Abp. Dolan Writes Strongly Worded Letter to President Obama Defending Marriage
Mr. President, I respectfully urge you to push the reset button on your Administration's approach to DOMA
Our profound regard for marriage as the complementary and fruitful union of a man and a woman does not negate our concern for the well-being of all people but reinforces it. While all persons merit our full respect, no other relationships provide for the common good what marriage between husband and wife provides. The law should reflect this reality.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - Archbishop Timothy Dolan is a heroic servant of the Lord and His Catholic Church. When he was elected to the office of President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic faithful of America received a tremendous gift. His leadership of the Catholic Church in the United States at this critical time in history is vitally important for the future of the Nation and the defense of the Church.
Pope Benedict XVI has connected the moral collapse of the west to what he termed a "Dictatorship of Relativism." The threats to marriage and the family founded and society founded upon it increase every day. On September 20, 2011 the Archbishop wrote the letter we have published below to the President of the United States. We can all learn from his masterful way of defending both marriage and religious freedom.
This well written letter demonstrates the kind of courage and clarity necessary in this hour. Archbishop Dolan affirms that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. He asks the President to do the same. He strenuously objects to the Justice Department's references to those who support marriage as between a man and a woman as somehow prejudiced. He calls out the Administration for their failure to defend marriage under the Defense of Marriage Act. He calls upon the President to "push the reset button." He warns of the threats to religious freedom which have been unleashed by the Administration's actions.
We ask of our readers to consider the strength of leadership displayed in these words and to pray for Archsbishop Dolan and for all of our Bishops. We also ask that you pray for our President, our Church and for our Nation. The letter was accompanied by a well written USCCB Staff Analysis of Recent Federal Threats to Marriage and religious freedom which can be read on the Bishops web site here.
Letter from Archbishop Timothy Dolan to President Barack Obama
Dear Mr. President:
I write with a growing sense of urgency about recent actions taken by your Administration that both escalate the threat to marriage and imperil the religious freedom of those who promote and defend marriage. This past spring the Justice Department announced that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court, a decision strongly opposed by the Catholic Bishops of the United States and many others.
Now the Justice Department has shifted from not defending DOMA-which is problem enough, given the duty of the executive branch to enforce even laws it disfavors-to actively attacking DOMA‟s constitutionality. My predecessor, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, and I have expressed to you in the past our strong disappointment about the direction your Administration has been moving regarding DOMA. Unfortunately the only response to date has been the intensification of efforts to undermine DOMA and the institution of marriage.
The Justice Department's move, in addition to other troubling federal decisions occurring recently, prompts me yet again to register my grave concerns. The content of this letter reflects the strong sentiment expressed at a recent meeting by more than thirty of my brother Bishops who serve on the Administrative Committee of our episcopal conference. I know they are joined by hundreds of additional Catholic bishops throughout our nation. My observations are offered in the spirit of respectful, but frank dialogue.
The Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by you and your Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. We cannot be silent, however, when federal steps harmful to marriage, the laws defending it, and religious freedom continue apace. Attached you will find an analysis prepared by my staff detailing the various executive activities of late that warrant our increasing apprehension.
Mr. President, your Administration's actions against DOMA and the values it stands for contrast sharply with your excellent Mother's Day and Father's Day proclamations issued earlier this year, which are also referenced in the attached analysis. In these perceptive and heartening statements, you correctly emphasize the critical role played by both a mom and a dad in a child's life, and you rightly call upon society to do all it can to uphold both mothers and fathers.
I know that you treasure the importance that you and the First Lady, separately and as a couple, share in the lives of your children. The Mother's Day and Father's Day proclamations display a welcome conviction on your part that neither a mom nor a dad is expendable. I believe therefore that you would agree that every child has the right to be loved by both a mother and a father.
The institution of marriage is built on this truth, which ...
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