Protecting Marriage in the US | Catholics For The Common Good

Protecting Marriage in the US | Catholics For The Common Good: "Protecting Marriage in the US

Marriage Amendments on the November Ballot
Battle to Restore Marriage in California, Efforts to Protect Marriage in Arizona and Florida
Bishops Ask Catholics to Get Involved

Marriage Amendments on the November ballot




While the nation is focused on the battle in California to restore the definition of marriage between a man and a woman, Arizona and Florida both have efforts to define marriage as between a man and a woman in their state constitutions. All these efforts to reflect the truth about marriage in civil laws are especially significant for Catholics because of our calling to work for the common good of the society.

Bishop Vigneron of Oakland reminds us of our duty as lay faithful in his pastoral statement issued after the California Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex marriage: 'As faithful citizens, Catholics are called to bring our laws regarding marriage into conformity with what we know about the nature of marriage.' The Bishop points out the reasons for this mission of the laity: 'As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, God gave you the mission to configure the civil order to his design. In this way, through Christ and with the help of His Holy Spirit, you are making of this world a gift pleasing to the Father. This is the most fundamental act of your baptismal priesthood.'

John Paul II also highlighted the importance of communicating the true nature of marriage, 'At a moment of history in which the family is the object of numerous forces that seek to destroy it or in some way to deform it, and aware that the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family, the Church perceives in a more urgent and compelling way her mission of proclaiming to all people the plan of God for marriage and the family, ensuring their full vitality and human and Christian development, and thus contributing to the renewal of society and of the People of God.' (John Paul II, Letter to Families)

All Catholics need to get involved at this time in the efforts to protect and promote marriage- whether by prayer, through volunteering, or by financial contributions.

California- YES on 8

The California marriage amendment, Proposition 8, is unique. Rather than a preventive measure, it is the last chance to restore the definition of marriage that was changed by four activist judges of the California Supreme Court. Their ruling of May 15 legalized same-sex marriage in California, overturning the will of the people: in 2000, the same words as in Prop 8- 'Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in California'- were adpoted by 61.4% of the voters.

California bishops came out with a statement supporting Prop 8 and encouraging all Catholics to provide financial support and volunteer to help pass the proposition.

The Bishops recalled the Catechism teaching on marriage:

God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1603-1604)

With these considerations in mind, the Bishops offered counsel on how Catholics should respond to the current situation. They pointed out that same-sex unions are NOT the same as the marriage of a man and a woman, which embraces their sexual complementarity and includes the ability to procreate. They also stressed that being raised by both a mother and a father is ideal for the wellbeing of children. The bishops reminded us that marriage, as mirroring God's relationship with us, 'completes, enriches and perpetuates humanity' and as such must be supported as 'the source of our civilization, the foundation for a society that can be home to all human beings, and the reflection of our relationship with God.'

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