An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

USCCB Statement on Marriage Ruling

StatementSCOTUSToday Archbishop Kurtz issued a statement about the Supreme Court’s marriage ruling, calling it a “tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us.” Read the full statement here.

Archbishop Kurtz compared the decision to Roe v. Wade and how it doesn’t change the truth- which is “unchanged and unchangeable.” He continues on to say that, “Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.”

It is a deep truth that the human being is an embodied soul, male and female. The archbishop writes, “The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female” and notes that this is part of what Pope Francis has described as “integral ecology.” “The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.”

The bishops follow Jesus Christ who taught these truths unambiguously, and the president of the USCCB encouraged Catholics to keep speaking for the truth and moving forward with the theological virtues of faith, hope and love. Archbishop Kurtz ended by saying, “I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.”

In addition, a number of other statements have been made:

Also of note are statements from our Ecumenical partners:
The Anglican Church of North America
Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission

28 responses to “USCCB Statement on Marriage Ruling”

  1. Maurice Kane says:

    Although FDR long ago co-opted the trenchant phrasing “a day that will live in infamy” in reference to the pusillanimous Pearl Harbor bombing, it can be stated that this day, Friday, June 26, 2015, will be long remembered as an infamous date in its own right because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 majority ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al, interpreting the 14th Amendment with such unbounded activist zeal. I pray for this nation and mourn for the Republic and so soon after the national public referendum in once-Catholic Ireland, authorizing same-sex marriage.

  2. Arlene says:

    Dear Archbishop Kurtz, please please please , get the message out because renegade groups who are supposedly Catholic Christians are spreading the message that the Catholic Faith is OK with the Supreme Court ruling!! Too too many of us sheep are being led astray & I will continue to pray for All of you dear Shepherds, as well as for those who are in Error!! Thank you & may the Holy Spirit continue to guide all of our LORD’S Shepherds. May our A W E S O M E GOD Bless you

  3. J.Yoshinari says:

    As of right now, a link to Archbishop. Kurtz’s full statement is not provided. I hope this will be fixed soon.

  4. Christine Karas says:

    As Our Lord Jesus said, this requires much prayer and fasting. My heart sank when this news broke.

  5. Braulio says:

    Upon the judicial tyranny of the Supreme Court of the United States of America exemplified by the Dred Scott, Roe Vs Wade, the ACA ruling and DOMA et al…the People of the US must peacefully assemble to free speech and to religion and demand a Constitutional Amendment, the impeachment or removal of office in courts and other governmental bodies who are heedless to the people’s will and the moral law and who choose to play Civil gods at the bench by simply listening to erroneous polls, economic tantrums from big companies and who misread the State and federal Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and most importantly God’s Eternal Law. May the true Church excommunicate her dissenting sheep with hope that they repent and if necessary use all of her spiritual and moral might from Christ to keep from giving what is holy to the dogs, lest these step over them like pigs over jewels and if necessary to consider interdicts in order to correct the errant, instruct the ignorant and to exercise her innocence as well as her cunningness like that of a serpent . In union with the opinions of four Supreme Court justices, the state’s constitutions and the natural law, I respectfully disagree with the Majority opinion of SCOTUS.

  6. Joseph D. Rudmin says:

    Today those who worship government celebrate that their religion is confirmed by the Supreme Court as the state religion. The foundation is laid to try to force everyone to worship the beast that has risen from the sea. The folly should be obvious of expecting the state to support Christianity, partly because the force itself is inconsistent with Christianity, but also because such expectations eventually lead to a state religion, one that will NOT be Christian. The best hope lies in advocating that the state say NOTHING about marriage, nor any other institution or activity that is fundamentally religious. We should at least advocate that the term “marriage” be replaced by the term “civil union” in every law.

  7. Jim S says:

    Some Bishops will have to serve jail time as witness to the faithful. Pray for their courage.

  8. m says:

    A line has been drawn by the casting of vote ultimately by one “swing” vote (no matter what Senator Kennedy may say about his voting his conscience. He presumed to speak for millions as did each of the other judges. So wrong. Now, people will feel the need to choose a side, or worse feel compelled to state a preference and that will further divide this nation and the world. It seems the attention of our nation, and perhaps the world is focused on differences that pigeon hole and distance people rather than than similarities that help us to feel comfortable with one another.

  9. Dolores Rufenacht says:

    A Civil Union is a legal contract to protect ones rights between two parties or partners. It is NOT Marriage(a Holy Union) as defined in the church as a sacrament blessed by its Church leader (Priest, Pastor, Minister or Rabi) in the eyes of God and the faithful. Marriage is both a Civil and Holy union, Professed Gays and Lesbians have the right to only a Civil Union in the eyes of its State Government. They have the right refer to each other as partners but NOT husband and wife. That is should be reserved for men and women in marriage only. This is how the Church and State should be separated on this issue. Then churches will not be forced to marry GLBT individuals. This IS against the constitution ! Regarding Gay Marriage Rights
    What Does Our Constitution Say?
    With all the talk about the pro’s and con’s about gay marriage I would like to open a discussion regarding what our Constitution says about it.

    Does the Constitution forbid gay marriage?


    Does the Constitution allow gay marriage?


    How can that be?

    The answer is actually very simple. As I tried to put forth in my book, “A Charter of Negative Liberties,” the Constitution does not mention marriage. In fact, the Constitution does not discuss any issues concerning morality. The Constitution and therefore the federal government is not allowed to have an opinion on gay marriage and when Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act it was UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    As I wrote in my book:

    “The Constitution does not say it is against the law to rob a bank. The Constitution does not say it is against the law to murder your neighbor. The Constitution does not say it is against the law to sell or use drugs. It does not say anyone has to believe in God or be a Christian. It does not say anything about marriage, nor does the Bill of Rights.

    The Bill of Rights does not say these things because these are moral issues, and the Bill of Rights was not written to address moral issues. The Bill of Rights was written to address political freedom for the people and to set limits of power for a federal government. I cannot stress enough that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are political documents, not a moral ones.

    Moral issues are covered by an individual’s conscience and religion and by laws passed by local or state communities and can change as the moral culture changes, for better or for worse. What I mean is, from the federal government’s perspective, moral issues are not addressed in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, and ergo those issues are off limits to the federal government.

    Over time, as morality changes, it is the laws enacted by the people at the community, county, and state level that are intended to handle changes in moral values. If the people of California vote to approve or ban gay marriage, the Constitution does not give the federal government any authority to intervene for or against it. Marriage is not a political freedom issue. Likewise, the federal government has not been granted the power to impose itself upon any state policy regarding murder, robbery, drugs, or any other issue of moral law.

    Therefore it is given:

    The Bill of Rights was written to PROTECT the states’ and the people’s political freedom from a federal government, and the Bill of Rights is not a moral values document.”

    Before any of you start yelling at me, please think about what our Constitution is and does. It defines our freedom and PROTECTS us from a tyrannical government. That is, if we follow that great document.

    So, what does our Constitution say? It says, via the Tenth Amendment, that the States and the People of those states should decide what they want to do about gay marriage without any interference from the federal government.

    C Howard Diaz

    • Jack Gordon says:

      The only thing anyone should yell at you is “Bravo!” I think you have laid out a very good case here. The problem is that reason has been tossed out the window entirely by the government at all levels and in all its branches, by the whole Democrat Party, and by most of the Republican Party. One need only read the tortuous prose of Justice Kennedy in the marriage decision to understand that what he is justifying is legal legerdemain. For that reason, this Independence Day I will refrain from any kind of celebration because the whole American enterprise has been effectively wrecked.

    • J Quinn says:

      At the moment we have the right to choose (inoffensively) the words we use (and for that matter those we choose not to) – it is vitally important that we use this freedom of choice wisely.
      People who are sometimes gay (not homosexual) are entitled to reserve the right to not use the word gay to describe anyone or any matter relating to homosexuality. It is also their right to encourage others for the sake of clarity to do likewise. The word homosexual is clear enough to convey what is being meant without unnecessarily causing offence to those who are heterosexuals as a consequence of misinterpretation. Some people civilly object to being described as ‘straight’ and are concerned that the term has connotations of inflexibility, intolerance and when placed alongside the term gay (in its original context) as its opposite then it can also be interpreted as sad.
      A relationship between persons of the same sex is exactly that – a same-sex relationship. It is also accurate to describe some of those same-sex relationships as legalised. In such circumstances, no reference to the term ‘marriage’ is necessary. Carelessness in how we use vocabulary has resulted in us surrendering vital aspects of our language; it has not been hijacked. The correct use of language in this matter is not unimportant. If we continue to be ‘language lazy’ and careless then we will find it so much harder to resist the suppressing of the terms mother and father, husband and wife and so on from a wide range of instances such as official forms, school books etc. However, I would warn those who would adopt the practice of vocabulary accuracy, (which should be only be done with a spirit of love and tolerance), will at some stage attract hostility, but rather than that being a deterrent it should be an encouragement. Those who value the traditional use of the terms marriage, gay and straight need to be encouraged to use those terms only in the context of their original meaning.
      I would also encourage those who are accused of being homophobic to calmly challenge any such broad and ambiguous charge by requesting specific details when so accused, and when the cloak of ambiguity has been removed then such accusations are more charitably and non patronisingly dealt with in an edifying and illuminative manner (that’s not to say that such edification and illumination will be welcome) by those who are genuinely well intentioned and informed.
      Though some organisations and individuals may even vigorously oppose the current attack on marriage, their continued insistence in language surrender e.g. gay, straight, and gay ‘marriage’ instead of (legalised) same sex relationships; the term ‘guys’ to describe a group of both men and women, has been a significant factor in contributing to the circumstances we now find ourselves in.
      The campaign for the legalisation of same-sex relationships is not an equality or inclusiveness issue. It is also not a matter of political correctness. Neither is it primarily about the redefinition of marriage, it is about the redefinition of morality coupled to the aim of suppressing Christianity. Legalised same-sex relationships and the redefinition of marriage will be used to stealthily compel society (particularly through the education system) to embrace rather than tolerate practices and circumstances which people should have the right and freedom to civilly disagree with.
      In conclusion I would advise you that I believe that every human person is a unique and irreplaceable gift created by our loving God, and therefore must be treated with love, respect and dignity, which of course applies to those who would disagree with me.

  10. Shawna says:

    I don’t believe nor do I condone the whole same sex marriage. That should have never happened. Marriage is between one man and one woman thats the way it was and thats the way it should still remain. I believe in what the Catholic church teaches and I believe in Gods word and what the Bible teaches and stands for. Also by the Constitution that was set in place by our Four Father’s over a hundred years ago which is also biblically based.
    One man and one woman for ever.

  11. Rahel says:

    At least I’m not going crazy. Thanks to this website especially I know I’m not alone. I stand firm as a Catholic – but we sheep need our shepherds to stand very strong and vocal.

  12. Cindy says:

    Indeed…June 26, 2015…a Day of Infamy…a day of tremendous disappointment in the 5 Supreme Court Justices who have opened the gates of persecution of us who live and uphold god’s law of marriage being between one man and one woman.

    And to you who wrote response #7 about some bishops going to jail, I will join them there!

  13. Lynn says:

    I hope that this decision serves to wake up our parish priests and encourages them to speak more from the pulpit about the meaning of sacramental marriage. A great proportion of our young people have not been catechized enough to grasp the meaning of marriage in God’s plan. Give them instruction! – See more at:

  14. G. Mills says:

    Are there any “true” Catholics/Christians left on the Supreme Court bench??? God created Man & Woman. This is my belief and should be followed as God intended. I don’t pretend to know “why” some men and women prefer same sex partners. My faith teaches me that it is an abomination to God. My prayers are with them!

  15. Cyril Osisioma Oparaocha says:

    American government never meant well for any country in the world, you can see that they don’t even mean well for their own citizens. They should be mindful that marriage is not a legal issue within the constitution but a moral issue that should be confined within the ambit of the canon law, American government must distinguish PARTNERSHIP ( living together or doing things in common with anybody irrespective the sex) from MARRIAGE divinely ordained to be a UNION husband (male) and wife (female)

  16. Ann says:

    The Catholic Church needs, and the Faithful deserve, Bishops who are willing to stand strong and courageously defend the Church’s teachings and never back down in the face of all assaults on Her. Some Bishops have given good strong statements. Others have been weak and so vague that no one could understand what they are saying. Now is the time to be clear and unambiguous in our statements and position. All Christianity is under attack. Now is not the time to pander to anyone who is against what the Church teaches.

  17. Jack Gordon says:

    I have written my bishop to ask why his statement does not yet appear at this site, in fact why his statement has yet to appear anywhere. All our shepherds should understand that we are watching what they do, waiting for them to lead us. If they refuse to do their duty, that is if they capitulate to the zeitgeist, the faithful will not fail to criticize and shame them publicly. Pusillanimity and dissemblance are no longer an option, gentlemen, and the slightest sign of collaboration with this evil will surely alienate your flock.

  18. OgeGod says:

    On Sunday’s the world must pause for the WORD!
    On SONdays the word must pause for CHRIST!
    This day must be kept holy!
    Pray for all of us who feel trapped because we must work on this sacred day of obligation or loss our jobs/ the ability to provide for our families! We wait for our Shepherd’s to fight for us and lead this charge as intensely and strategically as the world lead the fight to desecrate the word “marriage.” When our Shepherd’s rise, we your flock will be empowered to follow all the to the foot of the CROSS and beyond!
    Shepard my flock!
    Feed my lamb!
    Lead my sheep!
    We await your guidance anointed Shepard’s of the most High GOD! Come Holy Spirit Come!

  19. Rolland Hamm says:

    The aspect of polygamous marriages, underage marriages, and incestuous marriages marriages have not been mentioned in the recent court decision.
    All of the above marriages would involve citizens of the United States who are making their decision to be so married. What can the court decision be other than approval?

  20. Bonnie Granat says:

    Archdiocese of Boston’s statement by Sean O’Malley:

  21. Bob Fantelli says:

    I just read the Catholics statement RE the “supine” courts decision on “marriage” and want to compliment their unity in condemning the court’s decision. Although I am no longer a Catholic i am indeed very proud to a read how responsive the church is in voicing its discern on this diabolical civil injustice..
    As an aging Bible believing, Christian,. I am distressed to see how deprave our nation has become. Hopefully and prayerfully we can all somehow reverse this satanic decision and strive together in bringing our Lords word to this deteriorating country and witness a revival.,

  22. Marilyn Prokup says:

    As individual Bishops across the country have voiced opposition to SCOTUS Ruling on marriage, the USCCB has yet to break out in the news media showing a strong united opposition.

    Now that the 14th amendment has been granted to the LGBT community, the battle has just begun. They will not stop until they get a Catholic Priest somewhere in this country to administer the Sacrament of Matrimony to same sex couple. As you can see from the News, the Human Rights Campaign gets all the media coverage.

    Here is the statement that the majority of Americans are hearing and our Bishops’ message is now getting out!

    Human Rights Campaign reported on July 1, 2015: “Despite the best efforts of doom-sayers and obstructionists, there is no mass movement to obstruct the implementation of the Supreme Court’s sweeping ruling on marriage equality. We will continue to monitor challenges wherever they emerge, but it’s clear today that most Americans in all 50 states are willing and happy to celebrate and support the constitutional rights of their LGBT neighbors.”

    All Bishops in the United States please consider asking Bishop Loverde to have a news conference and announce that the Catholics on the Supreme Court who reside in Diocese of Arlington who voted to redefine marriage taking a stand against nature and nature’s God,

    Justice Elena Kagan
    Anthony M. Kennedy

    have by their actions excommunicated themselves from the Catholic Church

    We are praying for our Shepherds to act forcefully and quickly!

  23. Marilyn Prokup says:

    The news media publishized this Human Rights Campaign report on July 1, 2015:

    “Despite the best efforts of doom-sayers and obstructionists, there is no mass movement to obstruct the implementation of the Supreme Court’s sweeping ruling on marriage equality. We will continue to monitor challenges wherever they emerge, but it’s clear today that most Americans in all 50 states are willing and happy to celebrate and support the constitutional rights of their LGBT neighbors.”

    The American media is not reporting on the Bishops’ messages. To get their attention, all Bishops in the United States should consider asking Bishop Loverde to have a news conference and announce that the Catholics on the Supreme Court who reside in Diocese of Arlington who voted to redefine marriage taking a stand against nature and nature’s God,

    Justice Elena Kagan
    Anthony M. Kennedy

    have by their actions excommunicated themselves from the Catholic Church

    We are praying for our Shepherds to act forcefully and quickly!

  24. Colleen Caraher says:

    Archbishop Kurtz said, “I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.”

    By my position of “power” as a child of God, I would like to speak my truth. I am very, very saddened by the bishops’ statements and the comments on this website. God’s love and compassion surged through our brother Jesus. His actions, his words brought healing, peace. All were welcome at his table.

    This courageous decision by the Supreme Court has brought healing to many of my brothers and sisters in my Catholic faith community…where all have been welcome for 25 years. I am saddened that the statements of those in “positions of power” within the Church have brought further pain in this opportunity for healing.

    I am also saddened that I do not see any comments in the same spirit as mine included in conversation. Have they been excluded? Or have we lost our voice?

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