Cardinal George Reflects on ‘Chicago Values’

Chicago’s native-born Archbishop Francis Cardinal George has employed his Cardinal’s Network email-blast to make some blistering comments related to the notion of some that city government can determine what constitutes ‘Chicago Values’. He follows that up with a fine discussion on marriage, excerpt:

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago. I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval. Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city? Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it? I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”

The value in question is espousal of “gender-free marriage.” Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus. Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define “marriage” (or other institutions we did not invent) at will? What are we re-defining?

It might be good to put aside any religious teaching and any state laws and start from scratch, from nature itself, when talking about marriage. Marriage existed before Christ called together his first disciples two thousand years ago and well before the United States of America was formed two hundred and thirty six years ago. Neither Church nor state invented marriage, and neither can change its nature.

Marriage exists because human nature comes in two complementary sexes: male and female. The sexual union of a man and woman is called the marital act because the two become physically one in a way that is impossible between two men or two women. Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital. Gender is inextricably bound up with physical sexual identity; and “gender-free marriage” is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle. . .

Read the whole thing. The last line is something to think about.

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  • karby

    Something does not hold together. Marriage is a private, very personal matter, between partners or couples. And, the only reason why a state or a church should step-in into such a union is because of the possibility of this union bringing out new citizens, new believers in a religion, new faithfuls, or new members of a family or community. If it is a well-meaning state, church, or society, they want to make sure somebody will have to be directly responsible for these children. Other than that, why should a state, a church, a community be asked to recognize what is supposed to be something private. The partners can love each other all they want, from north to south, from east to west, etc, etc, and yet.. why bother others? …we are all respectively busy, people. Ah well, it has to be legalized as a protection for each of the partners. If it is for the protection of properties and bank accounts, don’t we have laws of partnerships or corporations for that? Well, there are also adopted children from these same-sex marriages… Does the society then want more children in an ‘adopted’ environment, and to see this as a norm and not an exception? Or, do we want more children raised in the traditional way and do something to encourage this? Or, have we now accepted that dysfunctional families will now be our future direction? I was an adopted child and have not stopped yearning for my biological parents even if I have now my own family.

  • Mother Mary Patrick

    I agree! It’s wonderful to hear the Cardinal speaking out so courageously. Rahm, you DON’T speak for me!

  • darkjedi

    the church only got into marriages in the 1200, cause they could use it for power and $$$$$

  • Loves O.L. of Akita

    A most beautiful and welcome commentary from one of Our Shepherds!



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