An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Q&A with Archbishop Cordileone

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

Just in time for tomorrow’s March for Marriage, here is an interview with Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, on the meaning of marriage and the importance of the upcoming Supreme Court cases.

Notice how the Archbishop often re-frames the questions he’s asked. For example:

Q: What is the greatest threat posed by allowing gays and lesbians to marry?

A: The better question is: What is the great good in protecting the public understanding that to make a marriage you need a husband and wife?

In the interview, Archbishop Cordileone addresses many of the frequently asked questions in the marriage debate: What about infertile couples? Isn’t the Church’s position just like racism? He also fields a few more personal questions, such as how he addresses this issue with friends and family members who have same-sex attraction.

And in regards to the oft-used claim that redefining marriage is “inevitable”, Archbishop Cordileone has this to say:

Q: Has it become more difficult to oppose gay marriage over the years? Does it seem the tide is turning against you?

A:There is a problem here – an injustice, really – in the way that some people are so often identified by what they are against. Opposition to same-sex marriage is a natural consequence of what we are for, i.e., preserving the traditional, natural understanding of marriage in the culture and in the law.

But of course people who are for the redefinition of marriage to include two men or two women are also against something: They are against protecting the social and legal understanding that marriage is the union of a husband and wife who can give children a mother and father.

So there are really two different ideas of marriage being debated in our society right now, and they cannot coexist: Marriage is either a conjugal union of a man and a woman designed to unite husband and wife to each other and to any children who may come from their union, or it is a relationship for the mutual benefit of adults which the state recognizes and to which it grants certain benefits. Whoever is for one, is opposed to the other.

The whole interview is worth reading – find it here!


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