WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court decision, June 26, interpreting the U.S. Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage” “is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
The full statement follows:
Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.
The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.
Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.
I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.
Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Marriage Ruling:
I stand in solidarity with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in expressing my disappointment with today’s ruling by the Supreme Court.
Marriage is an institution that predates all governments and has served civilization well through the years. God Himself is its author. There can be many forms of love, but marital love is unique and can only exist between a man and a woman. It is through this love that children are best served, as well as society as a whole.
The Catholic Church remains sincere in striving to love all people, regardless of their sexual attraction. For this reason, we are strongly committed to preserving the conjugal definition of marriage, and will continue to speak the truth on this matter of most profound importance.
Bishop Kicanas’ Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on Same-sex Marriages
The Supreme Court today released what was not a completely unexpected decision with regard to same-sex marriage. While this decision is obviously not in keeping with the Church’s teaching that marriage is a life-long commitment between a man and a woman, it reflects a changing attitude in our country and in many places around the world, such as the recent vote in Ireland permitting same-sex marriages in that country.
There are many marriages performed by the state that are not recognized as sacramental marriages by the Church. Clearly, that lack of recognition would pertain to civil marriages of same-sex couples. In light of the fact that the Supreme Court has upheld the right of same-sexed persons to marry, we now expect the Supreme Court to uphold religious liberty and the right of conscience for members of faith communities to live according to their conviction that marriage is a unique union between a man and a woman that brings new life into the world.
The Church will continue its pastoral outreach to people of same-sex orientation. Since the Church believes that every person is made in the image of God, it follows that each person is to be treated with dignity and respect. The Church rejects the ill treatment of any person and will continue to uphold the dignity of all.