The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy in England and Wales said it was pleased the exhortation 'calls for a return to the wisdom of Humanae Vitae'

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy in England and Wales have welcomed the statements in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia concerning “the unchanging teaching of Christ and His Church regarding marriage, the family, and human sexuality”.

The group of priests and deacons said in a statement on Saturday: “Our members are heartened that the exhortation calls for a return to the wisdom of Humanae Vitae, defence of the ‘inalienable rights’ of the unborn child, re-affirmation of the role of parents as the primary educators of their children, and warning of an encroaching ‘gender ideology’.”

The confraternity was founded in Britain in October 2010 in response to the State Visit to Britain of Benedict XVI, “for the sanctification and support of priests, and in promotion of priestly life, holiness and mission by fidelity, formation and fraternity”. There are also groups in America, Australia and Ireland.

Before the family synod all four groups pledged their “unwavering fidelity” to the traditional Church teaching on marriage and sexuality, stressing “the importance of upholding the Church’s traditional discipline regarding the reception of the sacraments and that doctrine and practice must remain firmly and inseparably in harmony”.

The statement on Amoris Laetitia mentions those “in irregular unions” and “in problematic marital circumstances” as a particular focus of pastoral concern, who “need to be brought closer to Christ and his Church … without losing sight of the fact that certain situations constitute objective and public states of sin”.

It ends: “The Church’s pastors must never neglect the call to repentance, and the need to avoid scandal which would cause the weak to fall, while accompanying their people with kindness and understanding.”