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Supreme Court decision on marriage “a tragic error,” says president of Catholic bishops’ conference

June 26, 2015
 
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 Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops .
 
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.
 

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Statement of Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger, Diocese of Salina

Today the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a right between persons of the same gender. Today’s decision reflects the opinion of five appointed justices who have overruled 41 million voters across the country who have approved 31 state marriage amendments. Kansas’ own marriage amendment, which was approved with a 70% majority, has been struck down. I respectfully disagree with the Court’s decision and would assert that the notion that a Supreme Court decision is absolutely definitive is not entirely true.

By its very nature the law evolves. New laws sometimes lead us into greater unity, stabilize society, and ensure the rights of those who have no voice. At other times our laws are flawed, even if established with the best of intentions. For instance, “Roe v. Wade” has most certainly not settled the matter of abortion in the minds of most Americans. Too, in recent years we have witnessed laws enacted to permit capital punishment, euthanasia, predatory lending, and other activities which fail to call humankind to its true dignity.

Regrettably, flawed legislation has far-reaching consequences for society. Legal abortion terminates the innocent lives of untold millions and victimizes women. Legal capital punishment, which sometimes takes innocent lives, demeans the image of God in every human being. Proponents of legal euthanasia all too often encourage people to suicide instead of offering the compassionate care and presence the dying most often desire and need. Legalized usury preys on the poorest and least-educated, plunging them and their children further into poverty while making millions for the owners of the so-called pay-day loan shops. In the case of legalized same-sex marriage, the greatest victims will be children. In truth, every child wants to know his or her mother and father, to be with them, and to be loved by them. Sometimes, tragic circumstances make this impossible and we have great admiration for single and adoptive parents who heroically face difficult circumstances. But the Court’s decision today rejects the very principle that every child deserves a mom and a dad, and encourages arrangements where children are deprived of mothers and fathers by design. This is an extraordinary injustice.

There are those who say that the timeless religious teachings about human sexuality are out of date and hostile to people who experience same-sex attraction. In fact the opposite is true. All people, regardless of their attractions, are equally children of God and equally deserving of respect and just treatment. The fundamental dignity of each and every human person derives not from the approval of popular culture or the politics of the moment, but rather from the fact that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. It is by turning our back on the truths of human nature that we put people’s dignity at risk.

While government controls the issuing of marriage certificates, marriage is unchangeably a coming together of the male and the female for their good, the good of children, and the good of society. This reality cannot be altered by legislator or judge.

— Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger

Kansas bishops' statement

We the bishops of Kansas are deeply disappointed by today’s Supreme Court decision, though sadly not surprised.  While the government may control the issuing of marriage certificates, marriage remains unchangeably a coming together of the male and the female for their good, the good of children, and the good of society.  This reality cannot be altered by legislator or judge.  We encourage all people of good will to pray for our country and to support a culture of marriage that will help restore respect for God’s plan for the family.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Kansas City, Kan.

Bishop John Brungardt, Dodge City

Bishop Edward Weisenburger, Salina

Bishop Carl Kemme, Wichita

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