U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at their 2015 General Assembly, held in St. Louis, Mo. (Photo: AP)
In reaction to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling that homosexual marriage is a right, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said it was “profoundly immoral and unjust” for the government to declare that two people of the same sex “constitute a marriage,” and added that this “tragic error” harms the “common good” and “especially children.”
“Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable,” reads the statement as issued by USCCB President Joseph E. Kurtz, the archbishop of Louisville, Ky.
“Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over 40 years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today,” said the bishops. “Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail.”
“Today the Court is wrong again,” reads the statement. “It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.”
The bishops, who oversee the Catholic Church in America, went on to reemphasize the complementarity between man and woman, in the natural order and in scripture, and why only one man and one woman can constitute a marriage.
“The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female,” said the bishops. “Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children.”
“The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home,” said the USCCB.
They further said, “Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.”
In conclusion, Archbishop Kurtz, the USCCB president, called on “all people of good will” to continue to defend marriage. “I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth,” said Kurtz.
There are 446 active and retired Catholic bishops in the United States, and 195 archdiocese and dioceses. They all serve the faithful in the Catholic Church, headed by Pope Francis in Rome.
There are an estimated 70 million Catholics in the United States.