Cardinal Timothy Dolan: President Obama's Remarks on Marriage 'Deeply Saddening'
bias. It is especially wrong and unfair to equate opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination, as your Administration insists on doing.
We as Bishops of the Catholic Church recognize the immeasurable personal dignity and equal worth of all individuals, including those with same-sex attraction, and we reject all hatred and unjust treatment against any person. 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.
Mr. President, I respectfully urge you to push the reset button on your Administration's approach to DOMA. Our federal government should not be presuming ill intent or moral blindness on the part of the overwhelming majority of its citizens, millions of whom have gone to the polls to directly support DOMAs in their states and have thereby endorsed marriage as the union of man and woman.
Nor should a policy disagreement over the meaning of marriage be treated by federal officials as a federal offense-but this will happen if the Justice Department's latest constitutional theory prevails in court. The Administration's failure to change course on this matter will, as the attached analysis indicates, precipitate a national conflict between Church and State of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.
Thus, on behalf of my brother Bishops, I urge yet again that your Administration end its campaign against DOMA, the institution of marriage it protects, and religious freedom. Please know that I am always ready to discuss with you the concerns raised here and to address any questions that you may have. I am convinced that the door to a dialogue that is strong enough to endure even serious and fundamental disagreements can and must remain open, and I believe that you desire the same. Also please know that you, your family, and your Administration continue to be in my prayers.
Faithfully in Christ,
On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, President Obama gave an interview to ABC News in which he came out publicly in support of the redefinition of marriage. Below we offer the response of the Cardinal on behalf of the Catholic bishops of the United States. It can be found on the web site of the US Bishops Conference. This is a seriousmoment in American history. We ask our readers around the globe to pray for the Bishops and pray for the Church in the United States of America
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement:
President Obama's comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family.
However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better.
Unfortunately, President Obama's words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage.
I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President Barack Obama, marriage, same-sex marriage, promotion, defense, families, family life, USCCB, statement, definition, Deacon Keith Fournier
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