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Archbishop Cordileone Decries Marriage Redefinition in Rhode Island

USCCB News release (May 3, 2013):

  • Decision to redefine marriage in law a serious injustice
  • Marriage by its nature union of one man, one woman
  • Every child deserves a married mother and father

The passage of legislation by the Rhode Island General Assembly yesterday to redefine marriage “is a serious injustice,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

“The meaning of marriage cannot be redefined, because its meaning lies in our very nature. Therefore, regardless of what law is enacted, marriage remains the union of one man and one woman – by the very design of nature, it cannot be otherwise,” he said.

Archbishop Cordileone emphasized the importance of marriage for children.

“Marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any child conceived of their union. While those making great sacrifices to raise their children in less than ideal circumstances need and deserve our love and support, we cannot claim to have a just society if we do not look out for the most vulnerable among us: children. That means preserving in the law the principle that every child deserves a mother and father united in marriage. That means supporting in our institutions and in our culture the true and unique meaning of marriage,” he said.

The Governor of Rhode Island signed the bill into law.

See also: Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence’s statement re: marriage redefinition in Rhode Island

3 responses to “Archbishop Cordileone Decries Marriage Redefinition in Rhode Island”

  1. Michael W says:

    While I respect all divergent views on the subject, the Catholic church has no standing in a civil matter such as same-sex marriage in Rhode Island. I respectfully disagree with the Bishop and encourage the Catholic Church to spend more time cleaning their own house and less time judging the civil laws of this country. No one will ever force the church to perform same-sex weddings, but at the same time, the church will never be able to stop civil marriages between same-sex couples if its the law of the land.

  2. Paul Lineus says:

    It is ironic that Archbishop Cordelione calls same sex marriage an injustice. Marriage has been redefined throughout history. From primarily an institution to pass on property to male heirs and enjoin strategic clan allegiances, to the 20th century’s redefinition of marriage in the US to allow interracial marriage, this institution has always been evolving. Same sex marriage is part of that historical arc toward justice.

    As for the welfare of children: Would you deny an orphan a loving home because of the gender of the couple? Gay couples by necessity must plan to have children. In general, they are much more thoughtful about this herculean task than most hetero couples, certainly more so than the hundreds of thousands of unplanned pregnancies that occur throughout the catholic world yearly due to a lack of birth control. Research has demonstrated the there are no significant differences in the health outcomes of children raised by hetero and homosexual couples. Two loving parents are usually better than one and it is the quality of love and ability to provide for their needs, not the gender of the parents that counts. True concern for the welfare of children would welcome loving parents who actually want to have children and have the ability to care for them. This could greatly reduce the tragic situation of unwanted children living in institutions growing up to be unhappy, often criminal adults.

  3. Ann says:

    The kids these days on the right are full of a great libertarian notion that “hey, let’s just get the government out of marriage.”

    “Rock on,” say other libertarians.

    They then all smugly self-congratulate themselves, pat themselves on the back, and move on to other issues.

    What they ignore is that the left will never take marriage out of the hands of the government. The left cannot. But it goes beyond that. The left cannot take marriage out of government because for so long it has been government through which marriages were legitimized to the public and the left must also use government to silence those, particularly the religious, who refuse to play along.

    Let’s ignore, for the sake of this post, that the Democracy of the Dead has settled for us that in society marriage should be between a man and woman as the best way to propagate the species.

    The left has done an admirable job in secular society making the case that gay marriage merely allows a class of people to be happy and have what everyone else has.

    The front on which the gay rights movement has failed is the religious and, in particular in the United States, the Christian front.

    From Matthew 19:4-6:

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    The Christian Left would prefer to view Matthew 19 as a passage on divorce, which is discussed. But they willfully ignore Christ’s definition of what a marriage is — one man and one woman united to become one.

    As much as many would ignore, obfuscate, or try to confuse the beginning of Matthew 19, Christ makes it very clear. The Creator made a male and a female and the two become one. That is marriage in Christianity, despite what a bunch of progressive Christians who have no use for the Bible would have the world believe.

    Therein lies the problem for the gay rights movement.

    As long as there are still Christians who actually follow Christ and uphold his word, a vast amount of people around the world — never mind Islam — will never ever see gay marriage as anything other than a legal encroachment of God’s intent.

    So those Christians must be silenced. The left exerted a great deal of energy to convince everyone that the gay lifestyle is an alternative form of normal. It then has exerted a great deal of energy convincing people that because the gay lifestyle is just another variation of normal, gay marriage must be normalized.

    Meanwhile, those Christians are out there saying it is not normal and are refusing to accept it as normal because of silly God dared to say marriage is a union between a man and woman.

    Any Christian who refuses to recognize that man wants to upend God’s order will have to be driven from the national conversation. They will be labeled bigots and ultimately criminals.

    Already we have seen florists, bakers, and photographers suffer because they have refused to go along with the cultural shift toward gay marriage. There will be more.

    Once the world decides that real marriage is something other than natural or Godly, those who would point it out must be silenced and, if not, punished. The state must be used to do this. Consequently, the libertarian pipe dream of getting government out of marriage can never ever be possible.

    Within a year or two we will see Christian schools attacked for refusing to admit students whose parents are gay. We will see churches suffer the loss of their tax exempt status for refusing to hold gay weddings. We will see private businesses shut down because they refuse to treat as legitimate that which perverts God’s own established plan. In some places this is already happening.

    Christians should, starting yesterday, work on a new front. While we should not stop the fight to preserve marriage, and we may be willing to compromise on civil unions, we must start fighting now for protections for religious objectors to gay marriage.

    Churches, businesses, and individuals who refuse to accept gay marriage as a legitimate institution must be protected as best we can. Those protections will eventually crumble as the secular world increasingly fights the world of God, but we should institute those protections now and pray they last as long as possible.

    The left cannot allow Christians to continue to preach the full gospel. We already see this in, of all places, Canada. Gay marriage is incompatible with a religion that preaches that the unrepentant are condemned, even of a sin the world has decided is not one. The religious freedom will eventually be ended through the judiciary. We should work to extend that freedom as long as we can.

    Now many of you have read through this and you are shaking your head in denial. “No way this is possible,” you say. But then just a decade ago no one seriously considered gay marriage as possible. And we are already seeing signs we’re headed in this direction. It’s coming. Get ready.

    Libertarians will have to decide which they value more — the ability of a single digit percentage of Americans to get married or the first amendment. The two are not compatible.

    Tags: Gay Marriage


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