Exclusive: Bishop Paprocki’s Letter in Defense of Marriage to be Read at All Springfield Masses This Sunday

As I wrote yesterday, lawmakers in Springfield, Illinois are trying to bring up a bill to redefine marriage. If proponents of same-sex marriage believe they have enough votes they will try to get the bill to the floor as early as today.

Efforts to bring the issue up to a vote already have hit a snag, however, and as a result the bill to redefine marriage will probably be voted on as an amendment to a totally unrelated bill involving car rentals (seriously).

If you live in Illinois and haven’t yet contacted your lawmakers in Springfield to demand they protect marriage please do so now! You can use this form or (preferably) call their office directly.

I’m glad to report that yet another brave bishop in Illinois is taking this debate as an opportunity to educate his flock and urge them to take action. Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Diocese of Springfield has instructed all of his priests to read this at Mass on Sunday:

SSM-Illinois +Paprocki Letter 1-2-2013

Bishop Paprocki was last mentioned on these pages when he summed up the election in a single sentence.

Bishop Paprocki and Cardinal George are not the only faith leaders to speak out in defense of marriage. Over 1,700 faith communities in Illinois have signed on to a letter demanding that the laws of their state reflect the true reality of marriage.

Please pray for the protection of children and marriage in Illinois!



211 thoughts on “Exclusive: Bishop Paprocki’s Letter in Defense of Marriage to be Read at All Springfield Masses This Sunday

  1. whabbear says:

    This “pastoral” letter is one of the most offensive pieces of excrement I’ve ever seen. I hope that if it gets read in Springfield parishes during church services this weekend, the assembled Catholic faithful turn their backs on the priest and walk out.

    1. abadilla says:

      “the assembled Catholic faithful turn their backs on the priest and walk out.” If they are “faithful,” they will not disrespect their priests or bishop, even though they may be in disagreement with what they say, but no faithful Catholic refers to a pastoral letter as “excrement” That would be beyond the pale!

      1. TimCA says:

        Like no good German would ever refer to their leader as a fascist. That would be beyond the pale.

        1. abadilla says:

          Are you implying the Pope is a fascist? If you are, you’re very close to disappearing from CV! I would be careful!

          1. TimCA says:

            I am stating that people of conscience should stand up and a voice opposition to things that are wrong.

          2. ostracario says:

            They don’t like that here. They wish that we’d never found this section of cyberspace.

          3. TimCA says:

            Unfortunately it’s always easier to disenfranchise people when you don’t have to come in contact with them.

          4. abadilla says:

            “I am stating that people of conscience should stand up and a voice opposition to things that are wrong.” and that is exactly what the Catholic bishops and the Pope are doing. From their perspective, I should say “our” perspective, because I am a Roman Catholic, we oppose homosexual marriage because it is wrong.
            When Mr. Peters and other members of this site write their blogs, what makes you think they are not people of conscience standing up for what they think is right?

          5. TimCA says:

            Again, the RCC and its followers have an absolute right to voice their opinion and try to persuade. It does NOT have a right to insist that secular law conform to RCC or any other particular religious doctrine.

          6. abadilla says:

            When the law discriminated against Black people in this country, did Baptist ministers and Catholic priests and nuns have the right to demand the law of the land be changed? Yes, and no one told us then we could not try to influence either public opinion or the law of the land, because our views were based on our belief system.
            Today the Church sees gay marriage as a threat to the family, and it fights to keep the law recognizing a man and a woman, which many psychologists agree is good for the offspring. In the 1950s most people would agree the laws had to be changed, today we disagree on whether certain laws should be changed or not.
            BTW Tim, did you know our Church also frowns upon two heterosexual women or two heterosexual men having a child? The Church does not like it one bit because the Church believes that a child needs a male and a female role model. Now, what if a child needs to be adopted and the alternative is to remain in an orphanage of some sort? The Church says in those cases it is O.K. for two heterosexual women or men to adopt because lacking a role model is less of a problem than leaving the child in an orphanage.

          7. Greg B. says:

            “Today the Church sees gay marriage as a threat to the family”

            That’s merely an attempt to justify their desire to have the law mirror their doctrine. Gay marriage is NOT a threat to the family. Claiming that loving gay couples are a “threat” is what we correctly refer to as bigotry.

          8. abadilla says:

            No Greg, you are wrong. The Church also sees divorce as a threat to the family. The Church also see fatherless children as a threat to the family. The Church sees contraceptives as a threat to the family. The Church also sees abortion as a threat to the family, The Church believes that part of the role of society is to create a positive environment for the development of the family which we see as a fundamental cell of society. The healthier families are, the healthier society is.

            Many of us see the lack of justice of a gay couple not having rights that ordinarily everyone has, and we believe the solution to this dilemma is civil unions, not something that works in detriment of the family unit. Obviously you disagree, and I understand why, but you also need to understand why it is that we oppose gay marriage instead of accusing the entire hierarchy of the Church and lay Catholics as people who are just demonstrating bigotry.

          9. TimCA says:

            And PS-If CV is so squeamish about someone voicing an opinion, even about the Pope himself, then I dare say that that says an awful lot about CV (and not in a good way either)

          10. abadilla says:

            An opinion is one thing, an insult is another. What if you came into my house and said my father has a strong character. That is an opinion based on your observations, but if you were to come into my house and say my father is a fascist or imply that in any way, shape, or manner, you would find the unwelcomed mat very quickly.

            If CV were squeamish 70% of the posts here would simply be gone!

          11. TimCA says:

            OK, fair enough. Granted, insults and invective are not the most persuasive tools for opening a dialog.

          12. abadilla says:

            Are you saying it is possible for us to have a dialogue even though we hold diametrically opposing positions? Well, we are making progress.

          13. TimCA says:

            I don’t know if you are going to see this or not, but my posts are now being for some reason “held for moderation”. Unfortunately other posts that I’ve made here once I receive this message never make it onto the site. I’ll try later.

          14. TimCA says:

            Interesting this post now makes it through. I have no idea why some posts are being held for moderation and others not.

          15. abadilla says:

            Tim, before your posts are held for moderation, I would think the guy who used the “f” word for me and the guy who called me a “coward” would have their posts examine by moderators. As heated as these discussions get, insults and foul language, as far as I’m concerenbd, have no place either in Catholic forums or in any forum.
            I like to watch videos from Britain’s Got talent and hear people singing beutifuly, and I’m amazed when I find people using foul language to describe a person simply because they don’t like “how” that person sings. I always ask myself, “Don’t they have any moderators to stop this ugliness?”

          16. Greg B. says:

            Why should gay people have to debate you about whether they deserve to be treated equally under the law. Sort of presumptuous on your part, wouldn’t you say?

          17. abadilla says:

            I know exactly how our argument might be seen from the perspective of the gay community because, if I’m not mistaken, they see it as a “right.” Obviously we don’t see it that way, not even for heterosexual couples since we believe not everyone has a “right” to be married in the Church. As an example, someone who is impotent can not be married in the Church because one of the ends of marriage will be affected by such a union. Now, if I’m not mistaken, if the lady would like to work with the man to find out a solution, the Church might allow the marriage ceremony to take place. I wrote “might” because no one has “right” to be married in the Church. Of course, if I’m wrong, there is a monsignor who participates in this forum who can correct me anytime.
            BTW, are you and others aware that we have moved well-beyond this theme and we are now dealing with something else?

          18. ostracario says:

            Why be careful? Will you get the Pope to smite us?

          19. abadilla says:

            No, be careful with your attacks on the Church because CV is not patient forever. I said nothing about the Pope. He is too kind to take care of heretics. I for one, in his position, would televised excommunications from St. Peter’s every day, but aren’t you glad I’m not the Pope? See, in a free country I can have my fantasies, and daily excommunications is one of them.

          20. TimCA says:

            And in a free society, as is the USA, the RCC has the absolute right (like all churches) to excommunicate whomever they wish predicated on whatever criteria the RCC wishes to establish. As an American, I totally support the right of freedom of religion, including that of the RCC. However, we are talking about the granting of a state issued civil license. The RCC does NOT have the right to expect that our government withhold a state issued civil marriage license predicated on its dictates.

          21. abadilla says:

            I think I already answered this question. The only thing I can tell you is that as Catholics, through our representatives, we have the right to petition the government to maintain a law we think protects the family, but we can’t force the government to do so. Given that the Obama administration is very hostile to the Catholic Church, don’t worry, I don’t believe they will hear us, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to express our faith in the public square.
            BTW Tim, when we talk about the family, we are well aware of the divorce rate and the disintegration of the family. We are not saying the family unit is perfect.

          22. TimCA says:

            But of course the RCC is not lobbying our government to deny the right of civil divorce. I can only speculate that the reason for this very selective political activism might be because that would infringe on the rights of the vast majority (heterosexuals) and it is politically easier to target a small, vulnerable minority (homosexuals).

          23. abadilla says:

            I’m not an encycopledia so I don’t know “all” the facts. I suspect that divorce was already allowed by the State before the Church could say a word about it in this United States, but if divorce was prohibited by law, the Church probably would have made an effort to keep it that way because divorce is seen in most cases as detrimental to the family unit.

      2. whabbear says:

        abadilla: I responded to your post, but the moderators have not allowed it to appear. I don’t know why; it was meant to inspire dialog.

        1. abadilla says:

          I don’t know it either, but in all honesty, I have complained bitterly about a certain person using the “f” word to insult anyone, including me, because I happen to disagree with him or her. I know you haven’t use the “f” word but the moderators MIGHT be reacting to my complain and I presume to the complains of others.

  2. Deborah33 says:

    Wow Thomas. I won’t be back again until I hear from somewhere that the comments here and elsewhere on Catholic Vote are being monitored for the edification of the faithful. God bless in what you have been called to do.

    1. abadilla says:

      I can only conclude with some of these ugly comments that trolls took CV over again. After peaceful weeks, I have no other explanation. I already notified Mr. Peters of this situation in case he has missed it. It is discouraging, is it not?

      1. TimCA says:

        Since the “faithful” seem bent on injecting themselves into the lives of their fellow citizens who happen to be gay or lesbian, I guess it would seem only right that some of those citizens so effected would interject themselves into CV. No?

        1. abadilla says:

          Is Bishop Paprocki demanding his priests read the pastoral letter in catholic churches or is he demanding the letter be read outside the Catholic Church also?

          1. TimCA says:

            He has required that the letter be read inside the churches in order to encourage individuals to lobby their state government to limit the civil rights of their fellow citizens.

          2. abadilla says:

            Correct, just like the homosexual lobby does the same to gain support for their position. It’s called a “democracy.” The problem is that far too many people would like to silence the Church for what it believes. It reminds me of NOW who only cares for liberal woman or the NAACP who only care for Black liberals. If the Catholic Church were preaching that homosexual marriage should be the law of any state, the homosexual lobby would not be saying that’s unfair, at all!

          3. TimCA says:

            Wrong! No one is atempting to silence the RCC. The RCC is entitled to teach whatever it wants. And if the RCC simply limited itself to trying to convince others to live by your theological teachings there would be no problem. However when your Church attempts to use our civil, secular government to deny a state issued civil license to gay and lesbian couples then we have a problem.

            Gay and lesbian people are not trying to forcibly divorce Catholics against their will (as in California) or stop Catholics from receiving a state issued government license (as currently in Illinois). The RCC is on the other hand doing these things to gay and lesbian couples.

          4. abadilla says:

            “Wrong! No one is atempting to silence the RCC.” Wrong, many are attempting to do just that by misusing the separation of Church and State as if that meant freedom FROM religion and not “freedom OF religion.”
            The homosexual lobby in the form of many organizations also wants to influence the State to change its laws regarding gay marriage and in a free country, that is possible, but it is also possible that the Church state its position based on its theological understanding of marriage.
            Are you ready to tell me that the gay lobby does not have a basis for their belief that gay marriage would be O.K? If so, why are they allowed to speak from their belief system but we are not supposed to do the same?

          5. TimCA says:

            The Church absolutely has the right to state its theological position about marriage or any other topic and no one is stopping it from doing so. The Church however does not have a right to expect that this civil license be withheld from citizens based upon its theology. We live in a pluralistic society. We value (at least I do anyway) individual freedom and liberty in this country. Individual couples should make this decision for themselves whether they wish to enter into this state administered contract, not your church.

          6. abadilla says:

            As I wrote before, just as the gay lobby has the right to publicly try to influence governemnt to do its bidding, whether it is founded on some sort of belief system, we as Catholics do not have any less rights to demand the opposite based on our religious beliefs.

          7. TimCA says:

            No you don’t. You have no more of a “right” to exclude gay people from a state issued marriage license in the name of your religion than you do to expect the state (government) to withhold a building permit for a synagogue because of your theocratic beliefs.

            In a pluralistic society, it’s called tolerance.

          8. abadilla says:

            If a religion, whether it be Roman Catholic or Hinduism or Judaism believes that gay marriage is detrimental to marriage, do you think it would be honest for them not to fight to keep the law as it is? If they didn’t, then freedom of religion would not be possible because each religion could only speak to its members and not try to persuade the public square of the rightness of their teaching.

          9. Greg B. says:

            If the issue was that Catholics were trying to influence government to deny marriage licenses for gay couples while gays were simultaneously trying to influence government to deny marriage licenses for Catholic couples, your point would be valid. But it’s not.

          10. Greg B. says:

            Um…right. Because it’s not unfair to advocate for equal treatment under the law.

          11. abadilla says:

            Again Greg, you want to make this issue from the Church’s perspective as idiotic as it can be, but the issue is much more complicated than this.
            Do you “honestly,” and here the word “honesty” is key, think a Church composed of a hierarchy of priests, deacons, bishops and priests, who all have university degrees and are highly educated somehow can’t see what you can?
            Have you also considered that the Catholic position on this matter is not unique and that there are other Christian bodies who have the same position on this issue as the Roman Catholic Church has? It takes a lot to believe they are all silly, misinformed on the issue, simply ignorant or worse, filled with bigotry.

      2. Deborah33 says:

        Very discouraging. If I recall ‘abadilla’ correctly, you gave it a valiant try.

        1. abadilla says:

          I did, then I left because the trolls had taken over, Then one day I came back and I could not believe my eyes, horrible messages deleted right and left and then we had a period of quiet until Mr. Peters dealt with the unmentionable theme and the gay lobby took over again to tell us how wrong we are.

        2. abadilla says:

          I did, but like “I Dream a Dream” from Les Miserables, “the tigers come at night…and you know the rest of the story.

          1. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

            J.M.J. Abadilla, I thinkl that you were right five weeks ago when you said insitently that one should avoid answering here those who are stirring up dischord.

          2. abadilla says:

            Hi. Monsignor,
            It’s tempting not to dialogue with some people. Perhaps I’m too naïve but I believe it is possible to dialogue with some folks and present to them the Catholic position on any given issue. However, when insults fly then I simply ignore that person and I don’t respond. I’m sure you are aware by now one used the “F” word against me and another called me a “coward.” Once that happens, I don’t bother to reply because I believe those folks don’t have an argument worth having a dialogue about and that’s why they hurl insults because that’s all they have. However, I also believe it is the responsibility of moderators to delete such messages because they contribute nothing to the conversation.
            I you read my conversations with Tim, you will find that he tends to be reasonable up until this point. No insults coming from him and yet we differ very much on the issue of gay marriage. Some folks can’t disagree without hurling insults that do not belong in a Catholic forum. BTW, if I say something which is inaccurate about the faith, by all means let me know.

          3. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

            J.M.J. Thank you, Abadilla. I, too, appreciate those God-give opportunities to discuss. Thank you for your many attempts to share the Truth with those who post here.

          4. abadilla says:

            Hello Monsignor, I do try and believe me, it is very hard for me not to lose my temper when I read some of the most unbelievable accusations against our Church, but I must always remember not to express myself with trashy language.
            Have you found anything I have written that is not accurate regarding the faith?

          5. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

            J.M.J. Thank you again, Abadilla. I have not found anything that you have written against our Faith and admire very much your desire to represent well the only Church founded by Jesus Christ..

          6. abadilla says:

            Thank you so much Monsignor. What you said at the end is so true and yet so many people don’t see that what the Church teaches is the “truth” because it is the Church founded by Christ who said of Himself, “I am the Way, the truth, and the life.” The very idea that there is an objective truth is denied even by those who claim to be Catholic.

      3. ostracario says:

        We’re not trolls. We’re people who are fighting the injustice of the RCC.

        1. abadilla says:

          Oh please, spare me. You want CV to be silenced, period, and that’s why your cries for “justice” sound hollow. The fact is, our bishops have as much right to speak in the public square as the gay lobby does and if you were to believe in democracy, you would simply disagree with our bishops, not try to silence them! Have you ever heard our bishops and the Pope publically stating the want the gay lobby to shut up?

          1. TimCA says:

            How specifically have the bishops been (or tried to have been) silenced? The bishops have a right to free speech. How have those rights been violated?

    2. Greg B. says:

      Thomas has boasted before that, unlike over at NOM Blog, he allows debate to happen here.

    3. abadilla says:

      Mr, Peters has began the process. Just be a bit patient. It takes time to use the vacuum cleaner!

      1. Deborah33 says:

        abadilla, I’m responding remotely: Thanks for the update, but it’s a bit late for vacuuming. This wasn’t just normal dust from rational discussion, it was foul and vicious invasiveness. I can check in on current events for Catholics elsewhere with the expectation that the natural and spiritual good of their readers is valued and protected.

        1. abadilla says:

          “Hi Deborah, “This wasn’t just normal dust from rational discussion, it was foul and vicious invasiveness.”

          That’s exactly what it was but I have been told change is coming and I think this type of change will keep in mind we can have respectful disagreements with the Church, but disrespect and foul language as well as those who use them will be banned.

          Already on a post on the Pope there were statements stated about the Pope that I frankly do not think belong in CV. I know for a fact, in other Catholic sites such attacks would not be tolerated and they would be banned in a nano second.

          “I can check in on current events for Catholics elsewhere with the expectation that the natural and spiritual good of their readers is valued and protected.”
          I do too, but check in a few days and things will be much better. I think at one time trolls were allowed to take over and it was a disaster. Many loyal Catholics simply left. Now that we were coming back, “the foul and vicious invasiveness came back with a vengeance.”

  3. Tjay229 says:

    Quite simply..

    “Fuck the Catholic Church and all that try to stop SSM”


    Shouldn’t they be more concerned with the Catholic Priest who chase little boys down the street in their underware than what two grown men do in their home.

    1. ostracario says:

      We should be able to convey our message without the use of profanity.

      1. Tjay229 says:

        Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.. Ever hear of “Freedom of Speech”

        1. ostracario says:

          Yes, I’m familiar with the term and I’m on your side, as it were. I just feel that we needn’t degrade ourselves with profane language. I feel as strongly as you do with regard to the RCC, I can assure you of that.

          1. Tjay229 says:

            And your opinion matters to me how…? I’m a grown man. You sound foolish trying to tell me what I can and can not say.

          2. ostracario says:

            You’re much friendlier on JMG. And less profane. Knock yourself out.

          3. Tjay229 says:

            Uh.. Mind your comments not mine.

          4. abadilla says:

            Guest, are you sure you want to be on his side? He is so full of it, he won’t even listen to reason as you so clearly wrote it to him.

          5. abadilla says:

            Well Guest, as you can clearly read, some people have no arguments, period, and that’s why, in their ignorance, they have to resort to the worse language possible. Worse than that, he tells you, in a forum where everyone is exchanging views, “And your opinion matters to me how…? I’m a grown man.” A “grown” man would never use this type of trashy language to make a point in this forum or any forum for that matter, but some people never come out of the gutter.

        2. abadilla says:

          Freedom of speech does not entitled anyone to use your type of language. Try your type of “freedom of speech” in a Court of Law, or in a church, or better yet, in the Senate of the United States, and see what happens to you.
          People who use this type of language have no arguments, period. All they have is insults by misusing freedom of speech.

          1. Tjay229 says:


            Fuck you and the Holy Church you attend. (How’s that…?)

      2. abadilla says:

        Not when one is used to trash.

        1. Tjay229 says:

          Neer been to your house so not exposed to trash. Jackass

      3. Tjay229 says:

        I am grown and free to say what I wish, how I wish.

        If you wish to tell someone what do do… Have children.

    2. abadilla says:

      O.K. you are a troll, for no decent person nor a faithful Catholic would ever use your type of language to write what you wrote two hours ago. I do hope management reads it and bans you permanently. One thing is to have a heated discussion of the issues involved, another is to use profanity in order to make your point. Your language belongs in the gutter, not in a Catholic forum.

      1. Tjay229 says:

        Now this goes directly to you… “FUCK YOU”

  4. Thus proving why Southerners especially were always leery of voting for
    Catholics (or papists as they say) because their first allegiance would
    be to the Pope and his Bishops and Archbishops in all things temporal
    and spiritual. Trying to infuse religion or religious views on secular
    laws has always been a bad idea. This also proves why there is a
    separation of church and state and why religious leaders are forbidden
    from preaching from the pulpit any endorsement or action concerning a
    political figure running for office or a specific law or initiative by
    the state unless they forgo their tax exempt status.

    1. abadilla says:

      No, Southerners did not want to vote for Catholics because they were bigotted. Is that your position toward Roman Catholics also?

      1. TimCA says:

        It’s not mine. Several polls show that the majority of US Catholics now support marriage equality. Bigoted Catholics are in the decided minority.

        1. abadilla says:

          Two points. Numbers do not matter in the Church to change any of her teachings. We are not a democracy. The majority of Catholic use artificial means of birth control, many have abortions and the morality of those issues will never change for the offical Church.
          Catholics who opposed this travesty of “equality” do so because they believe in what the Church teaches, not because of bigotry as much as you like to label me, others, the entire episcopate and the Pope with that ugly word.

          1. TimCA says:

            You and your church can have any opinion you want about any subject you want. Tomorrow you can come up with a teaching that, for instance the Southern Baptist Church did, that people of different races should not marry. However when you try to foist that opinion on your fellow citizens who are not in agreement and not even members of your church, then we have a real problem.

            I truly hope that as the years pass, and your church which continues to atrophy into political irrelevance, that people such as myself who are victimized by you and your church’s political activities, show a little more respect for you and your rights than you show towards us and our families currently!

          2. abadilla says:

            “You and your church can have any opinion you want about any subject you want.”
            See, we see a great difference between an “opinion” which may or may not be correct, and a “teaching” which is held to the the truth. Let’s say someone says in the church, the church building is not traditional enough for me. That is an opinion which might is neither right or wrong, but perhaps inaccurate. Now, if that same person says, “Well, I think Christ is just a symbol in the Eucharist, not real,” that person is now contradicting a very important church teaching we must all uphold if we are to truly be Roman Catholic.

            “I truly hope that as the years pass, and your church which continues to atrophy into political irrelevance, that people such as myself who are victimized by your church’s political activities, show a little more respect for your rights than you show towards us and our families currently!”
            1. I’m sad you feel this way. 2) The Church is not supposed to have political relevancy, it is supposed to uphold truths not always popular in and out of the Church. We can’t use the “coercive” power of the State to do anything, all we can do is to persuade people of a particular moral position. 3) You will never be victimized by the Church because the Church is the first institution to take human rights seriously and to uphold them. Yes, you don’t see it that way because to you marriage is a “right” not recognized by the Church, but the Church can’t recognize as a right something that has been rejected by Scriptures, natural law, Tradition and 2000 years of Catholic teaching. I understand you have to stay true to who you are and what you think is right, but so does the Church.

      2. Greg B. says:

        But Catholics who do not want to vote for gays or lesbians are NOT bigoted? How does that work?

        1. abadilla says:

          I don’t know where you got such an idea. If I as a Catholic, see a person who is qualified for office, that’s my primary concern, not his or her sexual orientation.
          In Los Angeles we have a man who has been mayor of Los Angeles for a while. He was elected by many Hispanics simply because he is Hispanic. I disagreed because I believed then and still do believe that a woman or man should be elected to office if he or she is qualified period, but what does this have to do with what we have been writing about, homosexual so-called marriage?

    2. Ruth Rocker says:

      You do realize, I hope, that the concept of “separation of church and state” appears nowhere in the Constitution of the US? Right? The closest we get to this is in the first amendment wherein the government cannot establish any state religion while at the same time cannot prevent private practice of any religion and in Article VI of that same document which specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Period.

      Thomas Jefferson used the metaphor of a “wall of separation between church and state” but that was written in a private letter to a church official (interestingly enough).

  5. StraightGrandmother says:

    The Roman Catholic Church is taking the wrong approach by trying to bend civil law to align with Catholic Doctrin. We are not all Catholics in this great country of ours. The church should withdraw from acting on behalf of the State and certifying a Civil Marriage. The only proper response if the church does not want to participate in being a public officiant because they do not agree with the Civil Law is to withdraw. The church should provide Catholic Marriage Rites and that is all.

    If couples want their Marriage recognized by the State they can have a second ceremony performed by a State Official. To expect all of we non Catholics to live under Catholic Doctrine in our Civil Laws is an affront to Seperation of Church and State. This is a very sensible remedy that the Catholic Church should adopt.

    1. Uh…The current law is that Marriage is a contract between 1 man and 1 woman. Who exactly is the party who is trying to “bend civil law”? When I am forced through my tax dollars to provide services to a gay person’s “spouse”, whose rights are NOW being violated? Morality is legislated all the time. No decision is “personal”. We are all inter-entwined. You do not wish to live under Catholic Doctrine, yet you expect me to live under Satin’s doctrine? Marriage has been untouched for 1000’s of years. Even the homosexuals of the pagan Roman Empire saw the benefit of traditional marriage for society and were married. Their gay relationships were “on the side”.

      1. StraightGrandmother says:

        “The current Law is that black people can marry black people and white people can marry white people” See how your same statement works in a different contex?

        Human Rights slowly advances overcoming religious dogma, thankfully we stopped burning witches here also.

  6. David_in_Houston says:

    The bishop’s letter is nonsensical. The church will never be forced to marry gay couples (or anyone else for that matter). Marriage between opposite-sex couples is not being “redefined”. Straight men will continue to marry straight women, if gay couples can ALSO get married. Expanding civil rights does NOT alter the rights of those that already have them. When interracial couples were permitted to marry, it did NOT “redefine” marriage for same-race couples. When women were given the right to vote, it did NOT redefine voting for men. It also didn’t pave the way for children and animals to be given the right to vote. If you allow one thing to happen, it does NOT mean that every other thing has to happen (polygamy, bestiality, incestuous marriages).

    We all know that procreation is neither a requirement nor an obligation in order to get married. Our laws allow 100% of the heterosexual population to marry, regardless of their intent or capability to procreate. You want only procreative couples to be allowed to marry? Congratulations on your opinion. Until it’s written into our secular laws, that’s exactly what it is… an opinion, nothing more. When you nullify Rush Limbaugh’s FOURTH non-procreative marriage, THEN we’ll talk about a marriage being “committed to a life fulfilled by having children”. If straight people can define their marriages however they see fit, so can gay people. Stop using hypothetical children as a weapon against gay citizens. You don’t want to be labeled a bigot? Then stop promoting ideologies that are the definition of bigotry (under the guise of religious liberty). The public is not obligated to follow your chosen beliefs; especially when we still live in a (supposedly) secular society. Secular civil marriage is not in the purview of the church.

    1. J.W. Swift says:

      Unless or until I make the choice to be a member of your church, only then do I expect to willingly be bound by the teachings/moral code of that church. Until then, I expect my government to treat me and everyone else fairly and as equals.

      (And my, how these folks do love to torture the “zero-sum” argument to make it sound like they’re having to give up some of their piece of the civil rights pie in order to allow expansion of civil rights to others.)

      Should there be folks who believe that it’d be better to live somewhere that religious dogma drives the laws that affect the entire citizenry, I recommend moving to Iran and see how that works out for you.

    2. abadilla says:

      “The church will never be forced to marry gay couples (or anyone else for that matter).” Really? Just a few months ago all Democratic and Republican Presidents respected the fact that we can not be forced to provide contraceptives and abortion in Catholic institutions. Now, we have a force mandate, the HH Mandate demanding we provide for what the Church believes is immoral. So, what makes you think once a law is passed allowing homosexual “marriages,” the state will not demand, on the basis of “equal rights” that the Church has to perform such marriages. As it is, they are already demanding we allow homosexual couples to adopt and if we don’t, then what? We can shut those place down or we can pretend our principles do not exist.

      1. Greg B. says:

        Don’t you think the Catholic Church will be forced to marry, say, divorced Jews before they’ll be forced to marry same-sex couples? I mean, there are probably a lot of divorced Jews out there and they’ve had civil marriage rights far longer than gays. Yet I don’t hear anyone using the claim that the Catholic Church will be forced to marry divorced Jews to defend making it illegal for them to marry.

        1. Patrick says:

          Agreed. OK, I hate posts that merely agree but I’ve made this exact same argument before and have never received a logical response. Churches are SO protected in this country when it comes to their sacraments and rites that its ridiculous to even consider it. If there is one priest ever, anywhere, in the history of this country, who was forced by his government to perform a religious rite against his religious beliefs I’d like to hear of it.

          1. Just wait. Watch the military chaplains. It’s only a matter of time. Military chaplains have already been told that they MUST perform homosexual ‘marriage’ ceremonies. They have not court martialed any Catholic priest YET. Just wait. It’s all coming around the pike. And I want to be the first person to tell you so. Remember me and don’t tell anyone that you were not warned.

          2. Patrick says:

            Forced to perform a religious sacrament? Never gonna happen.

            Here’s a related question, so I can better understand how your mind works: If A’s government job is to distribute driver’s licenses to qualified candidates our (government decides who is qualified to drive) and A’s religion (e.g., a strict Muslim sect) teaches that it is a sin for women to drive, and A refuses to give a woman a license, and A is fired, do you think that A was “forced” to violate her religion, or do you think that she chose to work for an employer and then chose not to comply with her job obligations? Assume for this example that A then chose to go work at the Islamic center where she does not have to serve women.

        2. abadilla says:

          Now you are showing a poor understanding of Catholic moral teaching. Jews belong to a different religion. We happen to believe divorce hurts the family, at least in most instances, so regardless of who gets a divorce we think that affects the family unit negatively, but Jews decide what to do with those situations just as Catholics decide what to do with those situations.
          If a civil judge declares that a valid marriage does not exist, he or she can say that until he or she is blue in the face, but it does not change the fact that that marriage is, in the eyes of God who sealed that union, always valid till one of the parties departs from this earth. Hard teaching? You bet it is, that’s why a lot of people live with the fantasy that being Catholic is easy.

      2. enness says:

        Indeed, lots of “nevers” happening. When it does happen, I don’t expect it to be as straightforward as that. It will come fraught with subtlety and complications that will make it look sympathetic. People who ought to know better will be unable to see it for what it is, much like now with the HHS mandate.

        1. abadilla says:

          “People who ought to know better will be unable to see it for what it is, much like now with the HHS mandate.”
          Well, they don’t see it. Many of us never saw it coming when the Obama administration did what no other administration in this country has done with the HH Mandate. So, a state declares gay marriage to be the law of the land in a particular State in the name of “equality under the law.” The next step is simple. The Federal government or the State demand the Church perform gay marriages whether they like it or not because not do do so would violate the principle of equality. Some folks say, it won’t happen, the State can’t dictate to the Church what to do, but now the Federal government is doing the same by mandating Catholic hospitals and clinics must provide abortion and contraception to its employees.

      3. StraightGrandmother says:

        No you are not being forced to provide contraception in Catholic Institutions, you are being forced to provide it in Catholic owned businesses, such as hospitals and adoption agencies. The government cannot enter your church and tell you what to do at Mass. Your attempt at slippery slope is a #FAIL.

        1. abadilla says:

          “you are being forced to provide it in Catholic owned businesses, such as hospitals and adoption agencies.” So you admit that we are being “forced” to do something which is diametrically opposed to what the Church teaches. Every administration, both Republican and Democrat had always respected the churhes not to do what went against its teachings, and now Obama comes along and he is going to tell us, through his HH Mandate, what we will do in our Catholic “owned businesses” as you put it.

          “No you are not being forced to provide contraception in Catholic Institutions, you are being forced to provide it in Catholic owned businesses. You don’t think a Catholic owned business is a Catholic institution?

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