Bishops' Corner

July 02, 2015

Creation and the future of marriage

By Archbishop José H. Gomez

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to re-define the nation’s marriage laws to include same-sex couples is no surprise.   Obergefell v. Hodges is one more sign that we have entered into a “post-Christian,” even perhaps an “anti-Christian” moment in American public life.  But on a deeper level, the decision reflects the crisis in our society’s understanding of creation and the human person.  This crisis has been years in the making.  As far back as 1992, the Court wrote: “At...

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June 30, 2015

Keep these truths in mind when considering the gay marriage ruling

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

Editor's note: This post has been adapted from Bishop Arthus Serratelli's June 26 pastoral letter to the Diocese of Paterson. The recent Supreme Court decision “Obergefell et al. v. Hodges” has now redefined the legal definition of marriage in our country. Responding to the cultural trends of the last sixty years, the judges have made a decision that will affect not only those individuals who decide to enter same-sex unions, but every citizen and institution within the...

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June 23, 2015

'Laudato Si': The Pope and the Court of the Gentiles

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

Even before the June 18, 2015 publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment (Laudato Si’), the media delighted in reporting voices both approving and disapproving of his speaking on the subject.  No doubt the debate will continue.  But, this is a good thing.  In his 184-page letter, the Holy Father addressed his words to “every person on this planet,” hoping to stir up discussion on an issue that touches every living creature and the world itself. Any person with common...

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June 12, 2015

What 'renewing the Church' really requires

By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap.

Editor's note: The Archbishop’s following remarks, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity, are a condensed and adapted version of comments he shared on May 27 with his brother Philadelphia priests at their annual convocation. The following post originally appeared at and is used with permission. Joseph Greaton, an English convert and Jesuit, was Philadelphia’s first resident priest.  In 1732, eleven persons attended his first Mass at old St. Joseph’s.  In...

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June 02, 2015

Ireland’s Gay Marriage Vote: A Wake-up Call

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

Media headlines throughout the world have been trumpeting Ireland’s recent acceptance of same-sex “marriage” as the coming of age of Catholics in today’s world. There are 19 other countries that have previously accepted the proposition that equality for gays and lesbians means redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. Among them are such traditionally Catholic countries as Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal and Uruguay. But, Ireland, which is 85 percent...

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Nebraska’s Catholic bishops were proud to support LB268, which definitively repealed our state’s death penalty. For months, we worked with senators from across the state to bring an end to the practice of capital punishment. The passage of LB268 strengthens Nebraska’s culture of life.My opposition to Nebraska’s death penalty is rooted in my respect for the fundamental dignity of every human life.Some Nebraskans argued last week that capital criminals surrender their dignity by...

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May 19, 2015

Same-Sex Unions: Uncertain Court vs Certain Pope

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

For the last 10 years, polls have indicated a steady increase in support of same-sex unions. In fact, The Wall Street Journal recently reported a March-February 2015 poll showing that 59 percent of Americans now support same-sex “marriages.” This means that, within just the last decade, the number of Americans no longer inclined to limit the definition of marriage to a man and a woman has nearly doubled.In the same period of time, courts throughout the country have been handing down...

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May 07, 2015

Is the legal system ready for all the acrimony over matrimony?

By Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz

As president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, it is my personal responsibility and civic duty to speak for the common good, which I believe is served by preserving natural marriage protection through state laws.The question is whether the long-standing definition of marriage should be overturned. It is a far reaching question, but not merely because marriage is connected to more than a thousand laws or regulations, everything from the tax code to health benefits to...

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April 13, 2015

The death penalty is morally obsolete

By Archbishop Paul S. Coakley

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case out of Oklahoma (Glossip v. Gross) that challenges the widely used lethal injection protocol in carrying out the death penalty.  This comes a year after the high profile flawed execution of convicted killer Clayton Lockett.  At that time, I called for a reexamination of the use of the death penalty in our state and a moratorium that might lead ultimately to its abolition.I want to reaffirm my opposition to the use of the death...

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April 09, 2015

From Cultural to Convicted Christian: Today’s Challenge

By Bishop Arthur Serratelli

When Pope Leo III placed a crown on the head of Charlemagne on Christmas day in 800 A.D., the Holy Roman Empire emerged as the first attempt to recreate a vast political entity espousing the Christian gospel. From an empty grave outside the walls of Jerusalem to the thrones of the monarchs of Europe, the Christian faith spread its influence over society. Christianity began as a persecuted religion with its adherents hidden in their homes. It gradually became the dominant influence on...

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