The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled today in a two-to-one decision that Virginia’s marriage law is unconstitutional.
Bishop Paul S. Loverde and Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo released a statement about the ruling, saying, “We will continue to affirm the truth about marriage, the lifelong union of one man and one woman, as well as the importance of marriage to the common good. As pastors, teachers, and faith leaders, we can do nothing less. We will continue to fight this unjust ruling.”
Check out the press release from the USCCB about the recent rulings on marriage in federal courts. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Cordileone reminds us, “Recent court decisions on marriage in no way deter our efforts to promote the truth about marriage – a truth that no court decision can ever undo.”
Reflection: Tradition holds that Saints Joachim and Anne (whose feast day is July 26th) experienced a long period of infertility before conceiving Mary, the mother of Christ. We remember Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and Hannah, in the book of Samuel, as other examples of faithful people who longed for children. May couples who are struggling with infertility be blessed with hope, peace, and community as they live out their vocation to marriage.
Sometimes, the charting involved in Natural Family Planning can help to identify sources of infertility. It’s NFP Awareness Week, so we encourage you to check it out!
Saints Joachim and Anne, Grandparents of Jesus, pray for us!
A federal appeals court in Denver struck down Oklahoma’s marriage amendment today. This is the same court responsible for striking Utah’s amendment down. They argue that the U.S. Constitution protects same-sex marriage.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin released a statement, reaffirming her commitment to natural marriage. She said: “In 2004, voters had an opportunity to decide whether or not to allow same-sex marriage in Oklahoma. Seventy-six percent voted not to, and to instead define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. I was one of the many voters who cast my ballot in favor of traditional marriage.”
On July 16th, 2014 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that not extending the right to marry to same-sex couples does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights.
The petitioner to the court in this case was a man in Finland who had gone through a sex change and wanted to change his identity. He was told that if he was to do so, he would no longer be recognized as married to his wife: that marriage could be dissolved or transformed into a civil partnership.
The court explained that the European Convention “enshrines the traditional concept of marriage as being between a man and a woman.” Therefore it does not require acceptance of same-sex unions.The majority of the countries in the European Union maintain the true meaning of marriage as a bond between one man and one woman.
There’s an article about this ruling and its possible implications for American at Aleteia.
Yesterday a Circuit Judge in the Florida Keys ruled that Florida’s ban on same-sex “marriage” is unconstitutional.
The judge noted, “The court is aware that the majority of voters oppose same-sex marriage, but it is our country’s proud history to protect the rights of the individual, the rights of the unpopular and the rights of the powerless, even at the cost of offending the majority.” In fact, in Florida, 62% of the voters approved a marriage amendment to recognize the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Instead of asking the question of whether those voters had a rational basis for their belief about marriage— which is distinct from a belief about the rights of individuals– the judge in this case dismissed those beliefs as just another kind of prejudice.
There is a great need to educate people about the crucial distinction the Church and others make between the person and their sexual expression. The person is always respected; certain sexual activity may not be.
Archbishop Wenski released a statement about the decision. He reaffirmed the importance of marriage to society and the right of a child to be raised by his or her mother and father.
Intention: Next Tuesday, we celebrate the feast of St. Mary Magdalene, “apostle to the apostles” and friend of Jesus Christ. St. Mary Magdalene, witness to the beauty and dignity of women, pray for us in our fight for religious liberty.
Reflection: In Mulieris Dignitatem, Saint John Paul II emphasizes the greatness of the dignity and vocation of women and their active presence in the Church and in society. Citing the Gospel of John, he specifically highlights the unique role of St. Mary Magdalene as the “apostle to apostles.”
In our current struggle for the protection of religious freedom, we can learn much from this chosen disciple: “St. Mary Magdalene is the first eyewitness of the Risen Christ and thus the first to bear witness to Him before the Apostles.” In her eloquent example, we see a remarkable display of steadfast, unrelenting love for Christ. St. Mary Magdalene demonstrates that Christ’s love is not only faithful and supportive, but empowers and emboldens.
St. Mary Magdalene and all holy women, pray for us in our fight for religious liberty!
Reprinted from CNS News Brief
Utah to appeal ruling on same-sex marriage ban to U.S. Supreme Court
SALT LAKE CITY (CNS) — Utah’s attorney general said July 9 the state will go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of overturning a federal appellate court’s ruling that overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. On the same day in neighboring Colorado, a judge overturned that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The decision by Colorado District Court Judge C. Scott Crabtree “advances a misinterpretation of the institution of marriage in modern society, reducing marriage to a sheer emotional arrangement that can simply be redefined to accommodate the impulses of culture,” said a July 10 statement by Colorado’s Catholic bishops. “As Catholics, we have a duty to protect and preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman in our laws and policies. We are called to make this stand because redefining marriage will only further erode the family structure of our society,” the bishops added. Colorado and Utah were two of six states affected by a 2-1 decision issued June 25 by a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said states could not deprive people of the right to marry because they chose partners of the same sex. The other four states are Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. It marked the first time a federal appellate court had struck down state same-sex marriage bans. Crabtree’s ruling marked the 16th time a state judge had overturned its state’s same-sex marriage prohibition. In both cases, the judges put their rulings on hold pending probable appeals.
Intention: May we comfort the elderly who feel isolated and lonely.
Reflection: It is easy to get wrapped up in our own daily lives. Very often we forget about the elderly in our community who may not be able to participate in the same way as they used to, but are still very much in need of company and comfort. Let us all make the effort to visit and pray for the elderly in our lives and communities.
A state judge in Colorado’s Adams County district court struck down the ban on gay “marriage” on July 9th. Judge Crabtree wrote that, “The Court rejects the State’s attempt to too narrowly describe the marital right at issue to the right to marry a person of the same sex.” He immediately stayed his ruling, reaffirming that this issue will largely be up to the Supreme Court to determine.
The bishops of Colorado joined in a statement after the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby case. They say,
“We are hopeful that today’s decision will cast a favorable light on the ongoing non-profit cases still making their way through the legal process. The Church has an obligation to serve, and therefore, it needs the freedom to serve without government coercion of conscience and intrusion into religious beliefs. We encourage all people of good will to continue to pray for the protection of religious freedom in every sector of our society as guaranteed by the first amendment.”
We encourage you to read Bishop Aquila’s pastoral letter on the Family as well.