In defense of the dignity of marriage, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has announced its participation in the second annual March for Marriage in Washington, D.C., later this month.

"By its very nature, marriage is ordered not only to companionship and mutual support, but also – and even more fundamentally – to the procreation and education of children," stated Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.

"This is why every child deserves a family where the father loves the mother, and the mother loves the father."

Archbishop Chaput promoted participation in the 2014 March for Marriage, saying that "it's vital that the Church keep working to defend the integrity of marriage. As Catholics we should avail ourselves of the opportunities, whenever we can, to witness to the truth about God's plan for marriage."

Buses will depart from a number of parishes throughout the Philadelphia archdiocese to travel to Washington, D.C., where participants will unite with groups from across the country to show their support for marriage on June 19.

Attendees at the upcoming march will include Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, who heads the U.S. bishops' defense and promotion of marriage committee; Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage; and Reverend Ruben Diaz, New York senator and president of the New York Hispanic Clergy Organization.

In an April 7 letter to their fellow bishops, Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo stated that "this is a critical time for marriage in our country, as marriage amendments are being struck down by federal courts and appeals of these decisions are being made. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this march."  

The 2013 March for Marriage was held last March, as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that eventually ordered the federal government to accept redefinitions of marriage in states that choose to redefine the institution.

This first annual march rallied an estimated 10,000 people, encouraging Americans to stand up for the traditional and historical union between one man and woman.

Organizers are hoping to build on the success of last year's event. Those who cannot physically attend the march are encouraged to unite their prayers and fasting with that of participants for the sake of protecting marriage.

"The March for Marriage will be an important means to promote and defend marriage for the good of our culture, to pray for our federal and state governments, and to stand in solidarity with people of good will," stressed Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Malone.