Bishop LaValley joins other NYS bishops in statement on same-sex marriage vote
Message from Bishop Terry R. LaValley: June 25-26, 2011
Friday’s passage in the State Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage is deeply disappointing and troubling.
While the Catholic Church clearly teaches that we always treat our homosexual sisters and brothers with respect, dignity, and love, 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 children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change, though I 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 our churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths.
I worry that both marriage and the 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.
I am grateful to all those legislators who bravely resisted doing the politically correct thing, and voted against this tragic legislation. What I personally find so troubling is the number of those elected officials who publicly profess fidelity to our Catholic faith but whose public stance is at odds with a fundamental teaching of the Faith. Unfortunately, some members of our own faith tradition see no problem with what’s just happened.
With the grace of God, I, we, have much work to do in educating and helping to form consciences. From this sad moment in our State’s history, let it be our prayer that we witness a new appreciation for authentic marriage as understood by our Catholic faith and revealed to us by God through nature. No act of government can change that.