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Post-election round-up: Statements from (Arch)bishops and Catholic Conferences: Disappointment, gratitude, resolve

In addition to Archbishop Cordileone’s statement expressing disappointment about the results of the four marriage referenda, Archbishops, Bishops, and Catholic Conferences in the four states where voters voted to redefine marriage on Tuesday have released statements. Their words echo Cardinal Dolan’s conviction, expressed in a statement released after the election: “We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom.”


Bishop Richard Malone (Buffalo), Apostolic Administrator of Portland, Maine

I am deeply disappointed that a majority of Maine voters have redefined marriage from what we have understood it to be for millennia by civilizations and religions around the world. I am thankful for those who engaged in sincere and civil discourse on this matter of such serious consequence to our society. I am grateful to those who supported and recognize the value of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. I especially want to thank the Catholic faithful who did not abandon Catholic teachings on the nature of marriage.

These past few months have served as a teaching opportunity to explain to parishioners and the wider community about how and why the Church views and values marriage as the union of one man and one woman open to new life.

It has also been an opportunity for learning. I trust that those who voted for such a radical change did so out of concern for our brothers and sisters who struggle with same-sex attraction. Respect and acceptance of all people regardless of sexual orientation is not a point of controversy. It is a teaching of the Church, but so is the authentic meaning and definition of marriage. That is why the Catholic Church will continue its commitment to work for the basic human rights to which all people are entitled, while remaining devoted to preserving and strengthening the precious gift of marriage. (Source: Statement from Bishop Malone Regarding ‘Question 1’ Results, Diocese of Portland website)


Archbishop William Lori (Baltimore)

“So much hard work went into this, and I’m very, very grateful to everyone who worked so hard. We will continue to witness to the values of marriage as understood as the union of one man and one woman, as the most sound, secure and loving way to bring children into the world.”

The election results on same-sex marriage should serve as a “wake up call” for Catholics, Archbishop Lori said, demonstrating “our need to redouble our efforts to defend marriage, to preach about what marriage is, and to help people understand it as a unique relationship that does not discriminate against anyone, but is for the good of children and for the good of society.” (Source: Maria Wiering, “Archbishop Lori calls same-sex marriage passage ‘a wake-up call’,” The Catholic Review)

Archdiocese of Washington

The Archdiocese of Washington is disappointed and deeply concerned that marriage in the state of Maryland has been redefined as a result of passage of the ballot issue put before voters yesterday. At the heart of the archdiocese’s opposition to this law is the Church’s unchanging teaching that marriage is a unique, exclusive, lifelong relationship created by God and reserved for one man and one woman. The complementarity of man and woman is intrinsic to the meaning of marriage.

Despite the outcome of this referendum issue, the archdiocese is grateful for the efforts undertaken by those who uphold the traditional meaning of marriage, and will continue to inform and educate its faithful and the members of the wider community about the truth of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. (Source: Statement of the Archdiocese of Washington on Maryland Referenda, Archdiocese of Washington website)

Maryland Catholic Conference

Regrettably, Marylanders decided by the narrowest of margins not to repeal the law that redefines marriage. The ballot language they encountered masked the fact that this law does not simply assign civil benefits to gay and lesbian couples, but drastically dismantles in our state law the fundamental family unit of mother, father and child. The people of Maryland were promised that this law would protect religious institutions and individuals who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and we will remain vigilant in ensuring that those promises are upheld. (Source: “Maryland Upholds DREAM but Fails to Uphold Marriage,” Maryland Catholic Conference website)


Minnesota Catholic Conference

The Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, is disappointed that Amendment 1 did not pass. Despite this setback, our efforts to promote and defend the cornerstone social institution of marriage will continue.

MCC’s support of Amendment 1 was rooted in the complementarity of the sexes, the public significance of their ability to procreate, and the fundamental right of all children to be born into an intact family with a married mother and a father, even though this is not always possible. These basic human truths remain with or without the passage of this amendment.

Our position on the amendment was never “anti” anyone, but “for” marriage. We continue to emphasize that everyone, including those with same-sex attraction, must be treated with charity, dignity, and respect. The Catholic Church welcomes all and remains committed to affirming the irrevocable dignity of all persons created in the image and likeness of God.

We thank the thousands of Minnesotans, particularly our partners in the Minnesota for Marriage coalition, who worked tirelessly to bring about the amendment’s passage.

MCC will continue to support and advocate for public policy that best serves all of society, human dignity and the basic rights of children. Marriage needs to be strengthened, not redefined. We look forward to finding ways we can all work together as Minnesotans to strengthen marriage and family life. (Source: MCC Statement on the Defeat of the Marriage Protection Amendment, Minnesota Catholic Conference website)

Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis

Minnesota’s voters have spoken. Although the defeat of the amendment is a very serious concern to us, it will not deter us from continuing to serve this community and the whole state in pursuit of the common good. We are grateful to the thousands of Minnesotans, particularly those who lent their support to Minnesota for Marriage, for their commitment to proactively protect the timeless definition of marriage.

The Church’s public advocacy of support for the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment has always been rooted in our commitment to advance the common good for human society. This is the same spirit that guides the Church’s unwavering pursuit of economic justice, healthcare and immigration reform, and the defense of human life and dignity from conception to natural death.

We proposed, and continue to do so, that the good of society is best served by maintaining the traditional understanding of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. This proposition finds its intelligibility in the order of reason and in the testimony of the Bible.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis will continue to build up this community according to our principles, including giving voice and unwavering defense to the unborn, the poor and forgotten, the abused and the lonely. And we will continue to work to strengthen marriage, and defend it against all forms of its weakening, for the good of all society. We can do nothing less than continue to propose and do our best to live out what we believe. (Source: Statement on the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment Vote, Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis website)


Bishop Joseph Tyson (Yakima):

Bishop Tyson joined the other Roman Catholic bishops in Washington State who expressed their disappointment that “so many voters failed to recognize marriage between a man and a woman as the natural institution for the permanent, faithful covenant of love for a couple, for bringing children into the world, and for nurturing and educating those children. This change in civil law is not in the best interest of children or society.”

“I intend to work with the other bishops of the state and in the region to continue to uplift marriage between one man and one woman as the best proposal for everyone in our society,” Bishop Tyson said. He noted that despite the election results, the campaign has been an opportunity for the Church to reaffirm its consistent teaching on marriage. “This represents a starting point for a long-term effort to educate Catholics about its meaning and purpose.” (Source: Msgr. Robert Siler, “Measure Appears to Have Passed Statewide,” Diocese of Yakima website)

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain (Seattle)

It appears that Referendum 74, a measure that redefines marriage in Washington state, has been approved. I am disappointed that so many voters failed to recognize marriage between a man and a woman as the natural institution for the permanent, faithful covenant of love for a couple, for bringing children into the world, and for nurturing and educating those children. This change in civil law is not in the best interest of children or society.

Despite the election results, the campaign has been an opportunity for the Church to reaffirm its consistent teaching on marriage. The campaign to preserve marriage as a union between a man and a woman represents a starting point for a long-term effort to educate Catholics about its meaning and purpose. The Church offers a vision of marriage and family life that enriches our communities and society and we remain committed to that vision while respecting the dignity of all persons.

I thank all those who supported the effort to preserve marriage in Washington, and hope that despite this vote, all people will come to recognize the importance of marriage between a man and a woman for children and society. (Source: Statement from Archbishop Sartain regarding Referendum 74, Archdiocese of Seattle website)




16 responses to “Post-election round-up: Statements from (Arch)bishops and Catholic Conferences: Disappointment, gratitude, resolve”

  1. Greg says:

    ” drastically dismantles in our state law the fundamental family unit of mother, father and child.”

    It does no such thing. That’s a perfect example of the fear-mongering lies that voters saw through and strongly rejected on Tuesday. To continue to repeat them is pure desperation.

    • Phil says:

      That is exactly what it does. It’s not some special exemption for gay people. It redefines marriage( and the family) for everybody. Now the Catholic dioceses in these states will likely have to give up their social services like adoption(and possibly even their health insurance, if they still have it after the HHS mandate) because they do not agree with this new definition of marriage and will refuse to place children in such homes.

    • God have mercy on America. To vote for same – – – marriage can be judged worse than Sodom and Gomorah. Same – – – marriage doesn’t make sense.

  2. Natalie Roberts says:

    I’m deeply disappointed that our church continues to inject itself in to the body politic and refuses to acknowledge separation of church and state. Secular laws have never dictated my religion. So why should the church seek to impose its will on the reset of society when we make up only 25% of the population and less than 50% of that 25% go to mass regularly.

    • Sir, Nobody is imposing their will on you. Almighty God has given us the Ten Commandments to free us from all false teaching. Same…marriage is against the Natural Law. Gravity is a natural law. Don’t believe it, then find out for yourself, join the Paratroopers and ask to jump out of a C47 with no parachute and you will be going against the Natural Law.

    • Mary Sorensen says:

      Natalie, the Church is doing what the Church was established to do: preach the Truth. The Church must inform us on what is right and wrong, what is good and what is evil. But the Church is not imposing its views on anyone. Each of us is free to accept Church teaching or reject it. But silencing the Church is not an option: the 1st Amendment guarantees that. Secular laws that lead people astray must be opposed, because even secular laws end up teaching people who won’t listen to the Church what is right and wrong. The separation of church and state was designed to prevent establishment of a state church, not to silence dicussion on morality.

      • Lisa A. says:

        Thank you, Mary, for a very reasonable, cogent response to the knee-jerk reaction of “separation of church and state” argument. Separation of church and state, as defined in our Constitution does NOT insist or even imply that religion is never mentioned in the public arena. Quite the contrary. The reason this was placed in the Constitution was to defend the various churches of the New World from the abuses they’d sustained in the “old” world, such as the government estabilishment of a national church. The framers of the Constitution were not afraid of religion, nor did they exclude God from their law, nor should we. Recall the very opening words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    • Lisa A. says:

      Natalie, your argument is specious. Separation of Church and State does not equal oblivion for religion or religious discourse in the public arena. It simply protects the public from ESTABLISHMENT of a governmental church. The clause is actually called The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and simply states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” This is because the framers of the Constitution recognized the abuses of establishing a national church, such as had occurred in England with the Anglican church. They would actually heavily fine people for not attending their church! The Constitution says nothing about removing religion – in fact, our very legal system is based on biblical law and tradition, and the 10 Commandments are carved on the front of the Suprme Court itself! Free exercise of religion has been determined, over and over again, by the Supreme Court to be a quintessential individual right (and had been recognized as such at the state level from the beginning).

  3. Maryland voting for Homosexual and Lesbian marriage. I wont say Gay because I see nothing gay about breaking the Sixth and Ninth Commandment of the Ten Commandments. given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai.

    Maryland, the cradle of the Catholic Faith in the New World. Have we forgotten the Ark and the Dove with two Jesuits on board and bringing the Catholic Faith to Maryland.

    Then there is Mr. Carrol who signed the Declaration of Independence. Where is America going to end up, like Sodom and Gomorroh. Lets bring back the Rosary.

  4. Telzey Amberdon says:

    Millions of us are not of your religion. We bear you no ill will, but frankly we give no thought whatsoever to your religion, except when you force it on us. As such, we resent that you keep trying to legislate the laws of our country so that we must live by the rules of your religion. Please see to your own flock and let us continue to live as citizens of our own country, dedicated to a freedom and justice that your own people allow you to deny them.

    • Sam Roeble says:

      Our “religion” is, in fact, part and parcel with basic “reality” in the instances of sexual morality.
      A woman, whether attracted to the same sex or not, has the freedom to get married to someone of the OPPOSITE sex, and a family will still result from that married couples intercourse, (if fertile). That is to say, attraction is not required for a married couple to have biological children–it helps, but isn’t required. That’s reality.
      What isn’t realistic is to argue that marriage should be changed in order to only accomadate attraction.
      My wife and I share a mutual attraction, but both of us will tell you that growing old together doesn’t require/nor is it strictly based on that mutual attraction. Rather, it’s based on reality–we have a son on the way, and are gladly bound together by our commitment above and beyond our attraction.
      No matter how much you argue that marriage should be based on attraction–I can argue that it’s much moreso based on reality

  5. […] anyone, but is for the good of children and for the good of society. … Read this article: Post-election round-up: Statements from (Arch)bishops and Catholic … ← More Advice for Republicans : Occam's […]

  6. Heidi says:

    Bishop Malone, why do you assume that gay and bisexual people “struggle with same-sex attraction”? If there is any “struggle,” it is with those who would deny our common humanity and our equality under the law. Being bisexual myself, I have never “struggled” with same-sex attraction–I have always understood it as just another natural characteristic of my unique self. It is a part of who I am, just one part of the many that make me who I am. And I CANNOT WAIT to marry the woman I love (and my partner in life for the last 8 years) in our home state of Maine next summer!

    • Sam Roeble says:

      Again, you are arguing that you “are” what you are attracted to. That’s illogical.
      You “are” a woman, a human being, and a daughter of God–if baptised.
      You are not a mere attraction/a bisexual/homosexual, etc.
      Why reduce yourself to being an attraction? Where will you be when you’re 90 yrs. old in a hospital bed? A bisexual then?
      No. You will still be a woman, a human being!
      Catholics aren’t limiting you’re freedom, you are–by saying that you are an impersonal noun (attraction), rather than a Person!

  7. Brad says:

    If someone could perhaps explain to me how it is that the other countries that have gay marriage and have had them for a while have all gone to pot, I’d appreciate it. We have all this doom and gloom rhetoric about Sodom and the end of civilization, but last I checked, things in Canada (for example) were going pretty well and society hasn’t collapsed. . . .

    • Marriage Unique for a Reason says:

      Brad, here are two articles that give some examples of how redefining marriage in Canada has affected freedom of speech, parental rights, and rights of conscience. (1) (2) As the author in the first article writes, “What we’ve discovered in Canada is that…once gay marriage becomes law, critics are often silenced by the force of the law.” To say, as you do, that “society hasn’t collapsed” misses the fact that societal change is often subtle, nearly invisible, and not in the front-page news. Examples in the States include the shuttering of Catholic Charities adoption services in D.C., Illinois, and Massachusetts because of requirements to place children with two persons of the same sex. Businesses and individuals in wedding-related industries have also been affected negatively.

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