140,000+ Polish Catholics urge bishops to defend the faith in Amoris Laetitia controversy

Dorothy Cummings McLean

140,000+ Polish Catholics urge bishops to defend the faith in Amoris Laetitia controversy

Polonia Semper Fidelis, a group sponsored by Krakow’s Father Piotr SkargaInstitute, posted the petition in January 2018, asking Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish Bishops Conference, to preserve the faith in Poland from the “German errors.”

Specifically it calls on the bishops to affirm the indissolubility of marriage and the inadmissibility of divorced-and-remarried Catholics to the sacraments.

The letter warns that the problematic interpretations of Amoris Laetitia, promulgated especially by the German bishops, adds to the immense confusion already faced by believers in the midst of today’s relativistic culture.

“In this exceptionally difficult situation in which Christian marriages and families found themselves, the lack of an official document clearly confirming the Church’s current position on these issues, expressed … by the Holy Father John Paul II in the Familiaris Consortio, contributes to the growing number of doubts and deviations from centuries of study and practice in relation to the sacrament of marriage and the Eucharist,” the letter states.

“Bearing in mind the resolute position of Polish bishops who during the synods dedicated to the family stood up in defense of the teaching of the Church and the spiritual heritage of the Polish Pope, I await the confirmation of this teaching by the Polish Bishops’ Conference with love and trust,” it adds.

Among the signers of the petition is Darius Kowaski, a famous Polish actor who stated that it was “not only an honor, but an obligation” to support the petition.

“I consider it my duty because I am a father–maybe I will be a grandfather–[and] I am a man,” Kowalski stated in a video presentation. “I know that the family is the most important foundation of all human life. Thanks to the family, the person can fully develop. He can fully embrace love, and then he can give it in return.”

Kowalski extolled Pope John Paul II as the pope of the family, saying that he fulfilled that role not only during his papacy, but today.

“In his document Familiaris Consortio, [the late pope] wrote that marriage between the baptized is one of the seven sacraments of the New Covenant,” the actor continued. “We are in a Covenant with God.”

Liberal interpretations of Amoris Laetitia’s notorious Footnote 351, such as have been developed by the German and Maltese bishops, have been accused of contradicting Familiaris Consortio, which stipulates that divorced-and-remarried couples who continue to live together must not be sexually active if they wish to receive the sacraments of reconciliation and communion.

Kowalski noted that Poland has many physical monuments memorializing John Paul II and urged Poles to consider if they ought not to raise one more “from our hearts” in signing the petition.

Other high-profile Poles who have signed the petition include politician and filmmaker Grzegorz Braun, Jacek Kotula, who introduced Canadian pro-life prisoner-of-conscience Mary Wagner to Poland, and newspaper editor Tomasz P. Terlikowski.

“Polonia semper fidelis” (Poland forever faithful) is a centuries’ old motto expressing the belief that Poland is defined by her thousand-year Catholic faith and will never betray Christ, no matter how much the nation is made to suffer.

 

The full letter, translated from Polish:

Venerable Prince Archbishop

As a faithful lay person concerned about the fate of Catholic marriages and families in our homeland, I am fervently asking the Archbishop for a confirmation by the Polish Bishops’ Conference of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, as well as on the reception [of Holy Communion] by people living in so-called non-sacramental relationships.

After Pope Francis announced the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, disturbing interpretations appeared – especially from the German Episcopate – which were publicized by the media and eagerly snatched up by some Catholics as evidence that the teaching of the Church on the above-mentioned issues had changed.

Unfortunately, the dissemination of this type of opinion contributes to the growing confusion in the souls of many believers who, despite the pressures of [the sexual] revolution and the relativization of moral principles, continue to persevere in fidelity to Christ’s teaching about marriage.

In this exceptionally difficult situation in which Christian marriages and families found themselves, the lack of an official document clearly confirming the Church’s current position on these issues, expressed … by the Holy Father John Paul II in the Familiaris Consortio, contributes to the growing number of doubts and deviations from centuries of study and practice in relation to the sacrament of marriage and the Eucharist.

Bearing in mind the resolute position of Polish bishops who during the synods dedicated to the family stood up in defense of the teaching of the Church and the spiritual heritage of the Polish Pope, I await the confirmation of this teaching by the Polish Bishops’ Conference with love and trust.

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