.- Catholic parishes throughout New Jersey prayed for the preservation of the sacred institution of marriage during all Sunday liturgies. The state’s seven Catholic bishops urged parishes to focus their “Prayers of the Faithful” on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony in light of their state’s recent legalization of same-sex civil unions.
New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed the civil unions bill into law in mid-December but it only took effect last week, on February 19th. The law was passed after the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples must be given equal rights as heterosexual couples. The court gave lawmakers 180 days to legislate the change.
Patrick Brannigan, executive director of the state Catholic Conference, told the Associated Press that the prayer yesterday was intended to remind Catholics that same-sex marriage is not in line with Church teaching.
"God our almighty Father has given married love, its faithfulness and its fruitfulness, a special significance in the history of salvation," the prayer began.