Phoenix, Ariz., Feb 28, 2006 / 22:00 pm
In response to a growing movement that favors making same-sex unions the equivalent of marriage, the Arizona Catholic Conference Bishops have released a joint pastoral statement entitled “Why is Marriage Important to the Catholic Church?”
The three bishops of Arizona, Bishop Donald Pelotte, SSS (Diocese of Gallup), Bishop Gerald Kicanas (Diocese of Tucson), and Bishop Thomas Olmsted (Diocese of Phoenix) decided to reveal publicly their deep concern “for our Catholic believers and the well-being of society here in Arizona regarding the meaning of marriage.”
The Bishops defined Marriage as “a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love, and designed by God.” “Same-sex unions,” on the other hand, have an entirely different meaning because “they lack both natural complementarity and the ability to generate new life naturally,” they insisted.
The pastoral statement goes on to recognize that marriage is the foundation of the family and that the family is the basic unit of society. Marriage is, therefore, acknowledged as a “personal relationship with enormous public significance.”