This is not going to come as a surprise to anyone. Maine’s Bishop Richard Malone has gone back on his word about not opposing that state’s attempt to pass same-sex marriage via a referendum. As Ned Flaherty states “Maine Bishop Richard Malone and his religious staff have resumed committing the Roman Catholic mortal sin of opposing social justice for 76% of Maine’s non-Catholic citizens.”
One of the first places to note that this is going on is in this letter that ran in the New York Times:
I have not backed down in the church’s defense of marriage. Although not a member of the current political action committee, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is playing a crucial role in November’s vote, launching a communication and educational effort based on my pastoral letter.
This document is intended to educate all people of good will about the truth and beauty of marriage as it has been preserved for millenniums by society and various religions.
Objectively, the essence of marriage can only be the union of one man and one woman open to the new life of children, whom they nurture in their irreplaceable roles as father and mother. Faithful Catholics will continue to defend God’s plan for marriage through its preaching and teaching and in the public square.
Actually, Malone is also committing a major sin here by lying. Marriage as an institution of one man and one woman traces its lineage to just the Greeks and Romans. It was not the kind of marriage that was practiced by the ancient Israelis, who practiced polygamy, or the Celts, who practiced polyamory and same-sex marriage. What historians and anthropologists can tell Malone is that marriage between one man and one woman was, comparatively, rare until fairly recently.
Flaherty also noted that:
Malone insists he is re-playing “a crucial role” in the electoral politics by opposing same-gender marriage, and is adamant that he has not backed down on insisting that marriages between any two citizens require only one male and only one female whose purpose is procreation — without adoption, surrogacy, or fostering. Malone believes that his deity supersedes all other deities and all other religious sects.
Malone’s abrupt change is a reversal of his decision announced on 4 March 2012, when he wrote in a 22-page letter that the Roman Catholic Church would not campaign against the fall ballot question, and instead would merely teach Catholic sect members more about marriage. The Portland diocese reports to the Boston, Massachusetts diocese.
Much of the battle over same-sex marriage really is about religion. It often comes down to the likes of Malone trying to force his religious beliefs on non-Catholics and even non-Christians.