“Gay Marriage” Is Unjust to Children

Washington D.C., Jul 3, 2012 / 04:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The legalization of “gay marriage” in America, even on a civil level, is unjust to children and poses a threat to religious liberty, warned Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif.

“Marriage is the only institution we have that connects children to their mothers and fathers,” he said. “So really, the question is, do you support that institution?”

In a June interview with CNA, Bishop Cordileone, who leads the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, explained that Church teaching against the redefinition of marriage on a civil level as well as a sacramental level is a matter of justice.

“Marriage is about fundamental justice for children,” he said. “Children do best with a mother and a father.”

He acknowledged that advocates of “same-sex marriage” point to studies that appear to indicate that children can do just as well with two parents of the same sex as with two parents of the opposite sex.

However, he called much of this research “flawed” and pointed to a recent article published in the leading peer-reviewed journal, “Social Science Research.” The article analyzed the 59 studies on the topic used by American Psychological Association and found that they were problematic because they utilized self-selecting or “small, non-representative samples” of the population.

In contrast, he said, a recent social science study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin – entitled “The New Family Structures Study” – examined a very large, nationally-representative and random sample of American young adults who were raised in different family environments, including with same-sex couples and with their married, biological parents.

The study measured various areas of wellbeing, including social and economic condition, psychological and physical health and sexual identity and behavior. It found significant differences between the individuals raised by their married biological parents and those raised in other situations, and “in no area were children better off in an alternative arrangement.”

Based on sound social science, this study complements common sense and “demonstrates what we’ve always known,” Bishop Cordileone said. “Children do best with a mother and a father.”

The bishop explained that this issue is of crucial importance because “we cannot have two different definitions of marriage simultaneously in the country.”

“Only one definition of marriage can stand,” he said. “This is not expanding the right of marriage. It’s changing the definition, or taking away something is essential to marriage – that it’s the union of a man and a woman for the purpose of the binding of the two and the procreation and education of the next generation of offspring.”

Bishop Cordileone also warned that the redefinition of marriage poses a serious threat to religious freedom. This is not merely a potential threat, he said, but one that is already being manifest in numerous ways.

For example, he observed, Catholic Charities agencies in numerous archdioceses have already been forced out of the adoption business because they believed it was best to place children only with a mother and a father.

The “rights of conscience and parental rights” are also at risk, particularly when it comes to education of children.

He pointed to an instance in Massachusetts in which a couple objected to their kindergarten-age child being taught about same-sex families at school. The parents tried to pull their child out of class but were prohibited from doing so. When the father went to the school to object, he was arrested and taken to jail.

If the definition of marriage is redefined and “to object to that is being a bigot,” Bishop Cordileone said, “well then the state is justified in not allowing a parent to pull his child out when the child is being taught what they believe are fundamental principles of justice.”

“But we know it’s contrary to fundamental principles of justice,” he continued, “because out of justice for children, we need to do the best that we can to help them grow up with their mother and their father, married to each other in a stable relationship.”

Bishop Cordileone then emphasized that “gay marriage” is not an isolated problem but is rather connected to the broader issue of misunderstanding sexuality.

“This isn’t a new threat to marriage,” he explained. “It’s a huge problem, and it’s gone on for decades.”

He noted that the advent of the birth control pill led to an “explosion of contraception” that “divorced procreation from the conjugal act.” Other erosions to marriage quickly followed, including no-fault divorce, which was “a huge blow to marriage,” and experimenting with “open marriages.”

Suddenly, the traditional marks of marriage – fidelity, permanence and openness to children – were all gone, he said. Eventually, this led to a culture of “widespread promiscuity” as sex lost its meaning, a phenomenon that was serious “facilitated” by the common use of contraception.

Now, the bishop pointed out, marriage is seen merely as being about the legal benefits offered to the individuals entering into it, rather than as “a child-centered institution.”

But if marriage is simply about intimate relationships between adults, he asked, “why should the law even get involved at all?”

He observed that there is no real governmental reason to recognize sexual relationships between adults.

What governments throughout history have had a societal interest in, he said, is the well-being of dependent children who are born into the society. These children are necessarily born from the union of a man and woman, and this is why the government has an interest in encouraging stable marriages as a type of union with the potential to bring new life into the world.

The Church likewise acknowledges the importance of marriage for the sake of children and society, Bishop Cordileone said. Its members are therefore called to work to defend marriage in civil law, recognizing that “intact, healthy families make for a healthy society.”


Forced Abortion Converage; It’s Next

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone “This is a Pivotal Moment”

By Valerie Schmalz

Oakland’s Bishop Salvatore Cordileone says the federal government could require faith communities to offer abortion as a health benefit if the contraceptive mandate is not stopped.

“If this goes through there is nothing to stop the government requiring faith communities to cover abortion in their insurance packages,” Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone told Vatican Radio.

“This is, I think, a pivotal moment in the United States and in the life of the Catholic Church in the United States,” Bishop Cordileone said.

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, CA

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone; Abortion Coverage is Next

The remarks were part of a wide-ranging interview on religious liberty in the United States.

The concern about abortion as a mandated benefit is shared by the executive director of the California Catholic Conference, Ned Dolejsi, who predicted a push to mandate abortion as a health benefit in California after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The ruling is expected in June. The health care act requires each individual to purchase health insurance.

“If the federal Affordable Act is struck down, we can expect the action to shift to the states,” said Dolejsi.

In January the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a regulation that would require all but very narrowly defined organizations to offer free contraception. The U.S. bishops are united in fighting the regulation as an infringement on religious liberty.

Part of the compromise that secured March 2010 passage of the contested federal health care overhaul is a requirement that each state offer at least one “abortion-free” health plan. Without that requirement, it is possible California will require all insurance plans to offer abortion as a benefit, Dolejsi said in a March interview with Catholic San Francisco.


Bishop Cordileone: How Dare the Government

“Get the Government Out of Our Church”

A religious freedom rally in San Francisco on Friday attracted nearly 500 people from throughout the Bay Area vehemently opposed to a new federal requirement that insurers provide free contraception to workers.

Some waved flags. Others waved rosary beads. Many shouted “unbelievable” as speakers outlined the controversial policy in the national health reform law.

“This affects all of us as Americans, because our first freedom is freedom of religion,” said Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland.

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone

“How dare the government define for us our religious mission?” he said. “Yes, get the government out of our church.”

Initially, the regulation required employers to cover birth control and other preventive services for women without a co-pay or deductible beginning in August.

Churches were exempt, but organizations affiliated with religious institutions such as charities, universities and hospitals, were not.

One of the reasons such organizations did not qualify for the religious exemption is that they provide service to everyone, including people who are outside of the church.

After taking heat from Republicans, the Catholic Church and others, President Barack Obama sought to end the furor on Feb. 10 with a revised policy permitting religious-based employers to opt out of the birth control requirement.

If they do that, their employees would still have access to free contraception because the requirement would shift instead to the institution’s insurance company.

The change appeased some, but religious leaders at the Friday rally made it clear they still believe their religious freedoms have been violated.

The San Francisco event was one of 140 such rallies that took place across the nation on the second anniversary of the national health reform law.

George Wesolek, director of public policy for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said he was upset that the federal government has a very narrow definition of a religious institution that does not include the orphanages, health clinics and schools that many organizations operate.

“Mr. Obama, let Christians practice their faith as they wish,” he said. “Mr. Obama, let Catholics be Catholics. We are not going to be confined to our churches. That is not our mission.”

Participants carried signs stating “Conscience matters” and “I always thought religious freedom was my American birthright.”

Other signs were more pointed, such as “What’s next? Comrade Obama?”

Denise Clark, who attends St. Isidore church in Danville, attended the rally with members of her Bible study group.

“We’ve got to speak up now about having government over-controlling freedom of religious rights,” she said. “If we don’t speak up now, there may come a time when we have no chance to say no.”

On the outskirts of the gathering, about a dozen protesters chanted “Not the church. Not the state. Women will decide their fate” and held up signs such as “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology.”

The birth control requirement has drawn praise from many women’s groups.

“Birth control is essential health care for women — period,” said Adrienne Verrilli, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, who did not attend the rally. She noted that 99 percent of sexually active women have used contraception at some point in their lives.

Despite the national uproar, the policy is expected to have little effect in California because state law already requires most employers that provide insurance to cover contraception.

At the rally, Father Joseph Fessio of Ignatius Press told the crowd that when Obama was elected, “some people thought they were voting for a Messiah.”

“Last month, he performed a true miracle,” Fessio said. “He united all of the Catholic bishops in the U.S.”

Sandy Kleffman covers health. Contact her at 925-943-8249. Follow her at Twitter.com/skleffman.

A Bishop’s Open Letter for the Defense of Marriage

Dear Member of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee:

As Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, I urge you to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by opposing the Respect for Marriage Act (S. 598) and any other measure seeking DOMA’s repeal.

Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone

Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

DOMA recognizes for federal purposes that marriage is defined as the union of one man and one woman. It also prevents the redefinition of marriage in any one state from forcing other states to follow suit. DOMA’s codified definition of marriage reflects a deeply rooted and enduring consensus, based on truths about the human person discernible by reason and accessible to people of all faiths or none at all. Millions of citizens have gone to the ballot in thirty states to ratify similar DOMA proposals by substantial majorities. Forty one states in all have enacted their own DOMAs. Popularity alone does not determine what is right. But in the face of such broad support in the present day, not to mention a legacy of lived experience and reasoned reflection measured in millennia in every society and civilization throughout all of human history, repealing a measure that merely recognizes the truth of marriage is all the more improvident.

I raise for your consideration two points: DOMA is rational, and its repeal would be unjust.

A. DOMA is grounded in reason and experience. It takes into account the/distinguishing properties of unity and procreation that mark the relationship of
husband and wife.

Marriage is a comprehensive union of man and woman, a total, permanent, faithful, and fruitful sharing of lives between husband and wife. This union is a great and unique good in itself, and is critical for the common good. There are fundamental reasons why sexual difference and the complementarity between man and woman have always been considered essential to the meaning of marriage.

The connection between sexual difference and procreation is obvious and unique. The public status of marriage owes its origin and existence to the natural capacity of man and woman to bring children into the world. Research substantiates that children thrive best when reared by both a mom and a dad married to each other. Marriage has been and should remain a child-centered institution.

Even when a marriage is not blessed with children, all husbands and wives can model for society the possibilities and potential for mutual collaboration between the sexes. They can teach children generally by their witness and exemplify for other men and women what it means to be husband and wife. They also can provide an essential service to society through adopting children, who need the care of a mother and a father.

The unitive and procreative realities at stake cannot be ignored. They are not mere cultural constructs that can be discarded at will, with little or no social cost. Instead, they flow directly from the immutable nature of the human person, and so our society ignores them at great peril. By contrast, where these human realities are respected, the benefits to society are unparalleled. This explains why Congress, nearly all of the states, and millions of voters affirm marriage as an institution founded on sexual difference. DOMA furthers the common good by preserving in federal law the essential connection between marriage, sexual difference, the good of children, and public policy.

B. Redefining marriage to mean simply an arrangement of consenting adults violates justice because it interferes with basic human rights. First, changing the institution of marriage by making it indifferent to the absence of one sex or the other denies that children have the fundamental human right to be cared by both their mother and father. Such revision transforms marriage from a child-centered to an adult-centered status to the detriment of children. DOMA maintains marriage’s proper focus on reinforcing the interests of children.

Second, redefining marriage also threatens the fundamental human right of religious freedom. Those who refuse on moral and religious grounds to accept or accommodate the redefinition of legal marriage are already being wrongly accused of bigotry and hatred, bias and prejudice. They are being stigmatized and marginalized precisely because they are exercising their religious freedom to teach and practice their values.

In places where marriage’s core meaning has been altered through legal action, officials are beginning to target for punishment those believers and churches that refuse to adapt. Any non-conforming conduct and even expressions of disagreement, based simply on support for marriage as understood since time immemorial, are wrongly being treated as if they harmed society, and somehow constituted a form of evil equal to racism. DOMA represents an essential protection against such threats to faith and conscience.

All persons have a rightful claim to our utmost respect. There is no corresponding duty, however, for society to disregard the meaning of sexual difference and its practical consequences for the common good; to override fundamental rights, such as religious liberty; and to re-define our most basic social institution. DOMA advances the common good in a manner consistent with the human dignity of all persons.

For all of the above-stated reasons, I strongly urge you to uphold DOMA and to reject any bill, including S. 598, that would repeal it.

Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone
Roman Catholic Bishop of Oakland
Chairman, USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage

USCCB Is Planning To Release A New Document On Homilies!

Let Us Pray That The Document Will Bear Good Fruit!

Catholic News Service

by: Nancy Frazier O’Brien

St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson presented the proposal on behalf of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, which he chairs, but said the document would be drawn up in consultation with various committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Archbishop Carlson said the document would be “at once inspirational and practical, … grounded in the tradition of the church” and would aim to “adequately convey the purpose of the homily at Mass: the personal encounter with the Incarnate Word.”

The topic seemed to light a spark in the bishops, more than a dozen of whom spoke in favor of the proposed document.

Describing himself as a member of “the first lost generation of poor catechesis,” Bishop Alexander K. Sample of Marquette, Mich., said his generation of post-Vatican II Catholics had “raised up another generation that is equally uncatechized.”

Although some have expressed the sentiment that “the homily should not be a time for catechesis,” Bishop Sample said “we cannot lose that opportunity to truly catechize and form our people” when they are gathered for Sunday Mass.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, said that even at bishops’ meetings 35 years ago, “some would rise to say that we need to have something on sermons.”

“People are looking for it and desperately need it,” he said. “It is such an important part of our responsibility as bishops.”

But he said the topic of preaching was “so complicated and there are so many things we hope” to include in such a document that it is “sort of impossible” to get everything into a 50-page document. But, he added, “nothing is impossible with God.”

Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., expressed hope that the document would “identify the major obstacles to good preaching,” including time constraints, communication issues and cultural conflicts.

Retired Auxiliary Bishop Peter A. Rosazza of Hartford, Conn., said he hoped the document would include information about “different preaching styles,” such as those used by African-American or Hispanic preachers, while Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., said he thought the document should focus not only on Sunday homilies but on sermons at funerals and weddings.

“I’ve heard very few funeral homilies, and I’ve been to a lot of funerals,” Bishop Cordileone said. “I’ve heard eulogies and I’ve heard some canonization nominations, but I have heard very few homilies.”

The vote in favor of the proposed document was 187-3.

Later in the meeting, the bishops also overwhelmingly OK’d a modification of previously approved “priorities and plans” to allow four other committees — Cultural Diversity, Divine Worship, Doctrine, and Evangelization and Catechesis — to work with the consecrated life committee on the document.

The document on preaching was first proposed in November 2005, when the bishops approved a motion to update “Fulfilled in Your Hearing,” a 1982 document on preaching at the Sunday Mass.

But drafting of the updated document was suspended in March 2007 after Pope Benedict XVI announced an upcoming synod on the Bible. Responsibility for such a document also passed to a new committee with restructuring of the bishops’ conference around that time.

“As originally approved by the bishops in November 2005, it is our intention that the document will focus specifically on preaching at the Sunday Mass, that it be around 50 pages in length, and that it be published in Spanish and English,” Archbishop Carlson said.

He said the homily offers “a privileged opportunity for ordained ministers to catechize the liturgical assembly, to treat the great themes of the Christian faith.”

“With all the complexities of modern technology and changing social attitudes, our Catholics need to know the mind of Christ and the teachings of the church,” the archbishop said. “Yet it is not enough to state correctly the truths of faith from the pulpit, but to propose them in such a way as to draw attention to their attractive beauty, wisdom and connection to Christ.”

Let us pray that the good intentions of this document will be put into practice at Individual parishes!