As you know, the Supreme Court ruled on two measures that effect society’s view of marriage. In case you missed the response, here is the press re-lease from the Archdiocese about the rulings of the Supreme Court last week.
The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to dismiss the California Proposition 8 appeal does not change the reality of marriage, nor does it change the Archdiocese of St. Louis’s responsibility to defend marriage as being between one man and one woman. It is important to note that marriage predates both the U.S. government and Western civilization.
From a Catholic perspective, it is not enough to offer the Church’s position on same-sex union without also saying how it fits into a broader understanding of the sacrament of marriage, human sexuality, and the Gospel of Life as taught by Blessed John Paul II. The vocation to serve God and society through married life is a sacred union in which man and woman become one flesh. The Catholic Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. She teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality. The sexual union of a man and woman, when not obstructed by contraceptives, is the kind that is open to life even if new life is not the result.
We understand that married persons imitate the way Christ offers His body completely and permanently to the Church so that we might have life, and have it abundantly. This truth is written into our bodies as well as on the pages of the Old and New Testaments. While the law can allow other things to be called marriage, it cannot make them into the kind of union that is marriage.
Much will be written about the implications of these rulings in the days to come. In the mean time, perhaps we can redouble our efforts to pray for all those who are living the Sacrament of Marriage in the church, especially those couples who are struggling in their commitment.
Next weekend, I will be out of the country on a little R & R with 3 of my classmates. During that time, Fr. Ron Chochol will be covering the weekday masses, as well as any funerals that might be needed during my absence. Fr. Francis Tandoh, CSSP, will preside over the masses the weekend of July 13th and 14th as part of the Missionary Co-op program. Please give him your usual warm St. Ann welcome.