Archbishop Chaput, Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on the Judges Decision to Strike down the Defense of Marriage Law
By Catholic Online
5/22/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Marriage is more than a private arrangement between two people. It's a public commitment of love and fidelity, and it's ordered not just to companionship but to creating and rearing new life. This is why every child deserves a mother and a father in a loving marriage, and the child is the fruit of that love. All men and women are formed in the image of God and deserve our respect. But attempts to redefine the nature of marriage, no matter how well intentioned, damage a cornerstone of our human interaction and ultimately work against human dignity itself.- Archbishop Charles Chaput
Archbishop Chaput: Today's federal district court decision striking down Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act is a mistake with long-term, negative consequences.
PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - We present below the statement issued by Archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, after the announcement of the abysmal decision by Federal District Judge John E. Jones III to strike down the Defense of Marriage Law in Pennsylvania. It is followed by the statement of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. Both were released on May 20, 2014.
Archbishop Charles Chaput,
Today's federal district court decision striking down Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act is a mistake with long-term, negative consequences. Like many other Pennsylvanians, I hope that an appeal will be made promptly.
Laws that defend the traditional definition of marriage were enacted for sound reasons-namely to defend the rights of children and contribute to the well-being of the larger community.
Marriage is more than a private arrangement between two people. It's a public commitment of love and fidelity, and it's ordered not just to companionship but to creating and rearing new life. This is why every child deserves a mother and a father in a loving marriage, and the child is the fruit of that love.
All men and women are formed in the image of God and deserve our respect. But attempts to redefine the nature of marriage, no matter how well intentioned, damage a cornerstone of our human interaction and ultimately work against human dignity itself.
I also fully support and endorse the statement issued earlier today by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference on this issue.
Pennsylvania Catholic Conference
Pennsylvania's longstanding Defense of Marriage Act was passed by democratically-elected officials and recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman. Today's decision by one federal judge speaks to the confusion and misunderstanding among many today about the fundamental building block of society: the family. Every child has a basic right to a mother and a father united in marriage as a family. Today's decision does not change that.
Yes, marriage is a personal relationship, but it is not merely a private affair between two people. It is a relationship with great public significance and, since it is the foundation of the family, it affects the wider society. By God's design, every child has a mother and a father. Circumstances may prevent a child from being raised by his or her own mother and father, so we stand in solidarity with single mothers and fathers who work responsibly each day to raise their children. However, marriage is the way society provides for children's needs. The redefinition of marriage enshrines in law a denial of the rights of children to a mother and a father united in marriage.
The Catholic Church teaches that all people are made in the image of God and that everyone has inherent dignity. No one should face unjust discrimination. But human experience, considerable social data, as well as our religious convictions, lead us to see clearly that children thrive best in a stable family grounded on the marital union of one man and one woman. Catholic opposition to same-sex marriage is not a statement about the worth of human beings who experience same-sex attraction, but a statement about the nature of marriage itself.
Pope Francis recently said, "The image of God is the married couple: the man and the woman; not only the man, not only the woman, but both of them together. This is the image of God: love, God's covenant with us is represented in that covenant between man and woman. And this is very beautiful!" Marriage is beautiful indeed, and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference does not support this judge's redefinition of this fundamental human institution. The PCC will further study the judge's decision and is hopeful that an appeal will promptly be made.
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