Commentary: Senator Biden, Prop 8, Marriage and the New 'Know Nothings
To all of our fellow Catholics, other Christians, and all people of faith and good will who value true marriage and the family founded upon it -and live in California- VOTE YES on Proposition 8!
In our age we face a real irony. Some of the people opposing the Defense of Marriage, in initiatives like Proposition 8, are Catholics in public life like Senator Joe Biden. However, the teaching of the Catholic Church is crystal clear. Faithful Catholics must defend the right to life from conception to natural death and they must defend marriage against all efforts to redefine and undermine it.
On June 3, 2003 the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, issued a directive entitled Considerations regarding Proposals to Give Legal recognition To Unions Between Homosexual persons. Along with millions of Catholics I received it with gratitude. I remember stopping to pray after my first reading of the document. I thanked the Lord for the clarity, wisdom, pastoral concern, and proper exercise of authority demonstrated by the Catholic Church in addressing one of the most vital issues of our day. The document presented nothing new concerning Marriage and rejected any effort to give equivalent legal status to homosexual unions. It restated the unbroken tradition of the Catholic Christian Church for over two thousand years. It sought to help Bishops and direct Catholics in Public Life: The present Considerations do not contain new doctrinal elements; they seek rather to reiterate the essential points on this question and provide arguments drawn from reason which could be used by Bishops in preparing more specific interventions, appropriate to the different situations throughout the world, aimed at protecting and promoting the dignity of marriage, the foundation of the family, and the stability of society, of which this institution is a constitutive element. The present Considerations are also intended to give direction to Catholic politicians by indicating the approaches to proposed legislation in this area which would be consistent with Christian conscience
The directive came at a time when a forceful restatement was absolutely necessary. As election day 2008 draws near and Ballot initiatives such as Proposition 8 in California will be placed before voters, it needs to be proclaimed from the pulpits of every Church and from the housetops, especially in California. There is a social and cultural revolutionary movement underway in the United States and beyond. One of its goals is the complete redefinition of the word Marriage and the building of some sort of brave new world. It is led by those on the fringes of the homosexual activist community who want to force legal recognition of homosexual unions and then enforce an equivalency with true marriage using the Police Power of the State. They will stop at nothing less than this legal equivalency between homosexual unions and true marriage. In fact, having learned from the evil of the movement to make the taking of innocent life in the womb through abortion a right, they are masters with words. They have reframed this anti-marriage movement as a movement for marriage equality much like the proponents of abortion succeeded in calling killing the unborn a choice. This movement undermines true marriage and the family founded upon it. It is destructive to the civil order and to the common good. However, Catholics must be brutally honest about some in our own house. Purporting to speak for the Church or to promote some new way, certain Catholic voices, (some deeply confused or misinformed, others deluded or disingenuous, and still others overtly rebellious) undermine the teaching of our Church, do violence to the truth, cause scandal, injure the common good and put their own souls in jeopardy. The most recent example of this was the action of the candidate for the U.S. Vice Presidency on the Democratic ticket, ...
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