, Editor of Christianitas, Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland 

Anna Rist, retired professor of classics, Toronto, Canada 

John Rist, PhD, retired professor of classics and early Chrisitian philosophy and theology 

Luis Román, theologian and Catholic commentator, Florida 

Jesse Romero, Catholic apologist, evangelist, author, Queen Creek, Arizona. 

Eric Sammons, Editor, Crisis Magazine 

Dr César Félix Sánchez Martínez, professor of philosophy, Universidad Nacional de San Agustín, Perú 

Dr Tommaso Scandroglio, author, Italy 

Wolfram Schrems, Mag. theol., Mag. phil., catechist, pro-life activist, Vienna, Austria 

Dr Anna Silvas, specialist in Greek Fathers, retired adjunct, UNE, Australia 

Rev. Robert Sirico, President, St. John Henry Newman Institute, Grand Rapids, Michigan 

Dr Michael Sirilla, Professor of Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio 

John Smeaton, Co-founder of Voice of the Family, UK 

Rev. Tam X. Tran, S.T.L., Pastor of Our Lady of Vietnam Catholic Church, Silver Spring, Maryland 

Rev. Glen Tattersall, Pastor of St. John Newman Parish, Melbourne, Australia 

Inge M. Thürkauf, actress, journalist, pro-family public speaker, Germany 

José Antonio Ureta, author, Paris, France 

Aldo Maria Valli, writer, Rome, Italy 

Dr Gerard van den Aardweg, author, psychologist and psychotherapist, The Netherlands 

Christine de Marcellus Vollmer,  president of PROVIVE, ALAFA, Former Member of PAL, Venezuela. 

Mathias von Gersdorff, author and pro-life activist, Frankfurt, Germany 

Prof. Dr Berthold Wald, retired professor of philosophy, Münster, Germany 

Dr Thomas Ward, President, John Paul II Academy of Human Life and the Family 

Leonard P. Wessell, Dr.Phil., PhD, emeritus professor, German Studies, University of Colorado 

John-Henry Westen, Co-founder and Editor-in-chief, LifeSiteNews 

Elizabeth D. Wickham, PhD, Executive Director,, Raleigh, North Carolina 

Dr Timothy Williams, professor of French, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio 

Chilton Williamson, writer, former editor at National Review and Chronicles, Laramie, Wyoming 

Dr Hubert Windisch, priest, retired professor of pastoral theology, Burglengenfeld, Germany 

Deacon Timothy Woods, Huntington, Indiana 

Elizabeth F. Yore, Esq., Founder of Yore Children, Chicago, Illinois 

ATTENTION: Pastors, clergy, scholars, professors, doctors, and other qualified individuals may submit their signatures to this list in the next two weeks. Please provide your name, qualifications, position, and location by February 15th, to [email protected]. A definitive list of cumulative signatories will then be published on February 17th. 

Below are links to the statement in a variety of languages:





READ: Leading Vatican theologian says Fiducia Supplicans is not part of the ‘authentic Magisterium’