As you will probably have read elsewhere, the Legislature of New York State recently passed a bill legalising same-sex ‘marriage’. At this time in our history in Ireland, when the ‘Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act, 2010’ has barely been passed and put into action, the proponents of same-sex ‘marriage’ have made it quite clear that they are not satisfied with the terms of the Act – which they look on as a mere ‘stepping-stone’ to legally recognised ‘civil marriage’ for same-sex partners. It is appropriate, therefore, to publicise the statement issued by the Bishops of New York State following the passing of the devastatingly harmful bill there. This is what the Bishops said:
‘The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled.‘We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths.‘We worry that both marriage and family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.‘Our Society must regain what it appears to have lost: a true understanding of the meaning and the place of marriage, as revealed by God, grounded in nature, and respected by America’s foundational principles.’
The statement was signed by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, Bishop Edward Kmiec of Buffalo, Bishop Terry LaValley of Ogdensburg, Bishop Matthew Clark of Rochester, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, and Bishop Robert Cunningham of Syracuse.
As an addendum – A collection of reflections, prayers and ‘bite-sized’ homilies, entitled Doers of the Word – Putting your Faith into Practice, written by Archbishop Timothy Dolan, has ‘everything that matters’, according to a review of the book in the ‘National Catholic Register’ magazine (that’s the orthodox one!)