An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Supreme Court Decisions: Bishops, Church Leaders React

Here’s a partial round-up of Bishops’ reactions to the June 26 Supreme Court decisions re: DOMA and Proposition 8. If you know of others that should be included, please email them to us via the Contact button on the home page.

USCCB: A “tragic day for marriage and our nation”

 

MIDWEST

Kansas Bishops (Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, Bishop John Brungardt of Dodge City, Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Salina, and Msgr. Robert Hemberger, Diocesan Administrator of Witchita)

“We are committed to being prophetic in speaking the truth about life, religious freedom, and the sanctity of marriage. We are likewise committed to working toward the restoration of a culture that respects marriage, nurtures children, and recognizes the family as the core social unit of our society.”

Archdiocese of St. Louis

“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to dismiss the California Proposition 8 appeal does not change the reality of marriage, nor does it change the Archdiocese of St. Louis’s responsibility to defend marriage as being between one man and one woman.”

Catholic Conference of Illinois

“The Catholic Conference of Illinois regrets the U.S. Supreme Court’s wrong decision to invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act.  Marriage comes to us through God’s nature as the union of one man and one woman.

“The ruling, however, does not mandate a redefinition of marriage across the nation, so the citizens of Illinois can still preserve marriage by telling their state lawmakers to honor the natural truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley (Oklahoma City)

“By declaring the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, the Supreme Court signaled its unwillingness to uphold the truth about marriage. Yet, the common good depends upon the willingness of societal leaders to uphold basic truths about our humanity, including the truth that we are not merely embodied, but engendered.”

Bishop Bernard A. Hebda (Gaylord, MI)

“It’s disappointing that the Supreme Court passed up an opportunity to recognize and uphold marriage’s unique meaning and its importance for the stability of our society. … It’s regrettable that the Court’s decisions in effect negated the voices of millions of Californians who voted to protect marriage’s unique meaning and the legislative process that led to the Defense of Marriage Act.”

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki (Diocese of Springfield in Illinois)

“It is becoming increasingly and abundantly clear that what secular law now calls ‘marriage’ has no semblance to the sacred institution of Holy Matrimony. People of faith are called to reject the redefinition of marriage and bear witness to the truth of Holy Matrimony as a lasting, loving and life-giving union between one man and one woman.”

Bishop David L. Ricken (Diocese of Green Bay)

“We view these decisions by our Supreme Court as an opportunity to reaffirm our Catholic faith, identity and deepest held beliefs. We renew our commitment to Jesus’ words, ‘Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate’ (Mt. 19:6).”

 

NORTHEAST

Archdiocese of Washington

“Marriage is not a creation of the state. While a number of states and the District of Columbia have changed the legal definition of marriage, government is ultimately powerless to redefine human nature and what describes the exclusive and lifelong union of one man and one woman with the possibility of generating and nurturing children.”

Archbishop Timothy Brogilo (Archdiocese for the Military Services)

“I remain confident that people of this great country, no matter the consequences, will continue to promote and defend the good and truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife for life. Marriage remains what it has always been, regardless of what any government might say.”

Archbishop William E. Lori (Archdiocese of Baltimore)

“Today’s decisions will also undoubtedly contribute to concerted efforts not just to redefine marriage but to dismantle it, efforts which represent a serious threat to religious liberty and conscience rights for countless people of faith.”

Bishop Richard J. Malone (Buffalo)

“Today’s Supreme Court decision on the unconstitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) goes against everything human reason teaches us about marriage — it is the union of one man and one woman open to the birth and rearing of children. Marriage between one man and one woman is not the same as same-sex relationships. Therefore treating them differently is not unjust discrimination and should not be ruled as such.”

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell (Hartford, CT)

“Marriage between a man and woman is one of the greatest gifts that God has given humanity. It predates both religion and government and is grounded in the nature of a human person. By striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Supreme Court is corroding this most sacred union, and sending the wrong message to society by saying that sexual difference doesn’t matter. It does. Marriage is an institution that needs to be strengthened and nourished—not devalued.”

Cardinal Donald Wuerl (Washington)

“Some have framed this debate in terms of “equality.” That rings with a certain American appeal. Everyone wants to be treated equally, with the love and respect due all people. But focusing on “marriage equality” gets the question wrong. Equality requires treating like cases alike. We need to determine whether we have “like cases” at all. If we want to address the principle of equality correctly, we need to get to the truth of marriage first.”

 

SOUTH

Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

“While the overall decision is disappointing, it is fortunate the Court did not hold that our country’s Constitution requires a redefinition of marriage.”

Diocese of Venice, FL

“The Diocese of Venice, along with many other institutions and organizations, will continue to uphold marriage as being between one man and one woman. After all, no court ruling changes the fact that only a man can be a father and only a woman can be a mother. No child should be deliberately or intentionally deprived of a mother and father.”

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge (Diocese of Raleigh)

“The decision of the Court will contribute to the unraveling of what has been a vital cornerstone of our society, the protection of the rights and responsibilities of husbands and wives to one another and to the children they bring into the world.”

Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory (Archdiocese of Atlanta)

“Today’s unfortunate decision by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act is extremely disappointing. The Catholic Church promotes and defends marriage by teaching about marriage’s authentic meaning as a lifelong, exclusive, and fruitful communion of one man and one woman. Today’s decision is part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.”

Bishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, OFM Conv. (Diocese of Savannah)

“The Church maintains that man and woman were made for each other – that God created them to be a communion of persons, in which each can be “helpmate” to the other, for they are equal persons and complementary as masculine and feminine.”

Bishop Robert N. Lynch (St. Petersburg, FL)

“The 5-4 decision of the United States Supreme Court on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) comes as no surprise and has been anticipated by the bishops of the United States. Most likely not unlike the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion of 1973, this action of the Court will be debated for a long time also.”

 

WEST

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone (San Fransisco)

“The effect of the Court’s decision is to undermine in the law the principle that children have a right to a mother and a father.”

 

 

 

 

62 Responses to “Supreme Court Decisions: Bishops, Church Leaders React”

  1. Susan Montgomery says:

    Maybe if you belived what you claim to believe it wouldn’t have come to this. Rather than complain that you can’t force others to share your beliefs you should be doing more to be a better example. Condemn the hate and violence done in your name and be a witness by example.

  2. Claessens1 says:

    1] Why is it that the bishops seem so unaware of marriage anthropology?

    2] There appears to be little awareness of the animus behind the creation of DOMA in the first place (It was enacted by a Republican congress to trip up Clinton in his reelection drive. They assumed he would veto the legislation, giving them another tool to attack him. Clinton called their bluff by signing the bill).

    3] If the bishops were serious about the sanctity of marriage they would be far more concerned about the divorce rate in our country.

    4] Scant evidence that any of the bishops have actually sat down with same-sex couple in their households. Seen them raising families, etc.

    • Mariann Gonzalez says:

      Marriage anthropology! Please. Our Bishops have studied a great deal more than you give them credit for. DOMA is hardly the issue. The Bishops are serious about the sanctity of marriage. Have you read Humanae Vitae? The divorce rate was predicted years ago with the onset of contraception. There is another wonderful Papal encyclical from the 30′s or 40′s on Church teaching that is a clear teaching prior to Humanae Vitae. As for SSA, it is not about successfully raising families (and boy have I heard those numbers have been skewed and when challenged by those who have done a more in-depth and valid study, it is horrible for the children so don’t fool yourself). People with SSA have a cross that others who don’t have SSA (most of the population–perhaps as high as 97% in our country) cannot begin to understand. But to give our brothers and sisters “license” to commit acts that are sinful would be wrong. May our Bishops continue to stand for Truth and His Church. May God bless them with all they need to help those with such challenging crosses…may grace abound!

      • Caroline says:

        Our nation is giving no “lisence to commit sinful acts” through allowing marriage equality. You have absolutely no way to back that up.

        No church is being forced into recognizing these marriages. The hurtful and homophobic acts and words spoken by the church leaders only contribute to the high suicide rate in lgbt youth; there is no denying that lgbt youth are hurt by their words. The bible also says that tattoos and mixing fabrics is wrong as is divorce, but the church remarries divorced people every day. This bible also preaches the same love and human dignity that is being violated by church leaders. Keep America secular like it is supposed to be and if you want to live somewhere where government mixes with faith, well your options are abundant on this planet.

        • Mariann Gonzalez says:

          Caroline, marriage is between a man and a woman. Our nation is giving license if it says that marriage, by re-definition, is between 2 persons. This isn’t forcing people to do the acts, but basically promoting sinful acts. Do you understand the difference? Homophobia doesn’t exist–that is a man-made concept to, once again, promote sinful acts. If you are an lgbt youth and have been hurt by others, you can find healing by our Holy Lord. God’s love and mercy abound. The Church teaching is constant, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and cannot contradict God’s laws. The Bishops are not called to win popularity contests with people. The Bishops vow to teach Truth; their jobs are concerned with the salvation of souls. America was never meant to be a “secular” nation. You have been ill-taught (which will be getting worse with common core–God have mercy on us). We are “…one nation, UNDER God…” Until persons begin to understand that He is and we aren’t, we will continue to sink as a nation.

          • Ned Flaherty says:

            Mariann:

            —–Your deities, textbooks, and sins aren’t everyone else’s deities, textbooks, and sins. That’s why no one may write their own religious superstitions into American constitutions or laws.

            —–Homophobia is real. It’s proven. It is an illness. Like all phobias, it arises from irrational fear.

            —–You assume that America was never “meant” to be secular; however, there’s no proof of who did that “meaning” or what they “meant” or how your assumption could ever trump anyone else’s.

            —–Nationalism is especially unattractive in any situation; when combined with religious superiority, it often leads to fascism.

      • Bert Ramirez says:

        The decision by SCOTUS did not give anyone the “license” to commit acts that are sinful. Sinful is a church term. If the Catholic church does not want to give that license, fair enough. The state rules on constitutional issues, not religious issues of sinfulness. How can people not see that? If the state’s role is to police sinfulness, then why isn’t the sale of pork illegal?
        The point is that people of faith (whatever that faith)are often going to have their own ideas of what is sinful, apart from the state. But in a secular state like the U.S. the defining document is the Constitution, not the Bible or Koran or the pronouncements of the Pope. As it should be.

    • ME says:

      The Bishops have a valid point.

  3. AmericanKestrel says:

    the response of the Church, Bishops, and Cardinals to the Supreme Court decisions regarding gay marriage is both disappointing and frightening to those of us who value the US Constitution and the religious freedom protected by the establishment clause and free exercise clause of the first amendment. The Church’s attempt to force Catholic religious doctrine on the general population through law is disrespectful to non-Catholics and their beliefs and disrespectful of the Constitution and rule of law. The effort by the Church to replace our government and our Bill of Rights with a theocratic dictatorship will be opposed as vigorously as possible by citizens who value religious freedom and respect for religious diversity in the US.

    • Mariann Gonzalez says:

      I believe you have twisted the Truth…first, what reaction would you expect from the Catholic Church? Disappointing? Frightening to those who value? This is hokey speech. The U.S. Constitution is there to protect the rights of its citizens. First and foremost is the first Amendment…Congress shall make no law….or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech… We respect life, liberty… So, (1) Our Bishops, Cardinals, Church response to the Supreme Court’s decision is the right to freedom of speech; and it is totally in line with what has always been taught as Truth. (2) the Church cannot force nor does it want to force its truly liberating dogma on you nor anyone else. You are way off base. What the Church teaches is for the salvation of souls. Those who reject the teaching are not forced to be Catholic. However, gay marriage is not what the agenda is here. It is those who practice an unnatural behavior shouting down the rest of society and putting as much money into their campaign for the citizens of this great country to reject logic and reason and call those who pervert sexual intimacy, married. No, not a theocratic dictatorship, but rather a love for God and every one of His unique creations, so much that they will be persecuted by sharing God’s Truth so that every soul will desire Him eternally.

    • Daniel J. Johnson says:

      The federal government is systematically passing new laws and creating new “civil rights” that contradict Church teaching and belief, nature, and reason. By doing so, the government is forcing its will upon the Church and the conscience of every American, just as Congress did with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, thereby causing every citizen to suspect a free Black of being an escaped slave and compelling every citizen to help capture escaped slaves. To preach the truth is not the same as compelling it. The listener is free to reject the message without fear of harm to himself, his liberty, his name, or his property. But with government law there comes coerced obedience by means of fines, fees, taxes, arrest, and imprisonment. Look at what is happening to private wedding services that won’t take gay couples as customers. They are being forced by anti-discrimination laws to take them. Those business owners are not free to ignore the law, though they are free to ignore Church teaching.

  4. Deacon Jim Walworth says:

    False assurances by the President that no church will be required to marry same sex couples should be viewed as a not so veiled threat to our religious freedom. I regret that our faith and Church is under attack by our government and that there seems to be a growing resentment towards Catholics who speak out against it. I am prepared to face whatever consequences beset me upholding the sanctity of marriage. Christ tells us to not be worried and he will give us the words and strength when tested and under trial. Peace to all.

    • Thank you Deacon for reminding us what Jesus said,”Not to be worried for He will give us the words and strength when under trial” . It is a matter of Trust in God. Christ also reminded us to look for signs of how things will be. It is essential we surrender our lives to Him, and snuggle in closer to His Most Sacred Heart. There is going to be great persecution for all believers. Remember he told us that families will be divided; mother against son, daughter against father, and etc. It would help us immensely to know the bible, know our faith, use the gifts of the sacraments and devotions, have a serious prayer life and above all, a personal relationship with Jesus. Do as He taught us. For as He suffered, so shall we. If we strive to be like Christ, be prepared to die like He did. Yet remember He will NEVER abandon us but is constantly with us, helping us, guiding us, strengthening us and protecting us. Yes even protecting us, especially our souls, under persecution. What is needed is trust. If all of the above sounds too difficult to bear, I would suggest reading the Diary of St. Faustina. You will have a greater understanding and it will you with so much joy, hope and love. Peace in Christ.

    • Bert Ramirez says:

      Nonsense. The President cannot tell any church who to marry. Currently the Church has stricter requirements for who can be married in the church than the state does and always has. This threat that the state can force a church to marry someone against its will is nothing more than a LIE meant to invoke a sense of fear and martyrdom among the laity and energize it for political purposes.

      • Mariann Gonzalez says:

        Not a lie, it has been told that the Church building must be allowed to be used by the local authorities (I want to say the New England area since so much hokey stuff comes out of there first.) Once that is established, the next step in our President’s socialist regime will be the Priest marrying or jail time. Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us our sins, and lead us to everlasting life.

        • Bert Ramírez says:

          Mariann, what exactly does “It has been told” mean? Just because a story has been told and retold does not make one shred of it true. Until you can show me the actual news story or give me enough facts to research it myself, I have to ascribe the whole tale under Tea Party Urban Legend. No government has ever or can ever take over a church building and demand it’s use by local officials. Nor can the government force any clergy to perform a marriage against his or her beliefs. Where in the world do these fantasies come from….the Internet??

        • Ned Flaherty says:

          Nowhere in America is there any city, state, or federal law requiring buildings owned by religions to be used by local governments.

          Likewise, nowhere in America is there any city, state, or federal law requiring imprisonment of a clergy person just for refusing to marry someone.

          Both of these laws exist only in your imagination.

  5. Mariann Gonzalez says:

    First, what we do not need is the United States Conf. of Catholic Bishops. What we do need are the United Catholic Bishops of the U.S.A. Unite, strengthen your base (those who affirm the Truth, the Teaching of the Catholic Church), and expose (bring to the light) all who claim to be Catholic but oppose (most, openly) those who pervert the Truth. Unite, Catholic Bishops! Support Priests for Life (special collection vs. funding Alinsky-community organizers). Be bold knowing you are faithfully serving the Body of Christ! You have my daily prayers.

  6. Laura Sunderhaus says:

    Thank you all priests and bishops for all you do to protect our religious freedoms in America and by laying your lives down to bring us the sacraments, especially our Lord during the Holy Sacrifice of the mass. We pray with our 7 children for your petitions to Christ through our Heavenly Mother Mary. We pray that our Heavenly Father will bless your work and that the Holy Spirit will keep us all strong in the love of Christ.

  7. Bert Ramirez says:

    Where in the court rulings does it say that traditional marriages are outlawed? That children must now be raised in same-sex families? The overthrow of DOMA only means that loving same sex couples can enjoy the same government benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. It will not cause a single straight person to suddenly turn gay, nor force any church to perform ceremonies in contradiction of its beliefs.

    • Mariann Gonzalez says:

      It doesn’t say that marriage is outlawed. It says you cannot say that marriage is marriage…there’s the problem, Bert. What they want people who use logic and reason to say do you see that oak tree. Well, trees that don’t grow like it want to also be oak trees since we do say, “the mighty oak!” So, no more ash, maple, elm, nor any of those other discriminatory words will be used. The oak tree remains the oak tree. Now it will be fair for all trees will have the title oak tree. You cannot call something a marriage if it is not a marriage. Clear? Seems quite clear to most.

      • Bert Ramírez says:

        So all this fuss is over the use of the word “marriage”? The church defines the word as one man and one woman..got it. Various states now define it as two people, period. I ask again… How is civilization seriously affected? How is everyone else’s marriage threatened by this? Gay people will continue to be gay and straight folks straight..or to put it another way… How are we all strengthened by denying the benefits of marriage to gay people?

        • Mariann Gonzalez says:

          I must have missed this one, Bert. Man and woman make a marriage since the beginning. Not straight or gay…those terms are not real. If two people living in sin (unmarried man and unmarried woman, man and man, woman and woman, all kinds of possibilities), want different tax laws for their benefit, most would say, “Why not?” But really bad tax laws do not make elm trees, maple trees, etc., oak trees. Civilization is strengthened by laws that strengthen marriage and family. All our laws continue to evolve into power for passion in order to reduce population for the trillionaires’ desires. Eugenics, birth control (contraception-against life), abortion, and even no-fault divorce, are the many means our country is not strengthening civilization, but eliminating it. Now they sanction redefining marriage. Is any of this sinking in, Bert?

          • Ned Flaherty says:

            Mariann Gonzalez:

            Tens of millions of Americans identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, so your denial that they exist by calling them “not real” is sheer ignorance.

            There is no connection between bad taxation and new trees; you only imagine it.

            It’s precisely because society benefits from marriage that society benefits from same-gender civil marriage just as much as from mixed-gender civil marriage.

            No one is re-defining marriage; the existing institution is merely being extended to include the last 10% of society.

    • T M says:

      Well said. I agree.

    • Alan says:

      The question asked: Where in the court rulings does it say… that children must now be raised in same-sex families?
      The implication in clear all we have to do is look to the “people’s republic” of Massachusetts, that wonderful home of political correctness and what the courts did the all the Dioceses of that state. None are able to run adoption agencies any longer because they were forced to place children in same-sex families or cease to exist. Catholic adoption no longer exists in Massachusetts. Watch & listen, over the next 1 to 4 years the same will happen in all 13 states where same sex unions are permitted.

      • Ned Flaherty says:

        Alan no-last-name:

        In none of the 14 American states that adopted same-gender civil marriage has there ever been any legal requirement restricting adoption or adoption agencies.

        The Roman Catholic church of Massachusetts closed its government-approved public adoption agencies in a spiteful act of vengeance orchestrated from the Vatican. The revenge was concocted by Rome in reaction to same-gender marriage, but, in fact, had nothing to do with it. Massachusetts already had a public non-discrimination law requiring government-subsidized adoption services to treat all clients fairly, but the Catholic agencies wanted to discriminate, which the law forbade, so they opted to close up altogether rather than cease unlawful discrimination. The cessation of adoption services was solely the church’s choice, not the government’s.

  8. Konrad Aniol says:

    We have witnessed in these debates a linguistic acid bath designed to dissolve the meanings of words. No one was ever denied the right to marry. A man could always marry a woman and a woman a man. Marriage was never denied to anyone. If homosexuals and lesbians declined to marry that was their choice. The content of Prop. 8 is simply a statement of universal fact and not religious dogma. What astonishes me is that the State does not recognize the important difference between a stable man-woman relationship compared to two same sex friends living together.

  9. 189821 says:

    Thank God for the Catholic Church; the only institution defending common sense!

    • Alan says:

      Please don’t forget some of our faithfilled brothers and sisters in the protestant evangelical traditions that are very much in the same corner as the catholic church on the issue of same sex unions, as are the Mormons and Islam.

  10. Bill King says:

    How to reply to all these comments by the Bishops how about this

    MORALITY IS DOING WHAT IS RIGHT
    NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE TOLD
    RELIGION IS DOING WHAT YOU ARE
    TOLD NO MATTER WHAT IS RIGHT”

    • Mariann Gonzalez says:

      Uh, no sir. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ. We believe Him, Who said, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.” God cannot contradict Himself. God is All-Good! You will clearly find His teachings in the Catholic Church. So following and doing what others outside of the Church say is “right” does not make it right. The Church’s teaching is constant and unchanging in regard to this topic and other intrinsic evils. Those Bishops who speak the Truth, follow the God of all, the Alpha and the Omega, the Creator of all, the Author of Life, the Light of the World! Study and you may find yourself following and teaching the Truth.

  11. Dave Heath says:

    Now the weeping and gnashing of teeth start, Cardinal Dolan? Now the effrontery of it all starts, Your Eminence? Now, Dear USA Bishops, do you understand it is Christ and His Church against the world? There is not and cannot be any peace on earth as long as Christ is thrown down and trampled to the ground, apparently by the very Catholic laity – and some clerics – to whom He expected to defend His Honor! This battle was lost the very moment the assent was made by the USA Bishops to not enforce the canonical laws upon Catholics who are in public sin against one or more of the Moral teachings of the Church and/or the Commandments of God. You Bishops cannot and will not even protect the front door of Sacramental Marriage by seeking the reconciliation of Catholic couples via still-in-effect- Canonical Laws demanding such! You promote divorce and remarriage for the sake of one spouse, while you totally ignore the damage, destruction and lingering long term affects on the other spouse and children! And you are all now AGAST! at the recent ruling that now gives homosexual marriages the force of law? What did you expect? Did you really believe that this was going to go any other way? Where were the daily Masses offered and where were the mass demonstrations in the dioceses such as France – the eldest Daughter of the Church- has had?

    No, USCCB…this one is laid, embedded and cemented right on the doorstep of your Cathedral. Now the question becomes what Jim Malone posed to Elliot Ness in The Untouchables: “What are you prepared to do?” It is said that actions speak louder than words, and all we have been hearing are words, words and more words. Is the time for action finally here? I will join as I am able, but unfortunately, it seems there are no apparent shepherds willing to take up this particular Cross of Christ.

  12. Jan says:

    I was raised Catholic and want very much to return to the church. However, I am gay and married to my partner in MA. I live in KY, and I am struggling with returning to the church. I am a respected retired teacher in my community, but I do not feel welcomed at the Catholic Church. I have attended a UU Church, but do not feel connected there. What is a gay, Catholic, legally married in MA do in Louisville, KY to renew my Catholic Faith?
    Peace.
    Jan

    • Mariann Gonzalez says:

      If you really want an answer, you need to talk with a priest or your Bishop. My favorite priest in Louisville, KY, is Fr. Christian Moore at Immaculate Conception on Lower Hunters Trace Rd. Love God, Love His Bride, the Church, who teaches Truth.

    • Konrad Aniol says:

      You are still a member of the Body of Christ. Attend mass and benefit from the Liturgy of the Word. No on is carded coming into a Catholic mass. Whether or not you can participate in the Eucharist is something that can only be answered by your parish priest. He is the best source of information and advice.

    • Alan says:

      I’d recommend this website: http://couragerc.net/

      Then find a spiritual advisor and after that spend some time reading, in prayer and then wrestle with the most difficult decisions you’ll ever face. But know that you’ll face them with the love and support of your Catholic community.

    • Ned Flaherty says:

      Jan:

      Before buying “ex-gay therapy” or any other reparative therapy from Courage Apostolate or any other organization, beware of the following.

      • It is junk science, medical malpractice, and consumer fraud.

      • It’s been discredited by every major professional medical/mental health organization as ineffective, costly, and dangerous to patients, often resulting in a lifetime of pain, depression, and suicide.

      • No competent, registered, licensed, accredited professional endorses these products; they are sold only by unsupervised amateurs who carry no mental/medical malpractice insurance.

      • Sellers of reparative therapy never disclose their failure rates, suicide rates, lawsuit rates, or the fact that success is impossible.

      • People claiming to have become “ex-gay” are just: (1) gays/lesbians enslaved into lifetimes of miserable celibacy; or (2) bisexuals who decide to court only the opposite gender; or (3) commercial profiteers.

      • Anyone whose time, finances, or physical/mental health are harmed by these products can file government complaints and civil/criminal lawsuits for damages via consumer fraud and/or medical/mental malpractice — against churches that promote the products, against organizations that sell them, and against anyone who practices this therapy.

  13. Ned Flaherty says:

    The notion that heterosexual and asexual people are holy, whereas homosexual, bisexual, and lesbian people are profane is just a religious superstition.

    The United States is a democracy, not a theocracy. Therefore, popes and their employees are free to believe whatever un-scientific folklore they wish (remember Galileo?); however, no one in America may write their religious beliefs into laws that affect everybody.

    Every peer-reviewed, scientific study shows that same-gender couples are just as permanent and monogamous as mixed-gender couples. Many same-gender couples are raising children from prior marriage, fertilization, surrogacy, adoption, and/or foster care, and every peer-reviewed, scientific study shows that they do it every bit as well as mixed-gender couples do.

    • Mariann Gonzalez says:

      Start by correcting your stated (but really inaccurate) notion…The Catholic Church does Not nor ever would state that, “heterosexual and asexual people are holy, whereas homo….are profane.” Wow! That misses the boat completely! What most people do want to forget in order to bring disorder to our country is that we (the U.S.A.) pledge allegiance…to the Republic, for which it stands (our flag), one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all. You see, that is so inconvenient now because it exposes how false people choose to live. People deny Truth. We are not nor ever have been one nation not under God. You have been ill-informed, and really poorly educated if you have not read real data on Galileo instead of the anti-Catholic propaganda that was taught…Additionally, you are even more poorly informed if you follow the studies which are being blasted for the lack of validity…sorry, that is one of the most current suppression of studies. Children deserve better than they are getting because we are hyper-focused on ourselves vs. focused on our vows. Children deserve a Father and a Mother (which I understand U.K. is trying to get rid of those words because it sure messes up all of the legalities of things). Find someone who can really show you the treasure of the Catholic Faith and the Truth…you will not be sorry.

      • Ned Flaherty says:

        Mariann Gonzalez:

        You’re wrong about the Roman Catholic church.

        Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, popes have insisted that heterosexuality and asexuality and celibacy are holy (“sacred, sanctified”), and that homosexuality, bisexuality, and lesbianism are profane (“intrinsically disordered, morally evil, contrary to natural law, inherently evil,” etcetera.

        If you doubt this, just re-read Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357.

        • Mariann Gonzalez says:

          Good work Ned! You did as I asked. You changed your “false notion”–now, do you see that I am not wrong…now you speak to the “ality”, but before you spoke to the “people” and there is no way they are the same. Do you see?

        • Deacon Jim Walworth says:

          Thank you for directing attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2357. The Catechism is the definitive reference for the revelations taught by the Church based upon both Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. I suggest everyone read not only 2357, but also 2358 and 2359 to appreciate the true teaching of the Church that have been misstated elsewhere by other emails. 2357 refers to gravity of homosexual acts, not homosexuals. 2358 asks that homosexuals be treated with compassion and love, while 2359 asks homosexuals to live chastely.

          • Ned Flaherty says:

            It is intellectually dishonest to claim any distinction between “homosexual acts” vs. “homosexual people.” Only homosexual people perform homosexual acts, so vilifying the acts is the same as vilifying the people. It’s the same as saying, “We don’t hate Black people, only their Black-ness, not tall people, only their height, not women, only that they are female.”

            A person or organization hates someone else’s innate, fundamental characteristics, also hates that person.

            It is the height of hypocrisy for the Roman Catholic Church to claim #2358 (“treat homosexuals with compassion and love”) while simultaneously preaching #2359 (“no homosexual may ever have any sex life”) and #2357 (“all homosexuals are always depraved, disordered, unnatural”).

            There is no clearer proof of the church’s hatred and hypocrisy than its own Catechism.

          • Deacon Jim Walworth says:

            It is unfortunate that when confronted with the facts from the same source you first brought up , your emotions blind you to its truth and lead you to make insulting and hateful comments about the Catholic Church and our faith. By our baptism each of us is part of the Church , which we believe is the Body of Christ, one body through many parts. When you harm one member you harm the whole Body, and when one member prays the whole body preys. I will pray for you.

        • Alan says:

          Celibacy is not the same as asexuality. If we are human we are not asexual. We choose married life, and we choose celibacy. Celibacy is merely an earthly reflection of a heavenly reality where (as Christ said) we will no longer marry or be given in marriage. There will no longer be a need to procreate. Here we are called to be fruitful and multiply, but that will not be the case later during our life after death.

          • Ned Flaherty says:

            Alan no-last-name:

            No, asexuality and celibacy are not the same. (No one said they are.) Asexuality is a sexual orientation; celibacy is a self-imposed regimen of unhealthy denials. See a physician if you are unclear on the concept.

            Yes, it is possible for a human being to be asexual. It is one of the 5 biologically-rooted sexual orientations. See a physician if you are unclear on the concept.

            Celibacy is not “merely an earthly reflection of a heavenly reality.” It also is a hellish quack “cure” sold to homosexuals, bisexuals, and lesbians by one of the many “ex-gay therapy” regimens promoted via various religious frauds. The Roman Catholic network version is called Courage Apostolate.

          • Marriage Unique for a Reason says:

            Moderator’s note: the Courage and EnCourage apostolates are not “ex-gay” or “reparative therapy” organizations. They are ministries with the goal of helping persons with same-sex attraction live chastely (Courage) and helping family members of persons with same-sex attraction give them the support they need to live chastely (EnCourage). Their aim is not to change a person’s “orientation” (put in quotes because of the anthropological presuppositions embedded in that term, which are not accepted at face value by Catholic anthropology) but to give them the support they need to live a chaste, mature Christian life. Courage’s website: http://couragerc.net/. EnCourage’s website: http://couragerc.net/EnCourage.html.

    • Mariann Gonzalez says:

      Ned, I cannot disagree more with someone than I do with you. I see you did not address the founding of our nation, and I also see how some of my points were deleted by the moderator. Please read the Declaration of Independence, particularly the first, second and last paragraphs. Additionally, please find a copy of our National Anthem, and check out the last verse (perhaps verse 4). These are not taught in the public schools because they are inconvenient Truths. We are and always have been, one Nation, Under God. That God was the one and only God, the Christian God.

      I did re-read all of the Deacon’s Catechism sections, plus so much more! You misinterpret what you read. If you cannot separate an act from a person created in the image and likeness of God, then you are truly missing the boat of the Catholic Faith. It is the greatest gift, and one worth battling for till we are called home. Although I have failed at opening your heart to Truth and the beauty of the Faith, I have attempted. My family will pray for you (and Ben) this night that the Lord will reveal Himself to you profoundly for eternity! God bless you (both).

      • Mariann Gonzalez says:

        Oops…I meant Bert, not Ben. Quickly, to your “black/blackness” nonsense. Black is not an act. Tall/tallness…Tall is not an act. The magnificently written Catechism separates people from acts quite easily. For example, you claim it says all heterosexuals are holy and you also state the acts and the people cannot be separated, but this is not accurate. A married couple engaging in “heterosexual acts” I guess you would call them, may be holy. However, a couple that is not married, or a couple that may be married but not to each other engaging in “heterosexual acts” is not holy. I pray this clears this misconception you have about Church teaching.
        I also wonder why you and Bert would be on this website if you are so very interested in the separation of Catholicism (which you both appear to hate) and the disordered decisions in our nation’s laws?

        • Bert Ramirez says:

          Mariann, I am on this website to have a discussion regarding the church’s reaction to the recent SCOTUS decision(s). I am a former Catholic and do NOT hate the church, nor am I on here to mock or insult its followers. This will be my last post on this board, so I’ll leave it at this: Catholics and the Church are free to believe as they wish and the government has absolutely no obligation to follow Church teaching. This country was NOT, I repeat NOT founded as a Christian country. Our Founding Fathers were, if anything, Masons….a group the Holy Church has never had much use for. They specifically put language in the Constitution to PREVENT the establishment of a state religion after having seen how this practice in Europe had led to persecution, torture and murder of the vilest kind. The Inquisiton, like the Holocaust is historical reality and not an anti-catholic myth. The mention of God in the founding documents was not for the purpose of endorsing a religion but rather to emphasize that our “unalienable rights” came to us as a birthright and not a gift from the State. I apologize if I’ve insulted anyone, bless you all and have a good day.

  14. Daniel J Johnson says:

    By God’s design and nature’s irrefutable law, human reproduction is a heterosexual act, even if science interferes with it by way of in vitro fertilization. The Chuch’s teaching and prohibitions recognize this biological fact, even if governments and scientists choose not to. If the Supreme Court rules that skydiving without a parachute is equal to skydiving with a parachute and everyone has a Constitutional right to go skydiving without a parachute, does that ruling change the law of gravity? Nature has something to say in the matter, doesn’t she?

    • Bert Ramirez says:

      I don’t recall anything in the recent decisions stating that gay men can now bear children or that gay women now have the right of immaculate conception. Only that they can now marry in the eyes of the state and enjoy the same financial benefits we straight married couples enjoy from the state.

      As to Church teachings… we went for centuries believing the earth was the center of the universe “By God’s design and nature’s irrefutable law.”

      Jesus gave us a charge to love each other as we love ourselves and that’s hard enough to do without also trying to peer into the mind of God and second guess what his plan for each one of us is.

      • Daniel J Johnson says:

        The Immaculate Conception is Mary being conceived by a human mother and father but being preserved from original sin. The Incarnation is Our Lord Jesus being conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit.

        • Ned Flaherty says:

          Daniel Johnson:

          The distinctions between your “Immaculate Conception” legend and your “Incarnation” folklore are quaint and curious, but are irrelevant to this article, which is about the Roman Catholic clergy’s denial of fundamental human rights to the last 10% of all society.

          Remember: your deity isn’t everyone’s deity, your scriptures aren’t everyone’s scriptures, and in in the eyes of everyone else, your beliefs are merely religious superstitions.

          In America, no one is empowered to impose their religious beliefs upon everyone else. Consequently, Roman Catholic clergy cannot impose their assumptions upon the rest of society. They’re free to believe whatever they wish inside their churches, but everyone else is also free to proceed as they wish.

    • Ned Flaherty says:

      Daniel Johnson:

      The notions of “God’s design” and “nature’s irrefutable law” are merely belief systems, prone to junk science and superstition.

      You say that “the Church recognizes facts even when government and scientists choose not to.” But the reverse is also true: “Government and scientists recognize facts, even when the Church chooses not to.”

      Anthropomorphizing nature (“doesn’t She have something to say?”) is the first false step of someone who is replacing proven knowledge with emotional assumption. Such behavior renders both the speaker and his points not worthy of serious consideration.

      Remember that this reverse example is just as valid: “When the Church says skydiving without a parachute equals skydiving with a parachute, that doesn’t change the law of gravity.” Likewise, when any church says that two sexual orientations (heterosexual, asexual) are holy but three (homosexual, bisexual, lesbian) are profane, that doesn’t change science or biology; it just reveals the church as uninformed (remember Galileo) and stuck in the Bronze Age.

      • Daniel J Johnson says:

        Drop your ad hominem attack and consider this. Yes or no: one sperm from a human male fertilizes only one egg from a human female. Yes or no: Egg cannot fertilize sperm. Yes or no: Egg cannot fertilize egg. Yes or no: Sperm cannot fertilize sperm. The union of sperm and egg are, to use my layman’s term, heterosexual. I’m not arguing this from religion but from what I learned in biology class. A woman can’t get a woman pregnant and a man can’t get a man pregnant. Is that a law of nature, yes or no? Did you learn something different in biology class when you studied human reproduction? Did I say anything now that you believe is false?

        • Ned Flaherty says:

          Daniel Johnson:

          Repeating facts from your junior high school biology class is both pointless and irrelevant.

          Anyone who holds nature in high authority also knows that in every species studied, both homosexuality and heterosexuality are regularly observed. Anyone who holds mankind in high authority knows that LGBT people have existed throughout recorded history.

          Where you mislead yourself is when you unthinkingly follow your popes’ obsessions, and mistakenly equate marriage with procreation. You and they are wrong. The two are not the same thing. Marriage occurs without procreation, and procreation occurs without marriage. Neither one causes the other.

          Set aside your popes’ fetishistic worship of procreation, and admit that same-gender couples raise children from prior marriage, fertilization, surrogacy, foster care, and adoption. In fact, many children are rescued solely because same-gender couples take them in, and most children need foster care or adoption solely because mixed-gender couples can’t or won’t.

          Same-gender couples strengthen society with their marriages, and they care for children that mixed-gender couples create and ignore.

          • Daniel J. Johnson says:

            Ned, Thank you for giving me many fine examples of bigotry, invincible ignorance, and obstinacy. Your method of debate was well-worn most recently in decades and centuries past by those who sought to justify the enslavement of Africans in America and the continued discrimination against them once they were free. I leave you to the natural outcomes of your own thought and choices.

  15. Dan says:

    Read the Bible . . . same sex “marriage” is wrong and against God’s command.
    Unfortunately, in today’s society of diminishing values, it’s ok.

    • Ned Flaherty says:

      Dan Anonymous:

      Your bible isn’t everyone’s bible. Your deity isn’t everyone’s deity. Your assumptions aren’t everyone’s assumptions.

      You are free to believe and assume whatever you wish, but no one empowered you to write your religious superstitions into the laws that govern all civil society.

      Every major religion has a growing number of clergy who bless same-gender couples and/or perform same-gender weddings.

      It was precisely to stop people like you from imposing their religions upon everyone else that the founding fathers separated church from state, forever.

  16. It’s too late now to complain about the Supreme Courts decision. Should have started planning a strategy far back as the 1960′s. That is when all this trouble began. I remember in the 1930′s when the Legion Of Decency straightened out the Motion Picture Industry and had many Christians avoiding movies that the Legion of Decency classified as condemned. Once a year on the Feast of Christ the King we took the pledge on our honor to stay away from indecent movies.

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