U.S. Bishops' President Kurtz: Supreme Court Decision on Marriage 'A Tragic Error'

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called today's Supreme Court decision interpreting the U.S. Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex marriage "a tragic error.”

Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman," Archbishop Kurtz said. "As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth."

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Archbishop Kurtz said, "Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail.

"Today the Court is wrong again," said Archbishop Kurtz. "It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage."

He added, "The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the 'integral ecology' that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.

"I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions."

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Anne Chapman
2 years 5 months ago
Several bishops have followed Bishop Kurtz in condemning this decision. Some are using hyperbole that seems intended to inflame when they should instead be offering truly Christian guidance. There is at least one exception among the American bishops, and one hopes there will be others who express similar thoughts. The following is from NCR Online. ""This decision of the Supreme Court is primarily a declaration of civil rights and not a redefinition of marriage as the Church teaches," wrote Bishop Gregory Hartmayer of Savannah, Ga. "However, this judgment does not dispense either those who may approve or disapprove of this decision from the obligations of civility toward one another. Nor is it a license for more venomous language or vile behavior against those whose opinions differ from our own."
Beth Cioffoletti
2 years 5 months ago
This is what my best Catholic priest friend told the gay organist who played for our Mass at the Veterans Medical Center in WPB: "God did not make us to be alone".

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