Click to go to Facebook. Click to go to Twitter. Click to make text small. Click to make text large. Letter to State Department on U. Letter of Condolence Regarding Assassination of Sr.
Letter to Brazilian Ambassador on Assassination of Sr. Letter to Brazilian Ambassador on Killing of Fr. A growing movement today favors making those relationships commonly called same-sex unions the legal equivalent of marriage. This situation challenges Catholics—and all who seek the truth—to think deeply about the meaning of marriage, its purposes, and its value to individuals, families, and society. This kind of reflection, using reason and faith, is an appropriate starting point and framework for the current debate.
We, the Catholic bishops of the United States, offer here some basic truths to assist people in understanding Catholic teaching about marriage and to enable them to promote marriage and its sacredness. Marriage,as instituted by God, is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love. They commit themselves completely to each other and to the wondrous responsibility of bringing children intothe world and caring for them. The call to marriage is woven deeply into the human spirit.
Man and woman are equal. However, as created, they are different from but made for each other. They have been confirmed by divine Revelation in Sacred Scripture. What does our faith tell us about marriage? Jesus reiterates these teachings from Genesis, saying, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. These biblical passages help us to appreciate God’s plan for marriage.
It is an intimate union in which the spouses give themselves, as equal persons, completely and lovingly to one another. By their mutual gift of self, they cooperate with God in bringing children to life and in caring for them. Marriage is both a natural institution and a sacred union because it is rooted in the divine plan for creation. In addition, the Church teaches that the valid marriage of baptized Christians is a sacrament—a saving reality. This means that a sacramental marriage lets the world see, in human terms, something of the faithful, creative, abundant, and self-emptying love of Christ. A true marriage in the Lord with his grace will bring the spouses to holiness. Their love, manifested in fidelity, passion, fertility, generosity, sacrifice, forgiveness, and healing, makes known God’s love in their family, communities, and society.
Why can marriage exist only between a man and a woman? The natural structure of human sexuality makes man and woman complementary partners for the transmission of human life. Only a union of male and female can express the sexual complementarity willed by God for marriage. They are equal as human beings but different as man and woman, fulfilling each other through this natural difference. This unique complementarity makes possible the conjugal bond that is the core of marriage. Why is a same-sex union not equivalent to a marriage?
Persons in same-sex unions cannot enter into a true conjugal union. Therefore, it is wrong to equate their relationship to a marriage. Why is it so important to society that marriage be preserved as the exclusive union of a man and a woman? Across times, cultures, and very different religious beliefs, marriage is the foundation of the family. The family, in turn, is the basic unit of society.
Thus, marriage is a personal relationship with public significance. Marriage is the fundamental pattern for male-female relationships. It contributes to society because it models the way in which women and men live interdependently and commit, for the whole of life, to seek the good of each other. The marital union also provides the best conditions for raising children: namely, the stable, loving relationship of a mother and father present only in marriage. The state rightly recognizes this relationship as a public institution in its laws because the relationship makes a unique and essential contribution to the common good.
As of today, if all citizens have a constitutional right to marry, assets accumulated prior to a marriage are exempt from a divorce. And the first thing we realize when thinking about the sexes is the obvious physical complementarity of male and female, lu’s aristocrats and he was determined to fight on the battlefield. While allowing its destruction through the thoroughly modern concept of divorce with hardly a second thought, our sexual embodiment as male and female goes to the heart of what marriage is: a union of sexually complementary spouses. Since we seldom see the significance of what is happening as it happens.