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Pope Francis greets the pilgrims during his weekly general audience in St Peter's square at the Vatican on January 15, 2014.Giulio Napolitano /

Sign the Filial Appeal to Pope Francis on the Future of the Family here

February 12, 2015 ( – Several cardinals and archbishops, numerous academics, and even an African king are joining an alliance of conservative, pro-family Catholic groups in a petition campaign asking Pope Francis to “clarify the growing confusion among the faithful” about the Church’s teaching on sexuality, and in particular, the sanctity of marriage and sinfulness of homosexual relations.

Among the over 90,000 signers are American Cardinal Raymond Burke, Chilean Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez, Latvian Cardinal Janis Pujats, Archbishop Wolfgang Haas of Vaduz (Liechtenstein), and Archbishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto of Paraíba (Brazil).

Among the groups gathering those signatures are the 30 worldwide pro-family and pro-life organizations operating under the name Voice of the Family, including LifeSiteNews and the UK’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). The group formed in alarmed response to the apparent direction the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family was taking.

Other signers to the petition include former U.S. senator and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, and Kigeli V, Rwanda’s king in exile. Pro-life leaders to sign the petition include SPUC’s John Smeaton, LifeSiteNews co-founder John-Henry Westen, and the Pro-Life Action League’s Joseph Scheidler.

One of the American participants is TFP Student Action, part of Tradition, Family, Property, an international network of lay Catholic groups. “The forces of darkness are mobilizing against the Church,” John Ritchie of TFP Student Action told LifeSiteNews. “They see it as the last wall of defence for the family. Dissident Catholics want a French Revolution in the Catholic Church, they want to dismantle the essential truths of the faith.”

Sign the Filial Appeal to Pope Francis on the Future of the Family here

The petition is respectful to Pope Francis and avoids blaming him personally, attributing the confusion to statements emerging from the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family.

The petition begins by delineating the threat posed by “the 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.” Against this “onslaught” the Church’s teaching on the Sixth Commandment has stood as a “beacon of hope,” it continues.

But now, because of the messages emanating from last year’s synod, “For millions of faithful Catholics, the beacon seems to have dimmed.” The messages have “spread widespread confusion” by suggesting the Church should bless homosexual unions and admit remarried divorcees to Holy Communion though both are “categorically condemned as being contrary to Divine and natural law.”

The petitioners therefore “implore” the Pope to clear up the confusion and tactfully instruct him on what is required by noting their “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.”

On the Voice of the Family’s website, Dr. Gerard J. M. van den Aardweg, a Dutch psychologist and psychoanalyst, wrote that the disturbingly positive statements on homosexuality in the official report from the Extraordinary Synod issued at the halfway point were deliberately crafted to incite an approving response from the news media.

“The terrible truth,” wrote van den Aardweg, “is that the homosexuality-paragraphs of the Report did not disappoint them at all but wounded and confounded many ordinary Catholics and non-Catholics, including honestly Catholic people struggling with homosexual problems.”

LifeSiteNews has joined the coalition of groups promoting this petition to the pope. You can add your name by signing at LifeSiteNews’ petition platform here.