The chairman of the U.S. Catholic Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage has joined the Bishop of Providence, RI in condemning the new Rhode Island Marriage Equality law
The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, has called the legalization of same-sex marriage in Rhode Island May 2 a “serious injustice.”
According to the Catholic News Service, Cordileone also said Friday:
The meaning of marriage cannot be redefined, because its meaning lies in our very nature. Therefore, regardless of what law is enacted, marriage remains the union of one man and one woman — by the very design of nature, it cannot be otherwise.”
Rhode Island became the 10th state to allow same-sex marriages after Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law Thursday evening following a final 56-15 vote in the Rhode Island House. The law will take effect Aug. 1.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I., as well expressed his dissatisfaction with the legislation in a letter to the state’s Catholics posted on the website of the Providence Diocese May 2.
In that letter Tobin warned Rhode Island Catholics they should think hard before going to the weddings of local gays and lesbians.
As I have emphasized consistently in the past, the Catholic Church has respect, love and pastoral concern for our brothers and sisters who have same-sex attraction. I sincerely pray for God’s blessings upon them, that they will enjoy much health, happiness and peace. We also offer our prayerful support to families, especially parents, who often struggle with this issue when it occurs in their own homes.
Our respect and pastoral care, however, does not mean that we are free to endorse or ignore immoral or destructive behavior, whenever or however it occurs. Indeed, as St. Paul urges us, we are required to “speak the truth in love.” (Eph 4:15)
At this moment of cultural change, it is important to affirm the teaching of the Church, based on God’s word, that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2357) and always sinful. And because “same-sex marriages” are clearly contrary to God’s plan for the human family, and therefore objectively sinful, Catholics should examine their consciences very carefully before deciding whether or not to endorse same-sex relationships or attend same-sex ceremonies, realizing that to do so might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others.”
The letter is scheduled to appear in the May 9 edition of the Rhode Island Catholic newspaper.