Loading
New Jersey bishops encourage Catholics to protect marriage against redefinition
Archbishop John Myers of Newark
Archbishop John Myers of Newark

.- The Catholic bishops of New Jersey have distributed a letter explaining Church teaching on marriage and refuting the errors of same-sex “marriage” proponents. Urging the faithful to “protect and promote” marriage, they discussed the God-given natural complementarity of the union of man and woman.

“As Catholics, we must not stand by in silence in the face of the many challenges that threaten marriage and, in turn, children and the public good. We must not shirk from our responsibility,” the bishops’ message begins.

New Jersey state legislators may vote on recognizing same-sex “marriage” sometime after the November election.
Parish priests throughout the state were directed to distribute the bishops' letter, titled “The Call to Marriage is Woven Deeply into the Human Spirit,” in parish bulletins last Sunday, The Newark Star-Ledger reported.

The bishops of Metuchen, Trenton, Camden, and Paterson were signatories to the message, as were Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark and Bishop William Skurla of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic.

In their letter, the bishops noted a “broad cultural shift” away from religion and social traditions and towards “secular individualism.” They described some states’ recent recognition of same-sex “marriage” as an expression of this cultural trend.

“We must protect and promote marriage,” the bishops continued, saying Catholic teaching on marriage and the complementarity of the sexes is a truth “evident to right reason” and recognized by the world’s major cultures.
Explaining Catholic teaching on marriage, they noted that God made man male and female.

“Man and woman are different from each other but created for each other. This complementarity, including sexual difference, draws them together in a mutually loving union that always should be open to the procreation of children.”

The Catholic Church’s concern about the state’s definition of marriage involves marriage’s nature as a “foundational good.” The government has a duty to reinforce and protect marriage, and should not “attempt to redefine it arbitrarily for transitory political or social reasons,” the bishops said.

Civil authorities, the Catholic prelates noted, are charged with protecting children and the common good, and marriage is indispensable to both purposes. As citizens, Catholics have the right and the responsibility to hold civil authorities accountable for their stewardship of the institution of marriage.”

The bishops also warned of laws and policies that “unjustly target people as bigots” or charge them with unlawful discrimination “simply because they believe and teach that marriage is the union of man and a woman.”

Reiterating that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended, the bishops said it is not unjust discrimination to “treat different things differently.”

“Same-sex unions are not, in fact, the same thing as the union of one man and one woman in marriage. One type of union may ever generate children, the other may never; one type of union respects and expresses the inherent complementarity of man and woman; the other does not.”

Turning specifically to New Jersey concerns, the bishops said that the state’s Civil Union Act already provides “practical rights, benefits, and protections” for non-marital unions. Because of this act, the bishops added, the proposed recognition of same-sex “marriage” is not about benefits and rights but is an attempt to change an “historic structure” in a way that “ignores human nature.”

Noting “this time of strange teaching and conflict over the meaning of marriage,” the bishops called on Catholics to “prayerfully reflect” on the words of Jesus in Matthew 19 about a man and a woman becoming “one flesh.”

Fr. Marc Vicari, vicar for family life in the Archdiocese of Newark, told the Star-Ledger that Catholic teaching “needs to be reinforced often.”

“I don't think people understand what marriage is from a Catholic perspective -- even some Catholics who are getting married,” he said.

Christian unity on marriage is fractured in New Jersey. Mark Beckwith, the Episcopal Bishop of Newark, has vocally supported same-sex “marriage” for several years.

The New Jersey bishops’ letter referred readers to “For Your Marriage,” the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ marriage initiative, located at http://www.foryourmarriage.org.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
30

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Gospel
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »

Saint
Date
07/29/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46

Homily
Date
07/30/14
07/29/14
07/28/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: