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Pro-life leaders accuse Pope Francis of undermining Church teachings on contraception, sexual morality

(Reuters/Tony Gentile)FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis attends a conference on families and adolescent education at Rome's Basilica of St. John in Lateran, Italy June 19, 2017.

Pro-life leaders from across the world have accused Pope Francis and other Church leaders of failing to uphold Catholic teachings on sexual morality, contraception, sex education, marriage, and other life and family issues.

In a letter dated Dec. 12, 37 pro-life leaders from around the world have declared their refusal to follow "erring pastors" and promised to "remain faithful to the perennial teaching of the Church."

The leaders stated that the pro-life movement throughout the world has relied on the "immutable teaching of the Catholic Church" in the past 50 years. However, they lamented that in recent years, Catholic teaching has increasingly been replaced "ambiguity, and even by doctrines directly contrary to the teaching of Christ and the precepts of the natural law."

A press release noted that 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 letter was signed by Italian pro-life leaders such as the President of Associazione Famiglia Domani, Virginia Coda Nunziante; the President of the Lepanto Foundation, Professor Roberto de Mattei.

Signatories from the U.S. 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 was also signed by pro-life leaders from the U.K., including John Smeaton of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC); Greg Clovis of Family Life International UK, and Dr. Thomas Ward of the National Association of Catholic Families.

Irish signatories include Patrick Buckley of European Life Network' John Lacken of Legio Sanctae Familiae and the Lumen Fidei Institute; and Anthony Murphy of Catholic Voice.

The document highlighted the signatories' concerns about several statements and actions the Pope has made over the past few years, including the Filial Appeal in September 2015, the "Dubia," the Filial Correction earlier this year, and Fr. Thomas Weinandy's letter last month.

The pro-life leaders accused the pope of contradicting the Church's teaching on contraceptives as well as the teachings on marriage and the "intrinsic evil of sexual acts outside the union of marriage."

The signatories pointed to the pope's approval of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, which they say "effectively call for member states to achieve universal access to abortion, contraception and sex education by 2030."

The leaders also complained about the approach adopted by the church towards sex education, citing chapter 7 of Amoris Laetitia and the program produced by the Pontifical Council for the Family titled "The Meeting Point."

In an interview with Life Site News, Smeaton accused the pope and Vatican authorities of capitulating to the "culture of death" by supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and "promoting the agenda of the international sex education lobby" through Amoris Laetitia and the Pontifical Council's "pornographic" sex education program.

Smeaton contended that the pro-life movement needs the full support of Catholic Church officials across the world in fighting the "culture of death" because it "simply cannot win the battle alone."

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