An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Archbishop Cordileone Reacts to President Obama's Marriage-Related Inauguration Remarks

During his inauguration speech on Monday, January 21st, President Obama indicated that passage of marriage redefinition laws would be a key goal of his second term:

Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.

In response, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, gave the following comments to the National Catholic Register:

I honor the President’s concern for the equal dignity of every human being, including those that experience same-sex attraction, who like everyone else, must be protected against any and all violence and hatred.

But the marriage debate is not about equality under the law, but rather the very meaning of marriage. Marriage is the only institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers.

Protecting this understanding of marriage is not discrimination nor is it some kind of pronouncement on how adults live out their intimate relationships; it is standing for the common good.

In the Register article, Archbishop Cordileone added that an urgent matter of justice was “the equal right of all children to grow up knowing and being loved by their mother and father. I pray for the president and for all our nation’s leaders that they will grow to understand and support this enduring truth.”

The Register article also laid out the potential consequences to religious liberty of redefining marriage. As Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, pointed out in an earlier interview with the Register, “The real threat [from redefining marriage law] lies in the area of licensing of Catholic Charities’ adoption agencies and accreditation of schools and universities that maintain their support of traditional marriage.”

Archbishop Lori continues, saying that if the Defense of Marriage Act was overturned, it was “not unthinkable” that defending marriage as the union of one man and one woman “will be regarded as bigotry and hate speech and that all kinds of strictures will be placed on our schools.”

Bishops Call for Increased Prayer, Sacrifice

Two marriage-related cases are currently before the Supreme Court, one involving the federal Defense of Marriage Act and the other California’s Proposition 8. A ruling is expected by late June 2013. In response to this important judicial decision, as well as other threats to life and liberty such as the HHS Mandate, the bishops have called for a coordinated strategy of prayer and sacrifice involving holy hours, praying the rosary, fasting and abstinence from meat on Fridays, focused Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, and a second Fortnight for Freedom in summer 2013. More information about the bishops’ Call to Prayer can be found on the Call to Prayer website. Or join the Call to Prayer on Facebook.


21 responses to “Archbishop Cordileone Reacts to President Obama's Marriage-Related Inauguration Remarks”

  1. Bill King says:

    Archbishop Cordileone need to understand “Separate but Equal” did not create equality in the US for Blacks it will not create equality for gay and lesbian citizens today. It’s full equal rights including the right to marry.

    • Marriage Unique for a Reason says:

      Hi Bill,
      As Archbishop Cordileone pointed out, the question at the heart of the marriage debate is: What is marriage? It is not unjust discrimination to treat different things differently. Only a man and a woman can form the unique, one-flesh communion that is marriage, a communion that is open to the gift of a child. Only marriage between a man and a woman can provide a child with a mother and a father, which is every child’s birthright. Please read the FAQs on Marriage & Sexual Difference:

      • Bill King says:

        Marriage is a Civil Contract between two people nothing more nothing less.

      • Paul Cook-Giles says:

        Asking ‘what is marriage?’ is like asking ‘what is citrus?’. Just as there are oranges and lemons, there is civil marriage and religious marrage– both are marriage, but they are *not* the same. The state may issue a civil marriage license that would not be recognized by the Roman Catholic church… just as the church is free to marry people without a civil marriage license. Asserting that the RC Church should have veto power over the issuance of civil marriage licenses is unamerican.

    • watcher says:

      Any comparison with interracial marriage is phony and used by those without a clear understanding of the matter. Sad.
      Laws against interracial marriage sought to add a requirement to marriage that is not intrinsic to the institution of marriage. Allowing a black man to marry a white woman, or vice versa, does not change the fundamental definition of marriage, which requires a man and a woman. Homosexual marriage, on the other hand, is the radical attempt to discard this most basic requirement for marriage. Those who claim that some churches held interracial marriage to be morally wrong fail to point out that such “moral objection” to interracial marriage stemmed from cultural factors rather than historic and widely-accepted biblical and moral teaching.

  2. Greg says:

    Denying civil marriage to gays and lesbians does nothing to protect marriage. You can try to disguise your animus toward gay people by wrapping it in circular logic and euphemismistic talking points all you want but the majority of Americans, including our president, aren’t buying it.

    • watcher says:

      “President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage less than 48 hours after the Washington Post reported that prominent political donors were threatening to withhold donations over the president’s position on gay rights.”
      “The Washington Post noted on Tuesday that roughly 20 percent of Obama top campaign bundlers—who are responsible for arranging $500,000 and up—“publicly identified themselves as gay.”
      Obama’s announcement fits a pattern of changing positions on major issues for what appear to be financially motivated reasons.”

      Your precious Obama uses and lies to you constantly, but as long as he flashes that big smile when he does it, you probably don’t even care.

      • samwise says:

        I agree. Not to mention that lawyers respresenting ‘same-sex marriage’ clients are cashing in on the popularity of current events. I guarantee that entire law firms are devoting themselves to this cash cow–not thinking of the consequences of their stance in favor of something that unhinges the fabric of every society.

  3. Scrounger says:

    The bishop (and this site) seem confused. The debate is over what constitutes marriage in civil law, not the metaphysical/religious definition of marriage. Same sex couples will be able to tie the knot soon nationwide, with a majority of Catholics in support.

    • watcher says:

      I’ve been hearing for the last twelve years that all the trends show that Americans have turned the corner on the definition of marriage, and that in the near future, we’re finally going to see same-sex marriage enshrined into law not by a court order or by legislative cram-through, but by individuals who, with their vote, say the nuclear family as an ideal is dead. So far that score is 32-4. If that’s the score at halftime of the Super Bowl no sane person would say the team with 4 is winning.
      So far, like past predictions of America’s accepting the metric system and adoption of soccer as a national pastime because, after all, all the other countries are doing it just falls flat. Very few of these guarantees made by ssm radicals ever come true.

      Take your crystal ball back. It’s broken.

    • sleepyhead says:

      no, no catholics support this abomination of same-sex “marriage”… a marriage is to have children… thats the basis of our society, of any society… for two same-sex people to “marry” is wrong…

      • Bill King says:

        Priest molesting young boys and Bishops covering it up is 10,000 X more of a abomination than same sex marriage

        • Paul Cook-Giles says:

          Sleepyhead wrote
          >a marriage is to have children

          Um, no, not according to Genesis: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” The first purpose of marriage, according to the Bible, is companionship.

          But America doesn’t make law based on what the Bible –or the Roman Catholic Church– says. And there is no reason for America to deny the benefits and protections of marriage to gay and lesbian Americans. The RC Church may refuse to marry gay people (just as it refuses to marry divorced people, or non-Roman Catholic people, or people who haven’t completed the pastoral counseling program), but the RC Church doesn’t get to tell the civil government who may have marriage licenses.

  4. Steve Silberman says:

    If the archbishop is serious that gay marriage is not about equality, but about reproduction, I would welcome pointers to earlier writing where he took a stand in favor of denying marriage rights to infertile couples and those who sought to adopt children. Otherwise, I have to assume that his assertion that there is no bigotry involved in his proud crusade against marriage equality is the most unseemly and dishonest kind of sophistry: Rationalization in service of treating his neighbors as less worthy of respect than himself.

    • samwise says:

      Mr Silberman, please see my post above about lawyers cashing in on current events. What’s your motivation?

    • sleepyhead says:

      read your BIBLE… many, many people get married, but no kids for years and years… abraham even tried to have one the
      ‘legal’ way, by laying with his wifes servant… but GOD said no, he could have the one that his wife gives birth to…

      • samwise says:

        funny how, Abe’s son, Isaac, learned from his father and only had one wife with twin boys.
        Up until the death of Jesus, children were seen as proof of marriage covenant. Today, children are welcomed in marriage, but the reality of man and woman uniting, with support of families as witnesses (in-laws,etc.) is proof of covenant.

      • Paul Cook-Giles says:

        Are you saying that before Isaac was born, Abraham and Sarah weren’t married?

  5. […] … the equal right of all children to grow up knowing and being loved by their mother and father. I pray for the president and for all our nation’s leaders that they will grow to understand and support this enduring truth. (Marriage Unique for a Reason blog) […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.