Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Bishops Francis X. DiLorenzo and Paul S. Loverde

2/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Redefining marriage beyond the union between a man and a woman renders it a meaningless institution focused on the emotional satisfaction of adults, rather than children's needs and rights.

Though long-recognized in church and civil law, marriage did not originate in church or state but in nature. Long before nations or organized religions, the institution of marriage existed as the union of one man and one woman.Marriage has been shown throughout history to be civilization's irreplaceable building block, benefiting children and society at large. No religion, government or individual has the right or legitimate authority to alter the original design of marriage. Likewise, neither the attorney general nor the courts have the authority to impose a new definition of marriage on society.

Highlights

By Bishops Francis X. DiLorenzo and Paul S. Loverde

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Marriage, defense of marriage, marriage and family, Virginia Marriage, Mark Herring, Bishops Francis X. DiLorenzo, Bishop Paul S. Loverde


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - (Note from the Editor in Chief, Deacon Keith Fournier: We present in full below a timely, a well written and courageous editorial opinion written by the Catholic Bishops of Virginia, Bishops Francis X. DiLorenzo and Paul S. Loverde, defending the truth about marriage and calling the faithful to do the same. The opinion appeared in Virginia News papers Sunday morning, February 2, 2013)

*****

Virginians should defend marriage

Bishops Francis X. DiLorenzo and Paul S. Loverde


Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act, while leaving states the authority to define marriage. Virginia's citizens did precisely that when they strongly endorsed a 2006 state constitutional amendment affirming marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

On Jan. 23, less than two weeks after taking the oath of office, Virginia's new attorney general, Mark Herring, turned his back on the expressed wishes of our commonwealth's citizens when he announced he would not defend the constitutional amendment but would instead join the plaintiffs and actively oppose it in pending litigation.

While declining to defend the state constitution without even appointing outside counsel is unusual enough for the state's top attorney, his decision to actively challenge the state's definition of marriage - a definition he voted for when serving as a state senator - is shocking and reckless.

Much has been written already about the responsibility attorneys general have to defend state laws, whether they agree with those laws or not. We join many others in calling on Herring to do the job he was elected to perform.

But what is at stake here far surpasses the issue of the attorney general's role and integrity. Most fundamentally, what is at stake is the preservation of the family, the fundamental and foundational unit of society.

Though long-recognized in church and civil law, marriage did not originate in church or state but in nature. Long before nations or organized religions, the institution of marriage existed as the union of one man and one woman.

Marriage has been shown throughout history to be civilization's irreplaceable building block, benefiting children and society at large. No religion, government or individual has the right or legitimate authority to alter the original design of marriage. Likewise, neither the attorney general nor the courts have the authority to impose a new definition of marriage on society.

Hand in hand with the Catholic Church's teaching on marriage is also the church's insistence on avoiding all forms of unjust discrimination.

Every person is created in the image and likeness of God and is deserving of dignity and respect, a reality our Holy Father's actions and words beautifully demonstrate. While declining to judge persons with same-sex attractions, Pope Francis, a self-described "son of the Church," has consistently warned against redefining an institution written in natural law.

When his own country, Argentina, debated the issue, he declared, "At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God's law engraved in our hearts."

We echo Pope Francis' message and the timeless teaching of our faith that the institution of marriage is based in the objective, biological reality that men and women are different, yet complementary.

Government recognizes marriage not because it has an interest in affording legal protection to the emotional commitment made between two people. Rather, it recognizes marriage because it has an interest in the union of one man and one woman, whose sexual complementarity is ordered toward the procreation of children.

Decades of research demonstrate that children do best when raised by a mother and a father, affirming that mothers and fathers are not interchangeable or irrelevant to children's well-being. Redefining marriage beyond the union between a man and a woman renders it a meaningless institution focused on the emotional satisfaction of adults, rather than children's needs and rights.

Out of concern for the needs and rights of children, and because we cannot violate our conscience by doing otherwise, we will continue to defend marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Virginians approved the constitutional marriage amendment by a significant margin because they understood the unique benefit this institution provides individual families and society; the commonwealth should preserve this original design.

We call upon the attorney general to honor the oath he took, as we call upon all Virginians to defend marriage.

-----
The Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo is bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. The Most Rev. Paul S. Loverde is bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

The Catholic University of America anticipates Pope Francis' visit Watch

Image of The Catholic University of America eagerly awaits the arrival of Pope Francis to Washington, D.C.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Catholic University of America is full of enthusiastic and hopeful spirits as the papal visit to Washington D.C. comes closer.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - In about three weeks, Pope Francis will be celebrating faith with the students, causing ... continue reading


Prosecutors seek death penalty for Charleston church shooter Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Prosecutors decided to pursue the death penalty for the 21-year-old Charleston church shooting suspect Dylann Roof, The Daily Mail reported.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - On the court documents filed last Thursday, prosecutors stated that they ... continue reading


ATHEISTS LOSE: A big win for religion as Big Mountain Jesus remains Watch

Image of Big Mountain Jesus statue looks upon the earth.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Atheist activists lost a years-long battle this week over the "Big Mountain Jesus statue," which has been standing for over 60 years on public land near the Big Mountain ski resort in Montana. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The statue was made to ... continue reading


Excitement builds with massive mural of Pope Francis before his midtown Manhattan visit Watch

Image of Commissioned by DeSales Media Group, the communications and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn, the mural is drawing positive attention to the pending papal visit.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Excitement is building in New York City with the visit of Pope Francis this September 24. A massive, hand-painted mural, 225-feet tall has been placed in midtown Manhattan at the corner of Eighth Avenue and 34th Street, close to Madison Square Garden, where the ... continue reading


Five Chinese warships sail near Alaskan coast during Obama's visit Watch

Image of The nation of China has increased defense spending to modernize its forces. China is set to hold a massive military parade this week featuring some 12,000 troops this week, marking the 70 years since World War II ended in Asia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unnamed defense officials have identified a Chinese amphibious ship, a replenishment vessel and three surface combatant ships - altogether five Chinese warships in the Bering Sea off Alaska. The ships were sighted during U.S. President Barack Obama's three-day ... continue reading


Immigrants on welfare: Relevant factors often ignored Watch

Image of Workers harvest plants.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Center of Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for lower levels of immigration, released a report showing 51 percent of immigrant-led households receive some kind of welfare benefit. Benefits include Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches, housing assistance ... continue reading


Pope Francis to give United States Mass in Spanish Watch

Image of Pope Francis to deliver Washington Mass in Spanish.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Donald William Wuerl has announced Pope Francis' decision to give his Washington Mass on September 23 in Spanish. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It's a recognition of how large the Hispanic population in the United States is," Wuerl said. "And he's ... continue reading


Obama gets votes to protect Iran nuclear deal Watch

Image of Barbara Mikulski becomes the 34th vote for the nuclear deal.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nuclear deal between the United States, China, Britain, France, Russia, Germany and Iran has been under intense scrutiny from Republicans and some Democrats, however Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski has agreed to pledge support. Mikulski's support means ... continue reading


Pope Francis asks American teenager to sing for him Watch

Image of Valerie Herrera sings

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

17-year-old Valerie Herrera, a senior at Cristo Bey Jesuit High School, was asked by Pope Francis to sing a song. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Americans were invited to a virtual meeting with Pope Francis via satellite, which was moderated from inside the ... continue reading


Making the punishment fit the crime - Ohio judge doles out unusual sentences Watch

Image of Judge Michael Cicconetti's type of justice seems to be working, as only 10 percent of those who complete the judge's unusual sentences wind up in court a second time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Making the punishment fit the crime seems to be the method behind Judge Michael Cicconetti's madness. The Ohio judge metes out unusual sentences in lieu of hefty fines and jail time. It must be working, as those sentenced to perform the unlikely, court-mandated ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:33-39
33 They then said to him, 'John's disciples are ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 4th, 2015 Image

St. Rosalia
September 4: St. Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses and Quisquina, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter