Click Here for Archbishop Naumann's Video Homily on Marriage...
From the Catholic Diocese of Salina:
Voters must act to protect the sanctity of marriage
(Leading up to the November elections, the four bishops in Kansas are reaching out to voters with videos highlighting a key moral issue for them to consider.)
Kansas City, Kan. — Marriage as a covenant of love between one man and one woman is not an arbitrary contrivance of humans but an important part of God’s plan for humanity, says Archbishop Joseph Naumann in a video message for Kansas Catholics.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann
“I never imagined when I was ordained a priest almost 40 years ago that the definition of marriage as a covenant of love between one man and one woman would become controversial,” said the Kansas City, Kan., archbishop.
“Over the last several decades, a culture that supported strong marriages as the foundation for vibrant family life has suffered a catastrophic breakdown. Like falling dominoes, our society has lost respect for the sanctity of marriage, for its permanence, for its openness to life, and now for complementarity of the sexes being an essential component of authentic marriage.”
The breakdown of marriage hurts the most vulnerable — children, the poor and single mothers — as well as the lives of individuals and society as a whole, he said.
Family is the building block for society and marriage is the glue giving families stability and holding them together, he added.
Men and women are different for a reason, he said, with each bringing something different to a marriage and a family.
“Men and women are not interchangeable, while both are indispensable for human life and human flourishing. This is especially true in family life. No man can be a mother to a child, and no woman can be a father. Every child needs and deserves a father and a mother,” the archbishop said.
“I was raised in a single-parent home. I have nothing but the highest respect for single parents who strive heroically to provide for the needs of their children,” he continued. “Similarly, I have the highest esteem for birth mothers who make one of the greatest human sacrifices because of their love and desire for what is best for their child. Adoptive parents are also modern heroes as they provide a loving family life for an adopted child.”
However, he said, the best environment in which a child can grow and mature, he stressed, “is in a family where the child’s mother and father love each other and together love the child that is fruit of their love.”
Public policies traditionally have supported marriage because of its importance to the common good and future of the nation, he said.
Just weeks after his video message was released, the refusal by the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue of same-sex marriage has resulted in lower courts’ rulings in favor of same-sex marriage to prevail. Kansas is expected to be one of 30 states that now will allow same-sex couples to marry.
“The almost 50-year erosion of respect for marriage and the essential contribution that married couples provide to society is now culminating in the divisive, polarizing debate over same-sex marriage. The culture has become increasingly hostile, not toward those who want to redefine the most fundamental of all human institutions, but towards those who simply are striving to preserve the notion of marriage as it has been understood for millennia across a wide variety of cultures,” he said.
Catholics must not support political candidates who support same-sex marriage, he stressed.
“To vote for a candidate despite their support for same-sex marriage is only morally an option if there are even more serious moral defects in the policy positions of the opposing candidate,” he noted.
“A majority of states either have constitutional amendments or laws defending the traditional understanding of marriage. Nevertheless, similar to what happened with abortion, judges are intervening to rewrite constitutions and laws,” Archbishop Naumann said. “As voters, we must realize that in addition to the other important responsibilities of the president and governors is the appointment of judges. The United States Senate also has an important responsibility in the confirmation of judicial appointments.”
Christians must work to hard to rebuild a culture that supports marriage and family life, he concluded.
“Culture is the result of individual choices made in the manner we choose to live our lives as well as whom we choose to elect to serve in public office. We have our work cut out for us. Let us begin to rebuild our culture now in renewing our own commitment to family life and in how we choose to vote,” he said.
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