More than five hundred lay people have signed a letter in support of hundreds of priests who recently wrote to the Catholic Herald declaring their support for the Church’s teaching on marriage.
The lay people’s letter, published in this week’s edition of the Catholic Herald, states: “We believe that the Church must continue to proclaim the truth about marriage, given us by Christ in the Gospels” and is signed by 505 lay persons. The letter has gained another eleven signatures since the Catholic Herald went to press taking the total number to 516.
The letter begins: “We, the undersigned, wish to endorse and support the letter signed by over 460 priests in the recent edition of the Catholic Herald.
“As laity, we all know from our own family experiences, or those of our friends and neighbours, the harrowing trauma of divorce and separation, and we sympathise with all those in such situations.”
It continues: “It is precisely for that reason that we believe that the Church must continue to proclaim the truth about marriage, given us by Christ in the Gospels, with clarity and charity in a world that struggles to understand it.”
The original letter, signed by nearly 500 priests and published last month, stated: “We wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, founded on the Word of God and taught by the Church’s Magisterium for two millennia.”
Although the priests’ letter was not welcomed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who said that such debate should not be conducted through the media, the lay people’s letter to the Catholic Herald calls on Church hierarchy to show “unwavering” support for Catholic teaching.
“For the sake of those in irregular unions, for the sake of those abandoned and living in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and above all for the sake of the next generation, it is essential that the Church continues to make it quite clear that sacramental marriage is indissoluble until death,” the letter says.
“We pray, and expect, that our hierarchy will represent us, and the Church’s unwavering teaching, at the Synod this autumn.”
Meanwhile, a separate online petition has been launched in support of the priests in question and has gained 704 signatures so far.
Last year’s extraordinary synod provoked heated debate on the question of whether remarried Catholics should be permitted to receive Holy Communion – a proposal presented by retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper.
Full text of the letter and list of signatories:
The Catholic Herald
We, the undersigned, wish to endorse and support the letter signed by over 460 priests in the recent edition of the Catholic Herald.
As laity, we all know from our own family experiences, or those of our friends and neighbours, the harrowing trauma of divorce and separation, and we sympathise with all those in such situations.
It is precisely for that reason that we believe that the Church must continue to proclaim the truth about marriage, given us by Christ in the Gospels, with clarity and charity in a world that struggles to understand it.
For the sake of those in irregular unions, for the sake of those abandoned and living in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and above all for the sake of the next generation, it is essential that the Church continues to make it quite clear that sacramental marriage is indissoluble until death.
We pray, and expect, that our hierarchy will represent us, and the Church’s unwavering teaching, at the Synod this autumn.
Jane Abbott Paul Abbott Louise Allain Robert Allen Clare Anderson Richard Aroza Rosa Maria Arrojo Frank Ashcroft Renee Ashcroft Wendy Ashcroft Julia Ashenden Simon Ashenden Mary Ashfield David Assirati Mrs David Assirati Robert Aston Kris B. Mark Bailey Catherine Barbercheck Antoinette Barry Gillian Barry James Barton Ethna Barton Rupert Beale Jane Beaton Nicolas Bellord James Belt Robert John Bennett David Beresford Donna Bethell Nicola Blaney Frederick W. Bledsoe Gerald Bonner Philip Booth Kimberly Borom Joseph Bracewell David Bradley Terri Bradley Blaise Bradley Marie Breen Maya Breen Paul Breen Denis Brentwood Thomas Bridge Steve Brown Joan Brown David Brown Margaret Brown Stephen Bullivant John Francis Burke Sarah Burke Tony Burke Bruno Burton Barbara Burton Ivana Cahill Greg Callagh Anna Campbell Winefride Capitelli Francis Carey Julie Carey Mary Teresa Carradice Gillian Carroll Michael Carroll Brendan Casey Helen Caspar Michelle Catling Paul Cavanagh Ursula Cavanagh David Chapman John Charmley Maureen Chatfield Linda Chin Philip Chin Greg Cladagh Annabel Clarke Greg Clovis Crystal Clovis Daniel Clovis Aghi Clovis Martin Comer Susan Marie Conner Sheenagh Connolly Kathleen Mary Copeland Marie Corcoran Brian Crowe Margaret Crowe Patrick Cusworth Marianne Cuthbertson Paul Dale Leo Darroch Ms A Davis Stephen Davis Tom Davis Adrian Davis Ryan Day Anthony Delarue Fabio Dervishi Kevin Devanny Claire Devine Fintan Devine Monica Mary Devine Maria Devlin Rob Devlin Darrell Dickerson Anthony Dickinson Joseph Dickinson Margaret Dickinson Damian Dillon Mark Dobson L. Dove Graziella Drago Elwira Dubis Christine Dumouchel James Barry Durkin P. Dykhuizen Nicholas Dyson Ruth Dyson Bernadette Eakin C. Edwards David Edwards J. Edwards John Edwards M. Edwards Jennifer Eggleston Laurence England Patrick Fahey John Fannon Dominic Farrell Annalyn Fedee Robert P. Federle Edgar Fendt Emma Findlay-Watson Lynda Finneran Fred Firzpatrick John Fitzgerald Elizabeth Fitzmaurice Paula Flynn Patti Fordyce Ben Forshaw Janet Forte Michael Freeley D Frostick Brian Gallacher Chris Gammon Malcolm Garden Martin Gardner Delia Gaze Delia Gaze Jennifer Geach Tamsin Geach Daphne George John Giglio Annie Glaspool Michael Gormally Pete Gray Kinga Gray- Grzeczynska Brendan Greally Tuyet Greally Norah Greer David Greig Christopher Griffin Christopher Griffiths Anne Grimer John H. Robin Haig Drew Hall Angela Hammond Sean Hampton J. Hannan Mrs J. Hannan Kirk Hansen Carol Ann Harnett Anne Harriss Aidan Harvey-Craig Beatrice Harvey-Craig Charlotte Harvey-Craig Sara Harvey-Craig John Hayes Matthew Hazell Gerard Healy Marie Heath Sophie Hector Steven Hector Paul Hellyer Gaelle Hendrickx Bernie Hennigan Bertie Hennigan Molly Highfield Megan Hodder Kathleen Hodgson Teresa Honey David Hope Tina Hope Karen Horne Alan John Houghton Angeline Houghton Frances Houghton Anne Howard Felicity Howard Ginette Howell John Hughes Gabrielle Hullis Erik Huntzicker David Hurley David Hurley David Hurley Suzanne Jacklin Anthony James Matthew James Caroline James Erin James Patrick James Catherine James Orla James Michael Jarman Evelyn Jenkins Austin Jennings Barbara Jensen Emma John Elaine Johnson A. Johnson Philip Johnson Julia Jones Marie-Claire Kaminski Wendy Kane Stephen Keay Stephen Keay Diane Keck Joseph Kelly Marita Kelly Michael Kenny Geoff Kiernan James J. King Mary King Geoffrey Kirk Patricia Klass James Klass Matthew J Knight David Konietzco Brian Kopp Peter Kowalski Catherine Lafferty Mrs L Lafferty Mary Patricia Lambert Mark Lambert Louise Lambert William Lambert Michael Lambert John Lambert Mary Lambert Bob Latin Jane Latin Patrick Lawler Charmaine Lee Mary Lewis Tim Lewis Karen Linsmayer Veronica Mary Lopez Clare Lusby Clare Lusby John Lusby John Lusby Marion Luscombe Velle Mere Lyons Liz M. A. M. Hugh MacCamley Martin Macgregor Patricia Macgregor Roy Macgregor Mr J Mackie-Savage Mrs A-M Mackie-Savage, James MacMillan Christina Manara Jonathan Marshall Patrick Martin S.T. Martin Richard Martyres Keith McAllister Pauline McAllister Ruari McCallion Rita McCarick Clare McCullough Andrew McDowell Susan McDowell Tony McGough Brendan McInerney Anne McIntyre Therese McIntyre John McKeown Liz McKernan Mac McLernon Jim McPake Michael Merrick Catherine Merrifield Mark Merrifield David Mitchell Peter Mitchell David B. Monier-Williams Dermot John Morgan Sandy Morris Jasper Mullane Matilda Mullane Paul Mullane Rachael Mullane Clare Mulvany-Carberry Cezary Namirski Melanie Newbould Evelyn Nicholson Michael Nicholson John Nolan Paul Northam Daibhead O’Conchobhair Martin O’Leary Geraldine O’Mahoney Hildreth Cathy O’Malley Michael O’Malley Paul O’Malley Luke O’Sullivan Margaret Mary Oldham Johan Oliveire Tuyet Olvestedt Nicolette Ormsbee Stuart Ormsbee James Ormsbee Annabel Osborn Francis Osborn Mike Owen Christine Page Susan Palmer Celia Parker Ann Parry Helen Parry Jonathan Partington David Paton Catherine Pattinson Paulette Peachey Warren Peachey Tony Pead James Pennington Angela Perera Cindy Perera Keith Petersen Anthony (Tim) Phillips Judith Pink Thomas Pink Andrew Plasom-Scott Clare Plasom-Scott Jane Plasom-Scott Lizzie Plasom-Scott Michael Plasom-Scott Simon Platt Maryellen Post Joe A. Potillor John Powell James Preece Leonhard Printz Nicola Randall Nicola Randall Elizabeth Raskob Adeline Rayment Chris Rayment John A. Rayner John A. Rayner Anthony Readings Bethany Reed Christopher Right Larry Roach Peter Hayden Roberts Michelle Robertson Alan Robinson Alan Robinson Antonia Robinson Hugo Robinson Paul Robinson Suzanne Robinson Charlotte Rogers Joanne Rolling Gino Romagna Mrs Gino Romagna Joseph Romano Lee Ross Rebecca Ross Indira Ross K. Rowland Steven Ryan Angela Ryan Steve Ryan Irena Sani Matthew Schellhorn Carl Schiess T.W. Scott Christopher Serpell Fatimah Sharpe Caroline Shaw Eileen Shaw Joseph Shaw Justin EM Shaw Lucy Shaw Bill Shillue Rosemary Shillue Clare Short Rebecca Short Andy Sloan Joe Smiles Marianne Smiles David Smith Cheryl Smith Alex Smith Carol Smith Gabrielle Smith John Smith Matthew Smith Ruth Smith Stephen Smith Antony Solomon Caterina Spadari Michelle Spence Rosalind Starkie Hannah Steele Dominie Stemp Jonathan Steven Susie Steven Greg Stewart Liz Stewart Karolina Stolarska L . Stride Mrs. L. Stride Brian Sudlow Elizabeth Sudlow Paul Sudlow Camilla Sudlow Dominic Sullivan Marija Svilans Andrzej Szczygielski Maria Tait Michael Tait Patrick Talbot Sheila Talbot Gareth Thomas Rhoslyn Thomas Mark Thorne Mr J Thurrott Mrs J Thurrott Donald Tikkala Rachel Tillett Andrew Kaldas Torontoq Daniel Toye Antonino Trapani Tim Travis Adrian Treloar Celeste Treloar Gregory Treloar Jacinte Treloar Josephine Treloar Joseph Treloar Bobbie Trew Carla Tuckell Kay Tuckell Seamus Tuckell Andrew Tucker James Turner Clare Underwood Malcolm Underwood Frank Venn Roy Villafranca Brian Wacey E. Waller Mariann Waller Brenda M Walsh Georgina Walsh Antony Walters Patrick Walters Peter Walters Lesley Ward Matthew Ward Rachael Ward Sarah Ward Tom Ward Stephen Wardell Eren Wardlaw Stephen Watt William Weber Gary White Liz White Ursula Whitehead Dominic Whitehouse Ben Whitworth Katherine Willey Petroc Willey Astrid Willis Richard Windsor Yvonne Windsor Tom Windsor Vreni Windsor Michael Wolf Iain Wood Charles Woodbury Sonja Woodman James Wright Jonathan Wright Karen Wright Veronica Wright Aidan Wynne Hydi Yannis
The following signatures have been added since the Catholic Herald went to press:
Joel Garcia Lorelei Garcia Frances Levett Antony Crump Adeline Sheehan Huw Morgan Denis McGrory Christopher Guyver Marcin Bakowski Christine Byrne Thomas Caddick