In a video posted to the internet, Bishop of Phoenix Thomas Olmsted has exhorted Catholics to support Proposition 102, an amendment to the Arizona constitution that would define marriage as being between one man and one woman.
The bishop explains in the video that Catholic teaching touches on all aspects of life, providing guidance and inspiration “even in the voting booth.”
While there are many matters of “prudential judgment” on which Catholics may differ, he remarks, some issues are “non-negotiable.”
“The definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is one such issue,” Bishop Olmsted insists.
He then quotes Pope Benedict XVI’s December 2007 message prepared for the January 1 World Day of Peace.
“Whoever, even unknowingly, circumvents the institution of the family undermines peace in the entire community, national and international, since he weakens what is in effect the primary agency of peace,” the Pope wrote.
“Everything that serves to weaken the family based on the marriage of a man and a woman, everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of a new life, everything that obstructs its right to be primarily responsible for the education of its children, constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace,” the Pope continued.
By Arizona voters placing in state law the “extremely important definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman,” Bishop Olmsted says, “we can avoid the unjust scenarios” where courts are “overturning the will of the people and declaring marriage statutes unconstitutional.”
“We only have to look as far as California to see where this injustice has happened in May of this year,” the bishop notes.
“We Catholics have an obligation to exercise our faith in all that we do,” he concludes.
“I urge you to vote yes for marriage, vote yes on Proposition 102.”
The video is viewable at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4vaD98eJ2w