Cardinal George Rallies the Faithful to Protect Marriage in Illinois

Illinois already has same-sex civil unions that give same-sex couples all the legal benefits of marriage.

Now, proponents of redefined marriage are attempting to legalize same-sex “marriage” in Illinois during the lame-duck session.

Same-sex civil unions have already forced Catholic and Lutheran adoption agencies in the state to shut down.

Redefining marriage will further threaten the religious freedom of those who understand the true meaning of marriage and will further erode our country’s ability to sustain a healthy marriage culture.

Francis Cardinal George of Chicago is urging Catholics in Illinois to take action by contacting their lawmakers and urging them to protect marriage:

Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George and his six auxiliary bishops officially entered Illinois’ gay marriage fray Tuesday, issuing a letter that urges parishioners to contact state legislators and voice opposition to a legalization bill that could face a vote this week.

“Civil laws that establish ‘same-sex marriage’ create a legal fiction,” George and the bishops wrote in a letter sent to priests Tuesday. “The state has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible.” [The Chicago Tribune]

It’s good to see reporters beginning to grasp that the Church’s defense of marriage is rooted in both faith AND reason:

While traditional marriage advocates have cited Scripture as the basis of their objections to civil unions and gay marriage, Roman Catholic leaders have been highlighting their belief that same-sex relationships violate natural law.

According to the tradition of natural law, every human being must seek a fundamental “good” that corresponds to the natural order to flourish. Natural-law proponents say heterosexual intercourse between a married man and a woman serves two intertwined good purposes: to procreate and to express a deep, abiding love. For that reason, they say, homosexual relationships are not equal to heterosexual ones.

Cardinal George also reminds everyone that just because the Church is pro-marriage does not mean she is “anti-gay”:

In George’s letter, he writes that despite the church’s objections to gay marriage, priests and parishioners should not alienate members of the gay community, especially relatives. He said the church is not “anti-gay.”

“Does this mean that the Church is anti-gay? No, for the Church welcomes everyone, respects each one personally and gives to each the spiritual means necessary to convert to God’s ways and maintain friendship with Christ,” he wrote.

“The Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Chicago has consistently condemned violence toward or hatred of homosexually oriented men and women. Good pastoral practice encourages families to accept all their children and not break relationships with them.”

Cardinal George also reminds Catholics that we all have a stake in protecting marriage:

In the letter, George cautions parishioners about the negative consequences for gay marriage opponents if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land.

“We will all have to pretend to accept something that is contrary to the common sense of the human race,” he wrote. “Those who continue to distinguish between genuine marital union and same-sex arrangements will be regarded in law as discriminatory, the equivalent of bigots.”

If you live in Illinois please TAKE ACTION by contacting your state lawmakers through this form.



  • Patrick

    It’s curious that his letter uses the word “nature” 14 separate times, but he never just comes out and uses the phrase “Natural Law Theory” which is, of course, what he really means. I think if he did, he’d have to explain how NLT treats human sexual behavior. And if he did that, nobody would take his views seriously.

  • abadilla

    “Reasonable people in this country don’t subscribe to natural law theory as it relates to human sexual behavior” Then all Roman Catholics should throw away Catholic moral teaching as patently ridiculous and circular reasoning because the entire moral teaching of the Church is based on natural law and the Scriptures.
    Patrick, if what you say is true, then lots of people need to hit the books to understand what natural law is.

  • Greg B.

    If civil unions are equal to marriage, why do you care so much if it’s civil unions or marriage?

    • Philip D.

      Prejudice and desire to discriminate against gay people are the only rational explanations.

      • Greg B.

        Paired with an inability to distinguish between civil law and religious sacrament.

  • leogirl87

    Allowing them to get married infringes upon the rights of religious people. Adoption agencies, which place hundreds of children into homes each year, were forced to close for refusing to adopt to gay and lesbian and unmarried singles and couples, even though they were happy to refer them elsewhere. Bakers who are happy to make a birthday or graduation cake for a homosexual were sued because they would not make a gay wedding cake,. Some churches are not being forced to marry gay couples even though it’s against their faith.

    Civil unions allow them to have equal rights because they can get health care, buy property, etc. It is wrong to refuse to hire someone or fire them for being homosexual, to not serve them at restaurants, etc.

    And nobody is pushing to make sodomy illegal or anything like that. Although it is against God’s law, people have free will and the right to choose to reject God’s plan for them. God is a gentleman and does not force anyone to follow Him.

    • Patrick

      Leogirl87: You think the Baker A should be able to refuse to bake a gay wedding cake? Well then why should Chef B have to serve dinner to that same married gay couple at his restaurant a year later? They will want a piece of cake for dessert with a candle in it and a “Happy Anniversary to you” song sung by all the waiters, like they do for all customers who request it. That infringes on Chef B’s religious rights. (Even iwithout the song, its still a gay wedding anniversary cake, and offends his religious sensibilities.) Of course, by that reasoning, Chef B should also get to refuse to serve the Hasidic couple, who, by their garb, are flagrantly telling Chef B all that they deny Christ. Doesn’t that offend his religious beliefs just as much?

      • abadilla

        Patrick, have you ever been in a business where you read a sign that says, “We have the right to refuse service,” or words to that effect? If I have a business that bakes cakes or a photography business, I have the right to refuse my servives to anyone in a free country. Why are there no laws in this country stating businesses do not have the right to refuse to anyone any service? The gay lobby would like to impose on anyone their life-style and forcing anyone to do what they think is clearly wrong on moral grounds is also a form of discrimination.

        • Patrick

          Abadilla, you clearly have no understanding about the law. Business owners do not have the rights you seem to think they do. If you want to be able to open a bakery shop and refuse service to a minority, you will need to do that in another country. Enjoy your trip.

          • abadilla

            “Abadilla, you clearly have no understanding about the law.” I’m glad you do so you can enlighten me.

            A business can’t discriminate on the basis of color or sexual orientation or religion, and the Church does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, otherwise people who are gay would not be able to go to Mass. I have gay students in a Catholic high school. Are they discriminated against because of their sexual orientation? Of course not. Now, how do I not understand the law?

            “you will need to do that in another country. Enjoy your trip.” isn’t this precisely the type of discrimination not allowed by businesses yet you used it against me, a minority?

    • Greg B.

      It is truly absurd to suggest that being denied marriage rights is less of an infringement upon one’s liberty than being required to bake a cake for a wedding one disapproves of. Ridiculous. Don’t expect that to be well received at SCOTUS.

      • abadilla

        “marriage rights?” That’s precisely the point. Even among heterosexual couples, they don’t have the “right” to get married by the Church. Did you know that? Today every aberrant behavior is a “right” but no one is able to tell me “why” it is a “right?”

        • Philip D.

          Supreme Court 1967 (and in over 100 other decisions) said: “marriage is a BASIC RIGHT OF MAN”

          You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. The fact is that CIVIL marriage is, and has been, a right in this country.

          • abadilla

            Yes, the Supreme Court said that much. Did it say in 1967 that marriage is also a right for homosexual couples? No, they were not that insane yet, but they did say in the Dredd-Scott decision (1858) Black people were not really people and in 1973 it legalized the murder of the unborn, and I’m absolutely sure the founding fathers would never have considered those “rights.”

            The Church does not consider marriage a “right” and that’s not an opinion. The Constitution does consider marriage a “right” but it has not said it is for gay people also, and that’s not an opinion either

        • Greg B.

          Huh??? Nobody is asking for the right to be married by the church. What are you talking about?

          • abadilla

            We were dealing with the idea that marriage is a “right.” I simply stated that it isn’t a right even for heterosexual couples in the Church. You are right, marriage is a right from a constitutional perspective, but neither the Constitution nor Supreme Court liberal judges interpreting the founding document have ever said it is a right for any other persons other than a heterosexual couple, right?

          • Philip D.

            Marriage is indeed a right.

          • abadilla

            I’m not even sure I could define what a “right” is. Yes, to the U.S. Supreme Court it is a “right,” and to the Catholic Church it isn’t a “right” unless I’m wrong in my understandig of Catholicism, in which case, I’m open to correction. As of now, the liberal judges interpreting the Constitution have said marriage is indeed a “right” among heterosexuals. Will they interpret that union for “all” people? Most likely, but that won’t ever make it moral.

  • abadilla

    Any Catholic who believes the Church is infringing and discriminating them because the Church is asking a Catholic to be faithful in following Catholic moral teaching, is completely free to leave and live like a pagan, or he or she can join the Episcopal church which is as Christian as Obama is a capitalist.

    • Greg B.

      They’re not simply asking that Catholics follow the church’s “moral” teachings, they’re demanding that the law force all citizens to follow those teachings. See the difference?

      • abadilla

        The law already does that without the Church’s intervention because the law reflects the protection of marriage for the good of all society, not just for the benefit of Catholics. The Church would see a redefinition of marriage not only as a threat to the theological understanding of marriage, but as a threat to a law that recognizes the family as the basic cell of society.
        In the case of abortion, as an example, the state has elevated murder as the law of the land. The protection of the unborn is not recognize by the Constitution of this country as interpreted by liberal judges. If marriage is redefine to meet the demands of a small but vocal group, sin would be elevated to the status of law and the Church rejects the enshrinment of sin as part of the law of the land.

        • Greg B.

          You’re going to attempt to compare laws against murder to
          laws against same-sex marriage? I’m not going to begin to go into why that’s ludicrous. There are plenty of religious teachings that are viewed as having a moral basis – prohibitions on consuming pork or
          not allowing women to show their faces in public – that we as Americans do not impose on all of society through our shared civil laws. You now need to accept the fact that marriage equality is going to fall within that category. Organizations like NOM and CV will continue to try and raise money for a little bit longer by convincing people that this won’t happen. But it will.

  • abadilla

    Mr.Peters, I don’t think your detractors read this part of your post, “Illinois already has same-sex civil unions that give same-sex couples all the legal benefits of marriage.” If this is true, then why would any gay couple demand to have “marriage” for them? I also don’t think your detractors read, “Same-sex civil unions have already forced Catholic and Lutheran adoption agencies in the state to shut down.” Either they didn’t read this part or they don’t care, in which case I wonder how “Lutheran,” or “Catholic” they are.
    The other day a student asked me, “I get why the Church would not allowed a gay marriage to take place since homosexual acts are considered sinful, but I don’t get why the Church would oppose gay marriage outside the Church.” My reply to the young man was twofold and in the form of questions: 1. Why would the Church want to enshrine into law what it considers sinful? 2. How is the recognition of so-called gay marriages beneficial for the stability of the family, a family already in trouble because of divorce, abandonment of spouses and children, and a society frankly hostile to the family in general?
    As for the Cardinal, have we come to the point where a prince of the Church can no longer express the teaching of the Church without encountering negative and hostile comments from people who might even be Catholic?
    I also wonder, why would anyone who came from a family of a mom and a dad defend same sex-marriage and the demise of the family, when, in fact, most of us came out of a family?

    • Greg B.

      If civil unions are legally identical to marriage, as you claim, then why do you care if same-sex couples’ legal union is a civil union or a civil marriage? You are asserting that the law is redundant. If it’s a redundant law, then it’s legal effecrs and consequences would also be redundant. So I ask again, if all is identical, shy don you care?

      • abadilla

        “If civil unions are legally identical to marriage, as you claim.” As Mr. Peters claims in the state of Illinois.
        I do care because marriage is between a man and a woman in order to love each other and have children. The latter would be impossible with gay couples for obvious reasons. Marriage, from a theological perspective, is NOT a human invention. Neither the State nor the Church have the “right” to redefine what marriage is. No, the law is what it is because it reflects what is right. If the law changes, it changes not to reflect what is right but what is the whim of a few people in society. Now, Greg, if you are a Catholic well-intructed on the faith, I would not have to explain this one to you.

        • Greg B.

          Sorry, you don’t get to do that. “Because marriage is between a man and a woman” isn’t a valid answer for “Why should marriage be limited to a man and a woman?”. It’s circular reasoning and a common avoidance tactic. Marriage from certain theological perspectives may not be a human invention but marriage from a legal perspective, the issue at hand, is most definitely one. Thus, the state does indeed have the right to define what a legal marriage is. The one point we agree on, however, is that the church doesn’t have the right to dictate the legal definition of marriage. What is “right” is simply your opinion, which I think is misguided. And your suggesting that committed gay couples wanting to marry is a “whim” reveals your bias. My faith or yours is irrelevant since we’re not talking about church doctrine, we’re talking about civil law. It’s unfortunate that you’re not able to see the difference. You used a lot of words to avoid resounding to the point I made and if you’ll scroll up to your first post, you’ll see that instead of defending your point, you changed it.

          • abadilla

            “Why should marriage be limited to a man and a woman?” Simple, I already gave you the answer, you just don’t accept it. It is limited to a man and a woman because only a man and a woman can pro-create, that simple. The other day this lady in New York married her cat. Can they pro-create?

            What does “marriage” from a civil perspective create? Civil rights which are already part of who we are as a nation?

            The Church indeed does not dictate the legal definition of marriage but it has the right, and it is exercising that right, to speak openly in the public square about what is good and what is detrimental for society and it views gay marriage as detrimental for society.

            “What is “right” is simply your opinion, which I think is misguided.” No it isn’t my opinion, it is the moral teaching of the Church based on natural law, the Scriptures and the Church’s understanding of marriage, its rights and duties in the last 2000 years. If that is “misguided” teaching to you, what can I say?

            It is indeed the whim of many gay couples but it isn’t all gay couples that want “marriage,” if they understand what marriage really is and what it entails.

            I do see the difference between the Church’s perspective on marriage, a sacrament, and the State’s perspective on marriage, but even the State, at least guided by the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution, has not officially recognize gay marriages. By the way, why should I not propose for you the Church’s understanding of marriage when we are discussing this issue on a Catholic forum reacting to the words of a Cardinal?

            “You used a lot of words to avoid resounding to the point I made and if you’ll scroll up to your first post, you’ll see that instead of defending your point, you changed it.”
            I haven’t change anything. I don’t just write for you, but for anyone who might be reading these reactions.



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