Oct. 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The prominent German Catholic newspaper, Die Tagespost, reported on October 1 that a Polish lay initiative, called “Forum of the Catholic Milieus – Between Synods” requested that the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family not give up on defending the traditional moral teaching of the Catholic Church.
According to the statement “Letter to the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family” of the lay initiative, in the face of the many grave challenges in society, “The Church cannot abdicate its magisterial and educational function even when subjected to criticism for maintaining its position.”
The Church's responsibility is not only to teach the Faith to Catholics, but also to “present it to those who are living outside the Catholic Church.” The faithful sometimes regard the “silence of the Church” as a “flight of the shepherds away from their sheep.” The statement says: “Should the Church remain silent in the face of the modern attempts to redefine the very institution of family, its refusal to make a statement might be perceived as if the pastor were trying to escape from his sheep.”
The authors of the statement insist that it is important that the Synod Fathers examine carefully “the ideology and the institutional mechanisms” which threaten families today. One should point out to and name those institutions and ideas which contribute to the “ideological colonization” – as described by Pope Francis. The statement continues:
Educational programs depriving marriage of its spiritual and ethical dimension as well as cultural and educational mechanisms of sexualization and demoralization of children and adolescents require a clear description and careful appraisal. Particularly worrying is political interference in the fields of anthropology and medicine aiming at destabilization of gender itself and redefinition of the family.
The authors also remind of the fact that “the faithful need a strong voice of the Church in the debate on the essence of family as the union of man and woman together with their progeny.” The Polish laymen also speak about the important role of the family for the salvation of children's souls:
The Church cannot cease to encourage family members to bear witness to each other and to the world, reminding that the principal parental task is to help children on their road to salvation. Family is the way of salvation and should become a salvific community.
In this context, the “Church’s support for homeschooling families” is also strongly recommended. The authors also highlight the importance of the “duty of the Church to promote the culture of life. The readiness to accept the gift of life, especially the courage to accept a great number of children, should be deeply appreciated.”
The Polish authors also point out the danger of the “culture of death” in contemporary culture when they say:
In many parts of the world we live within a civilization openly hostile to the principle of natural human dignity and human right to life, from conception to natural death. This hostility can be exemplified by legalization of the use of contraceptives, fertilization in vitro, abortion – including eugenic abortion – and euthanasia.
Finally, the statement also requests the Catholic Church to oppose the negative sides of modern society that are contrary to Christ's teaching:
The Church cannot refrain from criticizing the negative aspects of modern culture. It is the duty of the Church to firmly oppose humiliation of the human person and the family, invasion of pornography, various forms of physical and spiritual slavery, but above all to show the beauty of Christian truth about the family.
According to Die Tagespost, this Letter to the General Assembly is the result of several meetings of the lay imitative. Among the participants were also some well-known Polish clergymen and professors, such as Piotr Mazurkiewicz and Francisek Longchamps de Berier.