Catholic Bishops’ Bulletin Insert: Gay Marriage Ruling Is ‘Threatening Religious Freedom in Numerous Ways’

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 4, 2015 | 10:56am EDT
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (AP Photo/Sid Hastings)

( - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has prepared an insert--for placement in church bulletins distributed at Sunday Masses around the country--that responds to the Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a “right.”

The insert, entitled Marriage and the Supreme Court, says that the court ruling falsely redefines marriage, “threatening religious freedom in numerous ways,” and calls on Catholics to give “witness for the truth of marriage,” and to be “prepared for false charges of discrimination” when they do so.

“This broad, adverse ruling redefines marriage in the law throughout the entire country, changing thousands of laws regarding marriage, family and children and threatening religious freedom in numerous ways,” says the bulletin insert.

“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,” the bulletin insert says, quoting Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, who is the president of the USCCB.

The bulletin insert asks and answers the question: “What is Marriage?”

“Marriage is the permanent and exclusive union of one man and one woman, for the good of the spouses and for the procreation and education of children. One man, one woman, for life,” say the bishops.

It tells Catholics: “Don’t be afraid to talk about it.” But then it warns that when Catholics give witness to the true meaning of marriage they should expect to be falsely charged with discrimination.

“Be a witness for the truth of marriage,” the bishops say. “Take advantage of opportunities to speak about it kindly with family, friends, neighbors or co-workers. Be prepared for false charges of discrimination and to respond with the following truths in charity.”

“The difference is the difference,” they say. “Men and women are equal and different. Sexual difference is essential to marriage and raising children. Ignoring or removing ‘the difference is… the problem, not the solution’ (Pope Francis).”

“Mothers and fathers matter,” the bishops say. “They aren’t interchangeable. While single parents and others raising children often make heroic sacrifices and deserve support, society should also affirm every child’s basic, natural right to come from and be raised in the loving marital union of his or her own father and mother.”

The complete bulletin, as posted at the USCCB website, can be seen here.

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