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The Extraordinary Synod on the Family risks confusing Catholics and non-Catholics worldwide on Catholic teaching on sexuality, family, and life — but it’s also a chance for renewed leadership and hope for the Catholic Church, says a growing coalition of pro-family organizations.

“What we really need now is a robust affirmation and proclamation of Church teaching on life, family and sexuality as a benefit to all mankind,” said John-Henry Westen, who is the North American spokesperson for the Voice of the Family coalition.

“Any confusion on Church views regarding marriage, contraception, or the role of parents will further undermine the world's damaged view on life and family,” added Westen.

“The importance for the Extraordinary Synod to reaffirm parents as the primary educators of their children cannot be underestimated,” said British spokesman John Smeaton, president of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. “Research from the United Kingdom shows that children conceived outside of marriage are 4-5 times more likely to be aborted than those conceived within marriage.”

Voice of the Family coordinator Maria Madise emphasized that “the contraceptive mentality separating love from life has acted as a major catalyst for the culture of death.” According to Madise, “the use of contraception does not reduce the abortion rate, quite the contrary.”

African spokesperson Obianuju Ekeocha, from Culture of Life Africa, said, “the family is the center of life in Africa.”

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“Africans are hopeful that the resulting fruits of the Extraordinary Synod will strengthen, support and encourage family life around the world,” she added.

Voice of the Family members include Campaign Life Catholics, Campaign Life Coalition Canada, Catholic Voice, Culture of Life Africa, European Life Network, Hnutí Pro život ČR, Human Life International (HLI),, the National Association of Catholic Families (NACF), Profesionales por la Ética, and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).

About Voice of the Family:

Voice of the Family is an international lay coalition of major pro-life and pro-family organizations that formed to offer expertise and resources to leaders of the church, the media, NGOs, and governments before, during, and after the Catholic Church's Extraordinary Synod on the Family. The Synod runs from October 5 to October 19.

Its membership includes 11 influential pro-life and pro-family groups across the world. Its principles focus on changing the Culture of Death through sacramental marriage, opposition to contraception and abortion, and empowering parents.

Learn more about Voice of the Family at


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