Statement By The California Catholic Conference Of Bishops’ Regarding The Court Decision
“Catholic teaching maintains that marriage is a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman joined in an intimate partnership of life and love—a union instituted by God for the mutual fulfillment of the husband and wife as well as for the procreation and education of children.
“Partnerships of committed same-sex individuals are already legal in California. Our state has also granted domestic partners spousal-type rights and responsibilities which facilitate their relationships with each other and any children they bring to the partnership. Every person involved in the family of domestic partners is a child of God and deserves respect in the eyes of the law and their community. However, those partnerships are not marriage—and can never be marriage—as it has been understood since the founding of the United States. Today’s decision of California’s high court opens the door for policymakers to deconstruct traditional marriage and create another institution under the guise of equal protection.
1. Hoskyns wrote:
Read it carefully and read it all - and above all, read it alongside Jon Bruno’s statement to learn the difference between the orthodox and the Valentinian take.
May 17, 5:45 pm | [comment link]
2. New Reformation Advocate wrote:
Yes, the difference is as utterly stark and clear as it could be. On the whole, this is a fine, indeed admirable statement by the Catholic bishops of CA. It certainly is not shrill or whiny and thus not so easily dismissed.
Alas, there is one significant theological flaw in this otherwise exemplary public statement. At one point, the statement calls for all people to be treated with dignity and respect as a “child of God.” I think they meant as a CREATURE of God, and thus beloved and precious. But in biblical language, and especially in the Gospel of John, only believers are “children of God” (as in John 1:12-13). That is a crucial point that makes all the difference in the world.
But aside from that, I applaud the RC bishops’ statement. And I find the contrasting statement by +Bruno the Brute utterly shameful and outrageous.
May 17, 10:33 pm | [comment link]
3. justinmartyr wrote:
Imagine if the California Court had ruled that Anglicans could celebrate the Eucharist according to their own conscience, and in opposition to the beliefs of the Roman church:
However, Anglican sacraments are not the Eucharist—and can never be the Eucharist—as understood by the Church since its founding. Today’s decision of California’s high court opens the door for policymakers to deconstruct the Eucharist and create another institution under the guise of equal protection.
Thank God people are free to marry according to their own conscience. We are called to be salt and light, not to use Caesar to enforce the beliefs of the church.
May 18, 2:20 am | [comment link]
4. Cole wrote:
Totally inappropriate comparison. The most important and core unit of relationship in humanity is marriage between a man and a woman. A coming together not only for companionship, but to procreate and remain together long enough to insure the success of children. By definition marriage was an anthropological reality long before it was coded into theology. Now it is the California Supreme Court that is ignoring natural history. If the earth was created in six (24 hour) days, then marriage definition can be created by a court decision? Words matter.
May 18, 8:31 am | [comment link]
5. Sarah1 wrote:
RE: “Thank God people are free to marry according to their own conscience.”
But they’re not. Until I see gay rights activists fighting for the rights of consensual, mutual, loving, and adult siblings and those with a polyamorous orientation and those who are life-challenged to marry, I’ll recognize that it’s only their tiny exclusive and particular orientation that they wish to redefine marriage for and not all of the other tiny exclusive and particular orientations out there that they deem to be “immoral” and societallly unacceptable.
Rank hypocrisy. They want the forced societal acceptance of their minority orientation—but for no other minority orientations.
May 18, 8:59 am | [comment link]
6. Alice Linsley wrote:
Bishop Andrus will not find support from Catholic and Orthodox bishops. He is out there on a limb with other heretical TEC leaders. They should recall that the ax is already set to the branch.
May 18, 6:30 pm | [comment link]
7. Words Matter wrote:
Well said, Cole. Indeed: words matter. And well said, Sarah, as well, although I was thinking of cousins.
Marriage is a natural good, not specifically a religious one. It’s a trans-cultural phenomenon, existing apart from specific religion traditions. It provides stability and continuity to the community. I would add to Cole’s comment that beyond procreation, the normal venue for the care of persons in their infirmity is the family. I watched my mother care for my dad in his Altzheimer’s, with help from us kids, of course. After his death, she re-married and for 10 years, we have watched her and my step-father help each other in their various health problems, again, with assists from us and his sons.
This leaves the community free, then, to care for those who have no one to care for them.
May 18, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
8. Franz wrote:
You all are also missing another important point—in a democratic polity, the issue of who decides is also critical.
May 19, 3:41 pm | [comment link]
If the people of California, acting through their elected representatives, had re-defined marriage as the Cal. S.Ct. has, that would have been deplorable, but within their political powers. This is not what happened in CA. Instead, the Court has taken it upon itself to determine what it thinks is the best social policy, using strained reading of the provisions of the CA constitution.
9. QohelethDC wrote:
I take your point about the difference between a legislative decision and a judicial one. In general, it probably is best for elected representatives to set social policy.
Yet I can’t help thinking of another noted and controversial court decision: Brown v. Board of Education. Yes, the Supreme Court did take upon itself the power to intervene in educational policy, a matter traditionally left to state or even local government. And yes, many people faulted the justices for that.
What was the alternative, though? Telling African Americans to hang in there until state legislatures and city councils voted to desegregate schools? That may have been quite a wait.
January 11, 5:07 pm | [comment link]
10. QohelethDC wrote:
The most important and core unit of relationship in humanity is marriage between a man and a woman. A coming together not only for companionship, but to procreate and remain together long enough to insure the success of children.
In general, I agree with you. Marriage is indeed a core unit of society, and many marriages include the birth and rearing of children. But not all. We extend the blessings of marriage to folks who cannot (by age or medical conditions) or will not (by choice) have children. Why then can’t we extend it two men or two women who may wish to come together for companionship—and who may also, as in many cases I know, be rearing children as well?
To me, an important question is what is the glue that makes marriage work (when it does)? Is it the mere fact of heterosexuality? Is it the social sanction? Those don’t, even in tandem, seem to be enough in many cases today. (Is the hetero divorce rate still hovering at about 50%?)
That makes me wonder: Is it rather the dedication of both partners to building and maintaining a relationship, to giving and trusting, and to committing to stick together through thick and thin? That sort of dedication, it seems to me, is not limited to heterosexuals. So why not welcome others willing to bring it to marriage, thereby strengthening both their own relationships and society as a whole?
January 11, 7:13 pm | [comment link]