Nearly 500 British priests sent a letter to the Synod Fathers, urging them to stand firm on the question of communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.
The priests called for the Synod Fathers to issues a “clear and firm proclamation” upholding Church teaching on marriage.
From Catholic Herald:
They write: “We affirm the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments, and that doctrine and practice remain firmly and inseparably in harmony.”
One signatory, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed there “has been a certain amount of pressure not to sign the letter and indeed a degree of intimidation from some senior Churchmen”.
Another, who also asked not to be named, said the issue of Communion for the remarried was “a matter of pastoral concern and fidelity to the Gospel”.
He said: “Mercy requires both love and truth. There’s a lot at stake. Not all priests would be comfortable expressing themselves in an open letter, but I’d be very worried if there were priests who disagreed with the sentiments it contains.
“The letter calls for fidelity to Catholic teaching, and that practice should remain ‘inseparably in harmony’ with doctrine. The priests state that they remain committed to helping ‘those who struggle to follow the Gospel in an increasingly secular society’, but imply that those couples and families who have remained faithful are not being adequately supported or encouraged.”
Notable signatories to the letter include theologians Fr Aidan Nichols and Fr John Saward, and Oxford physicist Fr Andrew Pinsent. Fr Robert Billing, spokesman for the Diocese of Lancaster, Fr Tim Finigan, blogger and Catholic Herald columnist, and Fr Julian Large, provost of the London Oratory, have also signed the letter.