US Bishops: ‘Tragic Day For Marriage And Our Nation’


USCCBThe U.S. Supreme Court decisions June 26 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 mark a “tragic day for marriage and our nation,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

The statement follows.

“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also unfortunate that the Court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.

“Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father.

“Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters. While the culture has failed in many ways to be marriage-strengthening, this is no reason to give up. Now is the time to strengthen marriage, not redefine it.

“When Jesus taught about the meaning of marriage – the lifelong, exclusive union of husband and wife – he pointed back to “the beginning” of God’s creation of the human person as male and female (see Matthew 19). In the face of the customs and laws of his time, Jesus taught an unpopular truth that everyone could understand. The truth of marriage endures, and we will continue to boldly proclaim it with confidence and charity.

“Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the Court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified.”


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  • Florin S.

    June 27th: I worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and she always said that she believed that abortion, the killing of the unborn baby in the womb of his mother, was the source of all evils in our society and in our culture so let our Shepherds unite to stand against that tragedy – God’s littlest ones are being slaughtered by the millions – no one is being killed because of gay marriage. It’s immoral but mass murder of innocents in the womb is far, far worse – no comparison. How often have we heard our Shepherds or our Pastors speak about the value and sanctity of each and every human life from conception to natural death? How many of our Shepherds and Pastors and Priests have walked with us in defense of life at the March for Life in Washington each year. Let married couples live their lives with honor and truth (many do) and their witness will say much on behalf of traditional marriage. And of course we should try to defend traditional marriage…but defending human life in the womb is far more important – and urgent!