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Bishop Cordileone: Redefining Marriage is Unjust to Children

Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

In a recent interview with Catholic News Agency, Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, offered several reasons why the Church works tirelessly to preserve the meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“Marriage is about fundamental justice for children,” said the bishop. “Children do best with a mother and a father.” He cited a recent research article published in Social Science Research, which affirmed, again, the benefits to children of being raised by their own biological mother and father. The article was based on a representative group of young adults raised in different familial arrangements. As the bishop says, “In no area were children better off in an alternative arrangement [than their own mother and father].”

Bishop Cordileone also drew attention to the fact that redefining marriage poses a serious threat to religious freedom, a topic we treated in the Fortnight for Freedom series. The bishop emphasized that the proposal to redefine marriage is not an isolated problem but is intimately connected with broader misunderstanding of sexuality. “This isn’t a new threat to marriage,” he explained. “It’s a huge problem, and it’s gone on for decades.” Contraception, divorce, and promiscuity all eroded the characteristic marks of marriage – fidelity, permanence, and openness to life. Now people have a hard time seeing marriage as a lifelong child-centered institution instead of an affirmation of adult relationships.

Finally, Bishop Cordileone encouraged society to defend marriage in civil law, noting the unique contribution that marriage makes to society, and especially to children.

Read the entire interview here.


4 responses to “Bishop Cordileone: Redefining Marriage is Unjust to Children”

  1. BK says:

    What I want to know is….What is Bishop Cordileone doing to help those suffering from same sex attraction? How does he reach out to them? Does he run a Courage Group? Or is this all one sided?

    • Marriage Unique for a Reason says:

      Dear BK,
      Thank you for your questions. Yes, Bishop Cordileone is very supportive of the work of Courage in their ministry to persons with same-sex attraction, and EnCourage in their ministry to friends and family of persons with same-sex attraction. The apostolates of Courage and EnCourage are very important in the Church’s pastoral work because they illuminate the beauty and possibility of chastity, a vocation to which everyone is called (see the Catechism, sections 2337-2359, esp. 2359: “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”) You seem to be already familiar with Courage, but just in case, here is their website: for more information. God bless you.

      • BK says:

        That doesn’t answer my question though. I’m glad he supports Courage and Encourage but does he himself run a Courage group? How does he personally reach out to those suffering from same sex attraction? What is he doing to help them to get on the correct path to salvation and stay there? Surely somebody would know the answers to these questions.

        • Marriage Unique for a Reason says:

          Dear BK,
          It is our understanding that Courage operates with a high level of confidentiality due to the sensitive nature of its apostolate. In other words, names of members and group leaders are not publicized. Again, we affirm that Bishop Cordileone supports and encourages the work of Courage and EnCourage as essential to the Church’s pastoral ministry. Just to clarify, the mission of Marriage: Unique for a Reason is to teach about the authentic meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. As was stated in the earlier reply, for questions and concerns about ministry to persons with same-sex attraction, we do encourage you to contact Courage and EnCourage. Thank you and God bless you.

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