Declarations by theologians on marriage and the family

The John Wijngaards Catholic Research Centre has published a Catholic Scholars' Statement on marriage and the family. The statement asserts among other things that leaders lack experience of married life, marriage exists in multiple forms, real married life is complex, Church guidance lacks sensitivity and that contraception should be allowed.

The Anscombe Bioethics Centre on the other hand, has produced a Declaration by Married and Lay Catholics preparatory to the Synods of 2014 and 2015, composed and edited by Dr Pia Matthews on behalf of a group of married and unmarried lay Catholics involved in academic research or teaching. Dr Matthews is the Programme Director for the Foundation Degree in Healthcare Chaplaincy at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham. She is also a colleague of mine as a visiting lecturer at St John's Seminary, Wonersh where she does some of the teaching in moral theology.

The Anscombe Biothics Centre statement looks at false dichotomies, the richness of the Church's teaching, pastoral challenges, and the need for education, understanding and guidance. The list of signatories is impressive and shows that the statement of the Wijngaards Centre does not represent the views of many academic theologians in Britain and elsewhere.

If you agree with this statement and would like to endorse it please contact Dr Matthews at

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