Our country's founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values - life, home, family, marriage, children, faith - that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence. We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York
NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - The leaders of the homosexual equivalency movement are committed to a future where homosexual sexual practices are considered morally equivalent to the sexual expression of marital love between a man and a woman. They want a future where the positive law of the Nation will force us all to call to be a marriage what can never be a marriage - or face the police power of the State. They are using the courts and the legislatures to enforce what amounts to a cultural revolution.
Marriage is not simply a "religious" construct. The Natural Law reveals - and the cross cultural history of civilization affirms - that marriage is between a man and a woman, open to children and intended for life. Marriage is the foundation for the family which is the privileged place for the formation of virtue and character in children, our future citizens. The family is the first society, first economy, first school, first civilizing and mediating institution and first government.
In his apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Charity, Pope Benedict summarized the duty of the Catholic faithful when confronted with this assault on authentic marriage: "Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious to them is injurious to society itself."
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Catholic Church wrote in 2003, "The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose.
"No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives."
Now, the State Senate in New York is threatening to commit a form of legislative alchemy by calling what can never be a marriage to be one and then compelling all of the people of New York to pay homage to a new Edict from a New Caesar. Shamefully, Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic, has promised to sign the legislation if it passes. In the words of the Archbishop of New York, "You are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so."
Archbishop Timothy Dolan is a heroic servant of the Church and pastor of the faithful of New York. When he was elected to the office of President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops I called it a sign of the Lord's continued guidance of the Church in the United States. I wrote "Truly, God has not forgotten His people in the Church in the United States"
I also said then - and repeat it now - the United States of America has become mission territory. The Catholic Church in the United States is in need of the "New Evangelization." Archbishop Timothy Dolan is a wonderful instrument of this New Evangelization, a trumpet in the hands of the Lord.
The Catholic Church and the message of authentic freedom and true humanism which she proclaims is the only hope for this age being ravaged by a hungry darkness. With characteristic courage, Archbishop Dolan is defending Marriage and the family and society founded upon it. Here is his article from his "Gospel in a Digital Age" Column of Tuesday, June 14, 2011:
The True Meaning of Marriage
The stampede is on. Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state's presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave-in.
The media, mainly sympathetic to this rush to tamper with a definition as old as human reason and ordered good, reports annoyance on the part of some senators that those in defense of traditional marriage just don't see the light, as we persist in opposing this enlightened, progressive, cause.
But, really, shouldn't we be more upset - and worried - about this perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth - one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children - that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?
Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America - not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to "redefine" rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of "family" and "marriage" means.
But, please, not here! Our country's founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values - life, home, family, marriage, children, faith - that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.
Please, not here! We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a "right." And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?
Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people. The Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women, and the state has rightly changed many laws to offer these men and women hospital visitation rights, bereavement leave, death benefits, insurance benefits, and the like. This is not about denying rights. It is about upholding a truth about the human condition.
Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits: It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children. Please don't vote to change that. If you do, you are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so. This is false, it is wrong, and it defies logic and common sense.
Yes, I admit, I come at this as a believer, who, along with other citizens of a diversity of creeds believe that God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago. We believers worry not only about what this new intrusion will do to our common good, but also that we will be coerced to violate our deepest beliefs to accommodate the newest state decree. (If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what's going on there to justify our apprehensions.)
But I also come at this as an American citizen, who reads our formative principles as limiting government, not unleashing it to tamper with life's most basic values.
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