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Posted: June 26, 2011
Writing the Wave
BREAKING: NY Bishops on same-sex marriage bill passage

June 24, 2011

Statement of the Bishops of New York State

The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled.

We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths.

We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.

Our society must regain what it appears to have lost – a true understanding of the meaning and the place of marriage, as revealed by God, grounded in nature, and respected by America’s foundational principles.

+Timothy M. Dolan

Archbishop of New York

+Howard J. Hubbard

Bishop of Albany

+Nicholas DiMarzio

Bishop of Brooklyn

+Edward U. Kmiec

Bishop of Buffalo

+Terry R. LaValley

Bishop of Ogdensburg

+Matthew H. Clark

Bishop of Rochester

+William F. Murphy

Bishop of Rockville Centre

+Robert J. Cunningham

Bishop of Syracuse

6 comments
Sister Marissa Gravel -- June 26th, 2011 at 2:12 am

You treat people with respect, dignty and love when you treat them as equals and equal before the law. These rights are inalienable and not in the powers of the bishops or legislature or people to grant who can only recognize and codify them. The bishops will only do so belatedly for per usual the light of social justice shining for the patriarchial church is that of a tail light.

Don Martin -- August 3rd, 2011 at 9:51 pm

“To make men love their country”, said Edmund Burke, “their country ought to be lovable.”

My mother sent me to parochial school. When I asked her why, she said, “As the twig is bent, the tree will incline.” I wondered what quaint bit of matriarchal Irish folklore was the source of that comment. It would have been so much easier at Public School. I was amazed when I stumbled across that line at Columbia many years later. It was from a Pope. Alexander Pope. I pity the kids at public school learning that marriage under the former law was simply one form of affectional prefernce. The founders of the country ordained the constitution for ourselves and our posterity, but what did they know?

Ah Burke, again. “People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.” On the National archives building in Washington, there is a legend. “The past is prologue.” Wrong! The past is another country.

Joseph Perrone -- August 18th, 2011 at 4:44 am

Grant it the argument proposed by Bishop DiMarzio is important. If this is an issue of equality no carve outs should have been granted to religious institutions; however, as far as the Church being bigoted, I beg one question to be answered? If a legislator or someone who is Gay were to ask for forgiveness? Would the church forgive?
As far as the Church being labelled a bigoted institution, several questions need to be answered? The Catechism of Catholic Church states that homosexuals are to be treated with respect; however at the same time you state that it is an objective disorder. You are teaching hate. In addition, what are theological grounds for Pope Benedict blaming homosexuals for the Child abuse scandal an barring them from full participation in Church ministry? and Finally, I never understood how annulments were allowed? Are you stating the blessing of God ,joining a man and women is not recognized due to subjective circumstances. Finally the position of the nun who made the comment with respect to women and equality in the Church and ministry is an important one? The question is how do define equality?

Francys Diaz -- February 9th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Dear NY Bishops, Thank you so much for your statement. Marriage was created by GOD, not by us, between a Man and a Woman. Not between man and man or woman and woman. How can’t people do not understand this? It written in bible from the book to Genenis thru Revelation. God clearly condemns SAME SEX Marriage and our Catholic Church is here to remind us of this TRUTH. We cannot be Catholics and go against the GOD’S teaching.
If we don’t obey the teaching of Catholic Church or the Bible(Created by Jesus Christ) we are in big problem!

TimH -- July 31st, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Sister Marissa Gravel – I surely hope you don’t call yourself a Catholic because you have no understanding of the truths taught by the Church founded on Christ and enlighted by the Holy Spirit as promised by Christ. The TRUTH about marriage is that it is not a right for the enjoyment of everyone. Can a single person marry themself? Can an adult marry a child? Can a woman marry a building? The nature of marriage has been defined clearly and those who would redefine it do NOT do so to build up society but to gain acceptance for their lifestyle. It is exceedinly sad that anyone would take what is good for children, their biological parents, AND all of society and deform it for the sake of their own egos.

TimH -- July 31st, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Joseph Perrone – The Church does not hate! It is NOT hateful that the Church doesn’t accept the “gay” lifestyle as good. When parents scold/punish a child for lying or disobeying a just rule they are not being hateful, they are doing their duty before God. It is NOT biggoted or hypocritical to profess love for the person but at the same time call for them to change and seek a better way. To point someone away from sin and a harmful lifestyle is an act of mercy and love. The opposite of love is apathy. If the Church, having the guidance of the Holy Spirit, were to simply let “gays” continue to believe that lifestyle was good, wholesome, and moral, that would be withholding a gift given by God for the benefit of all. It would be WRONG! So the Church must speak out in love and call all people to seek what is good and befitting of children of God. The Church proposes what is good and calls all people to seek the truth.

As for the problem of homosexuality within the priesthood and it’s relationship to the abuses, you need to look at the statistics around the age and sex of the abused. You will find your answers.

As for annulments I can only say that there is a reason for them but it would seem even that is being abused. An annulment is basically saying that the sacrament was never valid. For example if one spouse lied about their love and intents, about who they really were, their sexual orientation, etc. It is not about spouses who simply have differences and can’t/won’t work them out.

Women and men have equal dignity before God but that does not mean He intends the same things for each of them. Just because men can be priests and women cannot does not mean they are not equal. God designed the sexes such that men cannot bear children. Is God unfair? NO! The Church CANNOT ordain women as priests and this is settled doctrine because Christ DID NOT ordain any women so the sacrament does not exist for women. Jesus had every chance to ordain His mother or Mary Magdalene, or the other women but He DID NOT. Therefore the Church lacks the authority to ordain women.

Peace!

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