An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

"What is Marriage?" / "Marriage is a Matter of Justice" – Two recent bishops' columns

Today we’d like to highlight two recent pieces by bishops about marriage, both written in May but still eminently relevant.

“What Exactly Is Marriage?”

By Bishop James V. Johnston, Springfield-Cape Girardeau

Excerpts, emphasis added:

“By redefining marriage, putting marriage between a man and a woman on an equal footing with same-sex unions, the state would be saying that the former is no better than the latter. This is fundamentally unjust. It will also likely lead to further tyranny of the state over those institutions which do not subscribe to the new definition, as has already occurred in Canada and Europe. In the US, the Catholic Church has experienced the first wave of this governmental encroachment in several states – being forced out of the charitable work of facilitating adoptions, for example.”

“Is marriage only ‘Who do you love?’ Catholics, most other Christians, and many non-religious people for that matter, believe it is much more. In fact, while love is the goal, and is typically what one would expect of a marriage, strictly speaking, marriage is a reality that exists even in those instances when the spouses may stop feeling love for one another, precisely because it is much more than just ‘Who do you love?’

Read Bishop Johnston’s entire column


“Defending the Truth About Marriage: A Matter of Justice”

By Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, Fort Wayne – South Bend

Excerpts, emphasis added:

“The institution of marriage is the very cornerstone of our society. We must speak out against all attempts to redefine marriage.”

“Marriage has two fundamental ends or purposes: the good of the spouses and the procreation of children. It is inseparably both unitive and procreative. Same-sex unions cannot qualify as marriages.”

Bishop Rhoades then quotes from the USCCB 2009 pastoral letter on marriage, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, which deals with so-called same-sex “marriage” on pages 21-23.

“Marriage is a unique union, a relationship different from all others. It is the permanent bond between one man and one woman whose two-in-one-flesh communion of persons is an indispensable good at the heart of every family and every society. Same-sex unions are incapable of realizing this specific communion of persons. Therefore, attempting to redefine marriage to include such relationships empties the term of its meaning, for it excludes the essential complementarity between man and woman, treating sexual difference as if it were irrelevant to what marriage is.”

Read Bishop Rhoade’s entire column

One response to “"What is Marriage?" / "Marriage is a Matter of Justice" – Two recent bishops' columns”

  1. Mrs. Donna E. Crist says:

    Both Bishop Johnston and Bishop Rhoades articles on “What Exactly is Marriage” are excellent. So proud how they clearly speak on this Catholic truth. God’s plan for marriage between one man & one women is perfect and it’s holy love. I thank you Bishop Johnston and Bishop Rhoades whole heartedly!
    Mrs. Donna E. Crist Proudly married 39 years.

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