DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pro-life leaders around the world are pledging to confront the Culture of Death, even if representatives of the Catholic Church refuse to do so.
The Pledge of Fidelity, dated December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is signed by 37 prominent pro-life leaders from around the world who "represent millions of Catholics," promising "if there is any conflict between the words and acts of any member of the hierarchy, even the pope, and the doctrine that the Church has always taught we will remain faithful to the perennial teaching of the Church."
Prominent American signatories include American Life League's Judie Brown, Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute and Thomas McKenna from Catholic Action for Faith and Family.
The pledge begins by declaring, "The last fifty years have witnessed a continual escalation in attacks on the structure of the family as designed and willed by God, which provides the best environment for human flourishing," adding, "especially, for the education and formation of children."
"Divorce, contraception, acceptance of homosexual acts and unions, and the spread of 'gender ideology' have all done immeasurable damage to the family, and its most vulnerable members," it continues.
The document goes on to note that during that time the pro-life movement throughout the world has grown to meet the threat against the family, relying "in a particular way on the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church, which affirms the moral law with the greatest clarity."
It laments, however, that in "recent years we have witnessed doctrinal and moral clarity, on issues relating to the protection of human life and the family, increasingly being replaced by ambiguity, and even by doctrines directly contrary to the teaching of Christ and the precepts of the natural law."
A press release comments the pledge "expresses the position of pro-life leaders at this time, when their work is being harmed and hampered by statements and actions from certain Church leaders — Pope Francis included — that contradict Catholic teaching."
The pledge specifically notes recent instances where Catholics have sought clarification of Church teaching, including the 2015 Filial Appeal signed by nearly 900,000 people and the 2016 Dubia written by four prominent cardinals seeking clarification on Amoris Laetitia regarding Holy Communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.
It seeks to make clear Catholic teaching cannot change, especially regarding the following:
The pledge can be viewed in full here.