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Bishops Respond to New Dept of Labor Regulations

Posted Dec. 9, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

The chairmen of four committees responded to the new Department of Labor Regulations that are the result of the Executive Order of July 21 prohibiting federal government contractors from what the Administration deems “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination. The chairmen are Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.  

Here is the full text:

The regulations published on December 3 by the U.S. Department of Labor implement the objectionable Executive Order that President Obama issued in July to address what the Administration has described as “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” discrimination in employment by federal contractors. We will study the regulations carefully, but we note the following initially. Our Church teaches that “[e]very sign of unjust discrimination” against those who experience same-sex attraction “should be avoided” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC 2358)—but it appears on an initial reading that these regulations would prohibit far more than that “unjust discrimination.” In particular, they appear also to prohibit employers’ religious and moral disapproval of same-sex sexual conduct, which creates a serious threat to freedom of conscience and religious liberty, because “[u]nder no circumstances” may Catholics approve of such conduct (CCC 2357). Very many other people over a broad spectrum of different religious faiths hold this same conviction. Additionally, the regulations advance the false ideology of “gender identity,” which ignores biological reality and harms the privacy and associational rights of both contractors and their employees. In justice, the Administration should not exclude contractors from federal contracting simply because they have religious or moral convictions about human sexuality and sexual conduct that differ from the views of the current governmental authorities.

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News about Archbishop Cordileone in San Francisco

Posted Sep. 19, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

As you may remember from June, Archbishop Cordileone, the Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, spoke at the March for Marriage.  His participation was loudly protested by a number of public figures.

The news source Catholic San Francisco is running a three-part series on the origins of the protest, which was the group “Faithful America,” an organization that funds “LGBT” acceptance, intentionally using the language of faith to undermine Church teaching.

Read the full text here, and follow it as it continues: “The first part of the series… focuses on Faithful America. The second will focus specifically on the tactic of funding organizations which use the language of faith to attack Catholic teaching. The third part of the series will address the “hate” tactic by opponents of Catholic teaching on human sexuality.”

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Pope Francis Homily for Wedding

Posted Sep. 15, 2014 by DOM 1 comment

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On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14, 2014) the Holy Father received the vows of 20 couples, joining in the Sacrament of Marriage.  This is an excerpt from his homily, highlighting the beauty of sexual difference:

“The love of Christ, which has blessed and sanctified the union of husband and wife, is able to sustain their love and to renew it when, humanly speaking, it becomes lost, wounded or worn out. The love of Christ can restore to spouses the joy of journeying together. This is what marriage is all about: man and woman walking together, wherein the husband helps his wife to become ever more a woman, and wherein the woman has the task of helping her husband to become ever more a man. This is the task that you both share. “I love you, and for this love I help you to become ever more a woman”; “I love you, and for this love I help you to become ever more a man”. Here we see the reciprocity of differences. The path is not always a smooth one, free of disagreements, otherwise it would not be human. It is a demanding journey, at times difficult, and at times turbulent, but such is life!”

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Cardinal George on “A Tale of Two Churches”

Posted Sep. 9, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

Cardinal George reflects in the Archdiocese of Chicago’s newspaper on the way that the current American culture requires us to choose between our faith and full civic participation, since the dominant ideology has become like a religion.

He writes: “Swimming against the tide… means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers…. the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

The Cardinal also points out that, “American civil law has done much to weaken and destroy what is the basic unit of every human society, the family. With the weakening of the internal restraints that healthy family life teaches, the State will need to impose more and more external restraints on everyone’s activities.”

Thanks to the Cardinal who has such a gift for seeing and guiding us! Let’s pray for him and all our bishops!

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Catholic Bishops of East Africa Affirm Marriage

Posted Aug. 7, 2014 by DOM No comments yet
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The Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), comprising of the Episcopal Conferences of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan/South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and the affiliate members of Djibouti and Somalia met for their regular triennial Plenary Assembly from 16th -26th July 2014 under the theme: “New Evangelization through True Conversion and Witnessing to Christian Faith”.
In their statement, they said:
“We affirm institution of marriage as an indissoluble union of love between a man and a woman open to procreation and denounce any attempt to redefine this institution. Family life must be respected, promoted and protected so that it can provide men and women who can weave a social fabric of peace and harmony. We strongly condemn same sex unions and other deviations that go against human nature and natural law.”

 

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Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act

Posted Aug. 1, 2014 by DOM 1 comment

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Yesterday, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R- Wyo.) and Representative Mike Kelly (R- Pa) introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. This Act is meant to protect organizations who provide child welfare services, such as foster care and adoption, when they have convictions that a child should only be placed with a married mother and father.  Currently, a number of organizations are unable to be of service because of their beliefs about marriage.

Three USCCB Chairmen (Archbishops Cordileone, Lori, and Wenski) gave their support to this bill, noting that, “Indeed, women and men who want to place their children for adoption ought to be able to choose from a diversity of adoption agencies, including those that share the parents’ religious beliefs and moral convictions.”

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference also indicated their support for the Bill, noting, “In 2012, Catholic Charities helped complete over 3,000 adoptions and foster care placements, including permanent homes for over 1,600 special needs or “hard-to-place” children. By allowing a diversity of providers through the Inclusion Act, we will be putting the needs of children first and also protecting the religious liberty of long-serving child welfare providers.”

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Indiana Bishops’ Response to Marriage Decision

Posted Jun. 26, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

Eight Indiana bishops gather in May 2014 in Lafayette for a provincial meeting and a meeting with the executive director of the Indiana Catholic Conference. They are, from front left: Bishop Timothy L. Doherty of Lafayette; Bishop Charles C. Thompson of Evansville; Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend; Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, of Indianapolis and Bishop Dale J. Melczek, of Gary. Behind them, from left to right, are Bishop Emeritus William L. Higi, of Lafayette; Bishop Emeritus Gerald A. Gettelfinger, of Evansville and Bishop Christopher Coyne, auxiliary bishop of Indianapolis. As they are retired, Bishops Gettelfinger and Higi were not signatories of this statement. 

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana ruled that Indiana’s definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is unconstitutional and that the state’s non-recognition of out-of-state same-sex “marriages” is unconstitutional. Indiana will be appealing the decision.

The bishops of Indiana issued a statement about the decision, noting that it, “ignores this fundamental and natural truth of marriage and opens its definition to the whims of public opinion.”

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Archbishop Cordileone responds to concerns regarding the March for Marriage

Posted Jun. 17, 2014 by DOM No comments yet

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A number of officials from San Francisco and a number of other groups wrote to Archbishop Cordileone last week to urge him not to join the March for Marriage on June 19.  They argued that the March for Marriage was a platform for hate.

Archbishop Cordileone responded yesterday to the Lt. Governor Newsom and Mayor Ed Lee, pointing out that the March for Marriage, “is not ‘anti-LGBT’ (as some have described it); it is not anti-anyone or anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage March… Rest assured that if the point of this event were to single out a group of individuals and target them for hatred, I most certainly would not be there.”

He goes on to encourage his correspondents not to take hearsay for truth and corrects a number of assertions about the organizers of the event. He states his willingness and interest in meeting the letter signers in person, not only to talk about the issue, but simply to get to know them, writing, “It is the personal encounter that changes the vision of the other and softens the heart.”

The Archbishop ends his letter with a plea of his own: “When all is said and done, then, there is only one thing that I would ask of you more than anything else: before you judge us, get to know us.”