How should Catholics respond to gay marriage decisions?

In two decisions today the U.S. Supreme Court avoided a firm declaration about same-sex marriage but signaled that attempts by … Continued

In two decisions today the U.S. Supreme Court avoided a firm declaration about same-sex marriage but signaled that attempts by the federal government to limit rights available under state law could be unconstitutional. As it sidesteps the issue of marriage per se, the court shifts the debate to the states where it is now but raises questions about the scope of the federal government’s authority to administer its own programs.

In ruling DOMA out of bounds, the court confirmed Congress’ basic authority to establish rules for federal programs including rules about marriage but has called into question the reach of that authority. While marriage traditionally has been defined by the states, the states have no basis to press the variety of those views on the federal government.

Until today. It is unseemly that the uniformity of the federal system can now be upset by state policies in this area of life and law.

In light of today’s Supreme Court opinion, it seems imperative to remind everyone that they must never forget that all, regardless of their sexual inclination, must be treated with the respect worthy of their human dignity. As is well known, the Catholic faith teaches clearly the biblical principle that all persons, regardless of their sexual inclination, are called to chastity regardless of their state of life. While today’s decision voids federal law it opens the doors to others: it allows the citizens of each state the opportunity to uphold the true definition of marriage by voting for representatives and legislation that defend the true definition of marriage. I call on all people of good will to make their voices heard through the democratic process by upholding marriage in their home states.

I remain confident that people of this great country, no matter the consequences, will continue to promote and defend the good and the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife for life. Marriage remains what it has always been, regardless of what any government might say.

I likewise remain confident that the First Amendment constitutional guarantee of the “free exercise of religion” will forever ensure that no restrictions or limitations on the teaching of the Catholic faith will be placed on any Catholic priest or deacon in the armed forces. Furthermore, the Constitution guarantees that no endorsed minister will ever be compelled to perform a religious ceremony contrary to the dictates of his/her faith nor will today’s decision have any effect on the role and teaching ability of a priest or deacon in the pulpit, the classroom, the barracks or in the office.

This archdiocese remains resolved in the belief that no Catholic priest will ever be compelled to condone- even silently same-sex “marriages.”

The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D. is archbishop for the Military Services, USA.

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  • kc987654usa

    Ok, perhaps you shouldn’t as an institution have condoned child rape through silence. And the paying of hush money by the bishop that confirmed me to his mistress and child (although he was kicked out).

    Perhaps dealing with the mote in the church’s eye would be better than pontificating about the speck that is in society’s.

  • Secular1

    Timothy P. Broglio, do you draw a paycheck from the public in your capacity of associated with the Military? If so you ought to resign, if you have any honor or dignity – I would say even if you are not receiving a red cent. Your personal opinions are yours and keep them to your self. You have no right to express them in your capacity of “Bladi blah for the Military Services”. Shame on you that you chose to do it, in your Military services capacity. But then I never expect any honor off of folks like you.

  • jarandeh

    “This archdiocese remains resolved in the belief that no Catholic priest will ever be compelled to condone- even silently – same-sex “marriages.””

    And I support your right to refuse to condone them, legal as they may be. See how that works?

    But even as you peppered your piece with words like ‘dignity’ and ‘love’, your use of scare-quotes around the word ‘marriages’ reveals the small-minded, pitiful truth about your worldview.

    Keep clinging to your chaste bitterness, Father . . .

  • TxMary

    Very well written, Archbishop Broglio.

    “In light of today’s Supreme Court opinion, it seems imperative to remind everyone that they must never forget that all, regardless of their sexual inclination, must be treated with the respect worthy of their human dignity. ”

    After reading the hateful and bigoted comments posted here, it is easy to see on which side of this issue real intolerance lies.

  • leibowde84

    It’s the one’s who think that a large part of the US population are intrinsicly evil, right? And those who even teach their children that homosexuals live “unnatural” lives that insult God?

  • Tender Hooligan

    Well, I’ve just read through the comments and I would like TxMary to explain which hateful and bigoted comments she means. I could only see pretty indisputable comments about the behaviour of certain catholic priests, and some comments asking for tolerance of what consensual adults do in private. You will need to explain yourself Mary, or do you dispute the child abuse cases?

  • jarandeh

    TxMary-

    Challenging ideas is not bigotry. It’s debate, it’s argument.

    If you don’t understand that, you have nothing to offer in a discussion.

  • cricket44

    ” I call on all people of good will to make their voices heard through the democratic process by upholding marriage in their home states.”

    I *completely* agree and have been so proud of my state, Massachusetts, for upholding marriage for *all* adult citizens for the last 9 years! “Respect worthy of their human dignity” indeed!

    I’ll pray for your enlightenment, Archbishop.

  • jerryinmd

    Instead of condemnation that the Catholic Bishops about the Supreme Court decisions, Episcopal Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington welcomed the decisions :
    “Scripture teaches us that God shows no partiality. Today our country has moved closer to this vision of equality and unity, and I give thanks for our progress. Now, as always, the ability to create a more just and caring country lies with us. Heartened by today’s decisions, may we recommit ourselves to this difficult but holy work.” In celebration of the ruling, the National Episcopal Cathedral and seven other churches in Washington rang their bells at noon.

    One third of my Episcopal Church congregation is made up of ex RCs including two priests and myself.

  • EnemyOfTheState

    Keep whistling past that graveyard, Reverand.

  • jerryinmd

    Re “As is well known, the Catholic faith teaches clearly the biblical principle that all persons, regardless of their sexual inclination, are called to chastity regardless of their state of life”, does that include the numerous pedophile priests?

  • Citizen60

    Father, you may be sure all good people of conscience will go to the polls to elect representatives who will uphold the dignity and respect for the institution of marriage. Marriage for all who love each other as Christ loves each of us–regardless of any dogma from an organized religion formed after Christ preached love on this Earth.

  • TxMary

    Catholics do not teach that homosexuals (who are not the larger part of the population, by the way) are intrinsically evil. Catholics are taught to love our homosexual brothers and sisters as Jesus loves us. We are taught that adultery is a sin. Being a homosexual is not sinful, but we are taught that acting on it is. Jesus, however, did not condemn the adulterous woman, but he did tell her to go and sin no more. Catholics don’t want (or shouldn’t, anyway) to condemn you either. We simply do not want the sacrament of marriage to be redefined by a government that is supposed to protect our religious freedoms.

    As for all of the pedophile comments, all religious groups have pedophile scandals, and the Catholics (while the largest religious group) are at the bottom of the list statistically. Catholic cases of pedophilia make more headlines because of anti Catholic prejudice and because the Catholic Church is bigger and more lucractive to sue. The number of Catholic priests guilty of pedophilia is very small. I’m not excusing it. Our Church should punish these transgressions severely, and guilty priests should not be sheltered. But let us be more objective, please, and stop stereotyping all priests because of the heinous acts of a few.

  • An-Toan

    A great shift in consciousness is unfolding: there are no inherent contradictions between sexual orientation and spirituality. The overwhelming majority of people no longer will tolerate the irrational and false views of fundamentalist, Catholic, and other Christian leaders who for decades sexually have oppressed the LGBT. This sexual oppression is a form of spiritual oppression that is incompatible with contemporary Christianity. In time, homophobic remarks that are predicated on dogma properly will be interpreted as hate speech.

  • jarandeh

    TxMary-

    Your marriage in your church is a sacrament.

    My marriage in a courthouse is not.

    According to the law, both of our marriages are marriage. Period.

  • lynnman1

    Would you have the Catholics believe you and of Christ on this one?

    Matthew 19: He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”

    Sure the the current mood it to ignore this but it would be odd to expect people trying to follow their faith to then disregard it. Even if you disagree, don’t you at least see that conflict?

  • lynnman1

    In Denmark, they passed a law that forces the Church to perform same sex marriages. You can see the judgemental and hate filled rhetoric against anyone that believes in the sacrament – so it will be interesting to see where this road takes us.

  • jarandeh

    lynn-

    And if anyone tried to pull that here in the US you can be sure that I, and many like me, would stand up and vehemently oppose making a church perform/sanctify a marriage it disapproves of.

    That’s how it works: a true separation of the civic and religious realms. Marriage equality is not an attempt to change church doctrine through the law.

  • jay2drummer

    “In Denmark, they passed a law that forces the Church to perform same sex marriages. You can see the judgemental and hate filled rhetoric against anyone that believes in the sacrament – so it will be interesting to see where this road takes us.” In Denmark, they also don’t have the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

  • GerriM

    simply your opinion

  • GerriM

    of course.

  • GerriM

    arrogant, cricket?

  • cricket44

    Anyone can believe as they will. They cannot, however, expect others to live by that belief.

    Gerri…are you confessing or rightfully calling out the archbishop.

  • malusk03

    In Matthew 19, Jesus was answering a question about the legality of divorce, not about the nature of marriage. As neither of the Old Testament verses he used as his proof-texts had anything to do with divorce, who knows what he might have said — or what Old Testament verses he might have cited — had someone asked him about same-sex unions?

  • nkri401

    So is this piece by “The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D. ” – just an opinion of a bigot, I might add. And this is my opinion, of course.

  • lynnman1

    True enough but when I hear anyone even begin to discuss their views on this topic they and they don’t agree with the current opinion they or that organization is getting quickly shouted down and branded as hateful, bigoted, anti-gay, stupid,… Branding anyone or group as a hate group, even in the public square, based on conflating sacramental marriage with a civil contract as and will be a problem on both sides of this.

  • lynnman1

    Malusko3 – Jesus was often asked trap questions and almost every time Heprovided a broader answer. In this case he was asked about divorce and He gave an answer that told with authority what God designed and intended from the begining. He was defining marriage. Each word in the response has meaning that I personally would not find comfort in dismissing. What do you think?

  • cricket44

    The right to believe something is different from the right to try to harm others. This is the line you have problems seeing, Lynnman.

  • tony55398

    Marriage will always be between a man and woman, just as God made them, human law cannot, change this. What gays do is there business as long as it doesn’t involve me. Joy for now, but just wait till the divorces begin, sort of like when two straight people live together, then get married only to find out that marriage is more complicated and the shine comes off.

  • jarandeh

    Except that in 12 (going on 13) states, human law has changed this.

  • amelia45

    The “next step for Catholics” includes the 58% of Catholics who support civil recognition of LGBT unions, call they civil unions or marriage. So, the 42% of Catholics will continue on the war path of seriously undermining religious freedom in this country and the 58% will not be moved.

    Marriage is about the commitment between two people. That commitment may or may not include children as a matter of choice made by the couple. It many include children born through in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, adoption, or the old fashioned way. In this country and most Western Christian nations, the marriage is a choice made by the partners to the marriage, not something “arranged” by parents who pass the woman from the ownership of the father to the ownership of the husband. Marriage today is fundamentally different from what it was in the past.

    What we need to do is strengthen marriage and the commitment it represents between two people, for the good of all who make that commitment and children and society. The gender of the partners doesn’t matter.

  • lynnman1

    Cricket (I can’t believe you live in Mass as well!)
    If three people want to marry – would you not be doing harm by not allowing it?
    If a brother wants to marry his sister and they love each other, what would you say? and what would be your rationale?

  • lynnman1

    FYI Denmark’s consititution does protect the right to religious freedom

  • cricket44

    Incest is almost always an issue where there is dubious consent, at best, and there is the biological issue of inbreeding. This is why there is a taboo, although it has not always been present in all societies.

    As for 3 people…well, it doesn’t float my boat but if there are legitimate reasons against it, I’ll hear them.

    Since you live in MA, then you know the sky has not fallen with almost a decade of marriage equality.

  • lynnman1

    But with today’s birth control why is there a biological issue and who decides what is taboo. Homosexuality was a taboo until very recently.

    Ther are legitimate reasons against 3 people but with the change in the definition I am not sure you could argue them any more. What would the argument be?

    You are correct that the sky has not fallen and I would not blame this all on gay marriage but the general effort to undermine what marriage is – no fault divorce, cohabitation, gay marriage, a separation of the life giving and unitive aspect for sex to something much less. Fewer and fewer people are getting married and many are seeing the no reason to stay marrieg even for the family – so I migh disagree a little about the sky not falling. Have a good one.

  • longjohns

    Seems to me Abraham had two wives so when did the one man and one woman part come in? Of course, this post will go unanswered because folks who say things like this cannot actually defend their bigoted pronouncements.

  • jimwalters1

    Please don’t confuse a civil marriage – which is essentially a contract – with the Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony. I know that is easy to do, since the civil contract gets signed just a few minutes after the wedding mass ends. As far as I am concerned, the government can do whatever it wants with the civil marriage so long as it does not interfere with the Sacrament of Matrimony.

    I find using the government to enforce my religious beliefs on someone else just as offensive as someone else using the government to force their religious beliefs on me.

  • cricket44

    Birth control doesn’t always work and there is historical evidence that homosexuality was *not* always taboo, at least not everywhere.

    I think marriage is changing and I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

  • Henry Rogers

    Your lace embroidered epicene excellency,

    No one gives two hoots what you think, not even your own sheeple. The more you flail the more you fail.