Catholics and people of good conscience have been distressed over the U.S. Supreme Court decision to require all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage”. In my homilies I have stated that our understanding of Holy Matrimony remains unchanged and that we should go forward in faith making God manifest in our Catholic way of life. I think it will help you to read this statement by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The full statement follows:
“Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.
The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.
Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.
I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.
Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.”
Before I was ordained, I promised Archbishop Sartain to “teach what the Church teaches and only what the Church teaches.” Those to be ordained agreed that our personal opinions on Church teaching must be submitted to the truth that the Church teaches in matters of faith and morals. The Church proposes Jesus Christ as truth and Tradition as God’s plan for the best for the human family. What is described as imposing religious beliefs is in truth an invitation to embrace divine revelation as intended for the best good of the human family.
Your servant in Christ, Father Paul