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Monday 29 June 2015

Landmark Posting Day

24 post day! Not so many tomorrow...

One More Good Shepherd

Archbishop Gustavo García‐Siller  Official Statement June 26, 2015 Archdiocese of San Antonio

I am profoundly troubled by the decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court concerning Same‐Sex “marriage.”  I unite with my brother bishops across the nation, calling this decision a “tragic error.”   The Catholic Church will continue to proclaim the truth about marriage in our pulpits and in the public square.  In Catholic teaching about the sanctity of marriage, it is clear that the union of one man and one woman in Holy Matrimony is more than a human convention or a legal contract, it is a sacred bond that reflects a great reality both in Natural Law and in our deepest held beliefs. 

In our wedding liturgy we pray:  "Father, to reveal the plan of your love, you made the union of husband and wife an image of the covenant between you and your people. In the fulfillment of this sacrament, the marriage of Christian man and woman is a sign of the marriage between Christ and the Church." 

It is our belief that God is the author of marriage as a holy covenant between a man and a woman as a blessing to both.  The Catholic Catechism teaches;   "By creating man and woman he called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage: 'So they are no longer two but one flesh....By its very nature it is ordered to the communion and good of the couple and to the generation and education of children." 

Catholic teaching explains that marriage is a loving union between a man and a woman and is not intended to be exclusively a prohibition, but is even more, a proclamation of God's love of humanity, and the beauty of love itself.  In this way the Church carries out the Father’s plan, enriching the lives of married couples and serving the common good. 

With love and respect to every human person, the Church will continue to invite men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation, to walk their journey of faith with us, discovering God's plan for them and for all society.  However, it is not within our power to recognize this redefinition of marriage nor participate in this misrepresentation of what we believe to be a sacred union created and reserved to one man and one woman. 

Another Good Statement

June 26, 2015
Bishop Terry R. LaValley 
Diocese of Ogdensburg
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision, ruling that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage. Regardless of the legal gymnastics that five of the nine jurists performed, no one can change what marriage really is. Divine law always trumps civil law. Marriage is the intimate partnership of life and love between one man and one woman, for the good of the spouses and for the procreation and education of children. Without this basic understanding of what marriage is, there is no limit to what “marriage” could mean.
Redefining marriage in the civil law teaches that one sex is interchangeable with the other, and that either a mother or a father is dispensable as a parent. It teaches that marriage is whatever consenting adults say it is. Protecting marriage matters to everyone. Mothers and fathers are irreplaceable, not interchangeable. Unjust discrimination is wrong, always wrong. However, treating differently that which is different is not unjust discrimination.
It’s no secret, the world at large is not eager to accept what the Church has to say. But our courts are not the ultimate arbiters of truth and that truth cannot be measured based on public opinion, even if it appears prevailing. Fidelity to the divine law is always, always the “loving thing to do.” Our mission is to inform and transform a world that seems, in so many ways, bent on succumbing to a philosophy of life that is at odds with God’s law.
The redefinition of legal marriage has serious consequences, especially for religious freedom. It changes every law involving marital status, requiring that other relationships be treated as if they were the same as the marital relationship of a man and a woman. No person or community, including religious organizations and individuals of faith, should be forced to accept this redefinition. For many of us, accepting a redefinition of marriage would be to act against our conscience and to deny our religious beliefs and moral convictions. Government should protect these convictions and beliefs without fear of intimidation or unwarranted charges that our values imply bigotry or hatred of others.
The majority opinion indicated that “those who adhere to religious doctrines may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” The five justices ruled that “the First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.” We intend to exercise that First Amendment right to the fullest extent possible because this Court decision will not stop public dialogue.
Surely, we are disheartened and disappointed, but not deterred. We shall increase our efforts to strengthen marriages and families and to rebuild a marriage culture for the sake of our children. Motivated by the truth and strengthened through prayer, we will continue to follow Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We are hope-filled because we are Christ-led and Christ-fed.

Excellent Statement--"civil disobedience may be a proper response"

I do not know why I cannot copy some of these pdfs.

Weird thing today.

But, please read this.

"No priest or deacon of this diocese may participate in the civil solemnization or celebration of a same sex marriage."

This excellent bishops also states that no diocesan, parish or any building associated with any Catholic groups may be used for these civil marriages. He also urges Catholics not to attend such false weddings

This is a great document. Why I cannot copy some pdfs is frustrating my attempt to share the entire document.

Entire List to Date with Links


Statement from Bishop Strickland

Joseph Edward StricklandBy the Grace of God and the Apostolic See
Bishop of Tyler
On the morning of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a 5-4 decision establishing the legal right of two individuals of the same sex to legally marry in all 50 states. By doing so, the Court has acted in contradiction to their duty to promote the common good, especially what is good for families. I join with the Bishops of the United States in calling this decision a “tragic error.”
Let me unambiguously state at the outset that this extremely unfortunate decision by our government is unjust and immoral, and it is our duty to clearly and emphatically oppose it.  In spite of the decision by the Supreme Court, there are absolutely no grounds for considering unions between two persons of the same sex to be in any way similar to God’s plan for marriage and the family. Regardless of this decision, what God has revealed and what the Church therefore holds to be true about marriage has not changed and is unchangeable.
Marriage is not just a relationship between human beings that is based on emotions and feelings. Rather, our Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Traditions tell us that God established true marriage with its own special nature and purpose, namely the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.
While taking a strong stand for marriage is the duty of all who call themselves Christian, every type of unjust discrimination against those with homosexual tendencies should be avoided. We must treat these individuals with loving kindness and respect based on their dignity as human persons. Christ rejects no one, but he calls all of us to be converted from our sinful inclinations and follow the truth He has revealed to us. Nevertheless, our continued commitment to the pastoral care of homosexual persons cannot and will not lead in any way to the condoning of homosexual behavior or our acceptance of the legal recognition of same-sex unions.
While some of us may have family members who have same-sex attraction, and there are even some who are members of our local churches, this decision to require the legal recognition of so-called marriage between homosexual persons should in no way lead us to believe that the living out of this orientation or the solemnizing of relationships between two persons of the same sex is a morally acceptable option.
We know that unjust laws and other measures contrary to the moral order are not binding in conscience, thus we must now exercise our right to conscientious objection against this interpretation of our law which is contrary to the common good and the true understanding of marriage.
Given this and recognizing my responsibility and moral authority as the shepherd of this Church of Tyler, I will shortly issue a decree in this Diocese establishing, as particular law, that no member of the clergy or any person acting as employee of the Church may in any way participate in the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages, and that no Catholic facilities or properties, including churches, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or any places dedicated or consecrated, or use for Catholic worship, may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages.
Finally, I call on the Catholic faithful of the Diocese to turn in prayer to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, asking their intercession for our nation that all of us may come to a greater understanding of the beauty, truth and goodness that is found in marriage as revealed to us by our Savior.
I instruct that this letter is to be publically read by the priest-celebrant following the proclamation of the Gospel at all Masses of obligation in the parishes, missions and chapels of Diocese of Tyler on the weekend of July 3-4, 2015.
Given at the Diocesan Chancery
On the 26th day of June
Friday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen
Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland
Bishop of Tyler

Statement from Cardinal O'Malley

June 26, 2015 - Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley's Statement on Supreme Court Decision

Following is the Cardinal's statement regarding the Supreme Court decision today:
"As a citizen of the United States and a Catholic bishop, I am saddened by the Supreme Court decision on same sex marriage.
The institution of marriage understood in its human, moral and legal dimensions is a fundamental building block of any society.  The protection of marriage and families is a shared responsibility for all of us.
In a pluralistic society we inevitability face disagreements about important political and legal questions. But our division over this question in its moral, political and legal significance is particularly painful.
Certainly every citizen of this land, regardless of their sexual orientation, deserves to be respected in their personal and civic life.  But enshrining same sex marriage in our constitutional system of governance has dangers that may become fully evident only over time.
I can only express my disappointment with the decision and invite members of my own religious community to remember and reaffirm the fundamental truths of our faith about marriage.  At the same time, faced with a decision that embodies a quite different understanding of the meaning of marriage than held by the Church, we should as citizens and Catholics both protect our own deeply held values and participate with civility and charity in the continuing national discussion about this decision." 

Archbishop of Dallas' Statement

Bishop Kevin Farrell responds to the SCOTUS ruling on marriage

Obispo Kevin Farrell responde a la decisión de la Corte Suprema en referencia al matrimonio

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a ruling that redefines the civil definition of marriage.  Marriage, as understood in the Catholic faith, has always been and still is the sacred lifelong commitment of one man and one woman.  Marriage as the union of one man and one woman predates all nations, laws and constitutions.  Marriage is not only a relationship of love between two persons who are committed to one another, but it is also about creating the next generation — this requires both a man and a woman.
The same Constitution that has now been held to open civil marriage to same-sex couples confirms and protects the Church’s right to carry forward the historic teaching of the Church regarding the Sacrament of Marriage.
As Catholics we believe in the dignity of each and every human being made in the image and likeness of God.  As such, we accept all persons with respect, compassion, and sensitivity and must be mindful that, even in polarizing times, there is no place for derision or smugness.  I pray that all persons who hold dear the civil liberties afforded by the United States Constitution will join us in working to safeguard the rights of people of faith to live and exercise that faith as they believe God requires.
I ask all to pray for the sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage and to join me in continuing to always pray for our country.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


La Corte Suprema ha emitido un fallo que redefine la definición de matrimonio civil.  Nuestra fe Católica nos dice que el matrimonio siempre ha sido y sigue siendo el compromiso sagrado permanente de un hombre y una mujer.  El matrimonio, como la unión de un hombre y una mujer, es anterior a todas las naciones, leyes y constituciones.  El matrimonio no es sólo una relación de amor entre dos personas que se han comprometido mutuamente, se trata también de procreación - esto requiere de un hombre y una mujer.
La misma Constitución que ahora abre el matrimonio civil a parejas del mismo sexo, confirma y protege el derecho de la Iglesia a continuar con su enseñanza histórica con respecto al Sacramento del Matrimonio.
Como Católicos creemos en la dignidad de cada ser humano creado a imagen y semejanza de Dios. Como tal, aceptamos a todas las personas con respeto, compasión y sensibilidad, y conscientes de esto, incluso en estos tiempos de polarización, no hay lugar para el escarnio o la petulancia. Le pido a Dios que todas las personas que apreciamos las libertades civiles que ofrece la Constitución de los Estados Unidos se unan a nosotros, trabajando para salvaguardar los derechos de las personas de fe que viven y ejercen esa fe como creen que Dios manda.
Les pido a todos que oren por la santidad del Sacramento del Matrimonio y que se unan orando continuamente por nuestro país.

A Meditation for Today, Part One-Those Who Mock God Morally Abandon Him

On the Abuse of Divine Mercy
Sermon by St. Alphonsus Liguori

In this day’s gospel we read, that a certain man fell into the hands of robbers, who, after having taken his money, wounded him, and left him half dead. A Samaritan who passed by, saw him, and taking pity on him, bound up his wounds, brought him to an inn, and left him to the care of the host, saying: "Take care of him." These words I this day address to those, if there be any such among you, who, though their souls are wounded by sin, instead of attending to the care of them, continually aggravate the wounds by new sins, and thus abuse the mercy of God, who preserves their lives, that they may repent, and not be lost forever. I say to you: Brethren, take care of your souls, which are in a very bad state; have compassion on them. "Have pity on thy own soul (Eccl. xxx. 24)." Your souls are sick, and what is worse they are near the eternal death of hell; for he who abuses to excess the divine mercy, is on the point of being abandoned by the mercy of God. This shall be the subject of the present discourse.

St. Augustine says that the devil deludes Christians in two ways "by despair and hope." After a person has committed sin, the enemy, by placing before his eyes the rigour of divine justice, tempts him to despair of the mercy of God. But, before he sins, the devil by representing to him the divine mercy, labours to make him fearless of the chastisement due to sin. Hence the saint gives the following advice: "After sin, hope for mercy; before sin, fear justice." If, after sin, you despair of God’s pardon, you offend him by a new and more grievous sin. Have recourse to His mercy, and He will pardon you. But, before sin, fear God’s justice, and trust not to His mercy; for, they who abuse the mercy of God to offend him, do not deserve to be treated with mercy. Abulensis says, that the man who offends justice may have recourse to mercy; but to whom can they have recourse, who offend and provoke mercy against themselves? 

When you intend to commit sin, who, I ask, promises you mercy from God? Certainly God does not promise it. It is the devil that promises it, that you may lose God and be damned. "Beware," says St. John Chrysostom, "never to attend to that dog that promises thee mercy from God (Hom. 50, ad Pop)."

If, beloved sinners, you have hitherto offended God, hope and tremble: if you desire to give up sin, and if you detest it, hope; because God promises pardon to all who repent of the evil they have done. But if you intend to continue in your sinful course, tremble lest God should wait no longer for you, but cast you into hell.
Why does God wait for sinners? Is it that they may continue to insult Him? No; He waits for them that they may renounce sin, and that thus He may have pity on them, and forgive them. "Therefore the Lord waiteth, that he may have mercy on you." (Isa. xxx. 1, 8.) But when He sees that the time which he gave them to weep over their past iniquities is spent in multiplying their sins, He begins to inflict chastisement, and He cuts them off in the state of sin, that, by dying, they may cease to offend Him. Then He calls against them the very time He had given them for repentance. "He hath called against me the time (Lam. i. 15)." "The very time," says St. Gregory, "comes to judge."

O common illusion of so many damned Christians! We seldom find a sinner so abandoned to despair as to say: I will damn myself. Christians sin, and endeavour to save their souls. They say: "God is merciful: I will commit this sin, and will afterwards confess it." Behold the illusion, or rather the snare, by which Satan draws so many souls to hell. "Commit sin," he says, "and confess it afterwards." But listen to what the Lord says: "And say not, the mercy of the Lord is great; He will have mercy on the multitude of my sins (Eccl. v. 6.)." Why does He tell you not to say, that the mercy of God is great? Attend to the words contained in the following verse: "For mercy and wrath come quickly from Him, and His wrath looketh upon sinners (Ibid., ver. 7)." The mercy of God is different from the acts of His mercy; the former is infinite, the latter are finite. God is merciful, but He is also just. St. Basil says, that sinners only consider God as merciful and ready to pardon, but not as just and prepared to inflict punishment. Of this the Lord complained one day to St. Bridget: "I am just and merciful: sinners regard Me only as merciful." St. Basil’s words are: "Bonus est Dominus sed etiam Justus, nolimus Deum ex dimidia parte cogitare." God is just, and, being just, he must punish the ungrateful. Father John Avila used to say, that to bear with those who avail themselves of the mercy of God to offend Him, would not be mercy, but a want of justice.

Mercy, as the divine mother said, is promised to those who fear, and not to those who insult the Lord. "And His mercy to them that fear Him (Luke i 50)."
Some rash sinners will say: God has hitherto shown me so many mercies; why should He not here after treat me with the same mercy? I answer: He will show you mercy, if you wish to change your life; but if you intend to continue to offend Him, He tells you that He will take vengeance on your sins by casting you into hell. "Revenge is mine, and I will repay them in due time, that their foot may slide (Deut. xxxii. 35)." David says, that "except you be converted," He will "brandish His sword (Ps. vii. 13)." The Lord has bent His bow, and waits for your conversion; but if you resolve not to return to Him, He will in the end cast the arrow against you, and you shall be damned. O God! there are some who will not believe that there is a hell until they fall into it. Can you, beloved Christians, complain of the mercies of God, after He has shown you so many mercies by waiting for you so long? You ought to remain always prostrate on the earth to thank Him for His mercies, saying: "The mercies of the Lord that we are not consumed (Lamen. iii. 32)." Were the injuries which you offered to God committed against a brother, he would not have borne with you. God has had so much patience with you; and He now calls you again. If, after all this, He shall send you to hell, will He do you any wrong? "What is there," He will say, "that I ought to do more for my vineyard, that I have not done to it (Isa. v. 4)?" Impious wretch! what more ought I to do for you that I have not done?

St. Bernard says, that the confidence which sinners have in God's goodness when they commit sin, procures for them, not a blessing, but a malediction from the Lord. "Est infidelis fiducia solius ubique maledictionis capax, cum videlicet in spe peccamus (Serm, iii., de Annunc)." O deceitful hope, which sends so many Christians to hell! St. Augustine says: "Sperant, ut peccent! Vae perversa spe (In Ps. cxliv)."

They do not hope for the pardon of the sins of which they repent; but they hope that, though they continue to commit sin, God will have mercy upon them; and thus they make the mercy of God serve as a motive for continuing to offend Him.
Accursed hope! hope which is an abomination to the Lord! "And their hope the abomination (Job xi. 20)." This hope will make God hasten the execution of His vengeance; for surely a master will not defer the punishment of servants who offend him because he is good. Sinners, as St. Augustine observes, trusting in God's goodness, insult Him, and say: "God is good; I will do what I please (Tract, xxxiii. in Joan)." But, alas! how many, exclaims the same St. Augustine, has this vain hope deluded! "They who have been deceived by this shadow of vain hope cannot be numbered." St. Bernard writes, that Lucifer’s chastisement was accelerated, because, in rebellion against God, he hoped that he should not be punished for his rebellion. Ammon, the son of king Manasses, seeing that God had pardoned the sins of his father, gave himself up to a wicked life with the hope of pardon; but, for Ammon there was no mercy. St. John Chrysostom says, that Judas was lost because, trusting in the goodness of Jesus Christ, he betrayed Him. "Fidit in lenitate Magistri."

He that sins with, the hope of pardon, saying: "I will afterwards repent, and God will pardon me:" is, according to St. Augustine, "not a penitent, but a scoffer." The Apostle tells us that "God is not mocked (Gal. vi. 7)."

It would be a mockery of God to offend Him as often and as long as you please, and always to receive the pardon of your offences. 
"For what things a man shall sow," says St. Paul, "those also shall he reap (Ibid., ver. 8)." They who sow sins, can hope for nothing but the hatred of God and hell. "Despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and patience, and long-suffering (Rom. ii. 4)." Do you, O sinner, despise the riches of the goodness, of the patience, and long-suffering of God towards you? He uses the word riches, because the mercies which God shows us, in not punishing our sins, are riches more valuable to us than all treasures. "Knowest thou not," continues the Apostle, "that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance (Ibid)?"

Do you not know that the Lord waits for you, and treats you with so much benignity, not that you may continue to sin, but that you may weep over the offences you have offered to Him?

For, says St. Paul, if you persevere in sin and do not repent, your obstinacy and impenitence shall accumulate a treasure of wrath against the day of wrath, that is, the day on which God shall judge you. "According to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up wrath, against the day of wrath, and revelation of the just judgment of God (Ibid., verse 5)." 

To the hardness of the sinner shall succeed his abandonment by God, Who shall say of the soul that is obstinate in sin, what he said of Babylon: "We would have cured Babylon; but she is not healed; let us forsake her (Jer. li. 9)." 

Look at this part, readers. for this is serious.

And how does God abandon the sinner? He either sends him a sudden death, and cuts him off in sin, or He deprives him of the graces which would be necessary to bring him to true repentance; He leaves him with the sufficient graces with which he can, but will not, save his soul. The darkness of his understanding, the hardness of his heart, and the bad habits which he has contracted, will render his conversion morally impossible. Thus, he shall not be absolutely but morally abandoned.

"I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted (Isa. v. 5)." When the master of the vineyard destroys its hedges, does he not show that he abandons it? It is thus that God acts when He abandons a soul. He takes away the hedge of holy fear and remorse of conscience, and leaves the soul in darkness, and then vices crowd into the heart. "Thou hast appointed darkness, and it is night: in it shall all the beasts of the wood go about (Ps. ciii. 20)." 

And the sinner, abandoned in an abyss of sins, will despise admonitions, excommunications, divine grace, chastisement, and hell: he will make a jest of his own damnation. "The wicked man, when he is come into the depth of sin, contemneth (Prov. xviii. 3)."

That sinners prosper is a scary thing. This is what is happening now in America.

"Why," asks the Prophet Jeremias, "doth the way of the wicked prosper (Jer. xii. 1)?" He answers: "Gather them together as sheep for a sacrifice (v. 3)." Miserable the sinner who is prosperous in this life!

The prosperity of sinners is a sign that God wishes to give them a temporal reward for some works which are morally good, but that He reserves them as victims of His justice for hell, where, like the accursed cockle, they shall be cast to burn for all eternity.

"In the time of the harvest, I will say to the reapers: Gather up the first cockle, and bind it in bundles to burn (Matt. xiii. 30)."

Thus, not to be punished in this life is the greatest of God’s chastisements on the wicked, and has been threatened against the obstinate sinner by the Prophet Isaias. "Let us have pity on the wicked, but he will not learn justice (Isa. xxvi. 10)." On this passage St. Bernard says: This mercy I do not wish for: it is above all wrath. "Misericordiam hanc nolo; super oimiem iram misericordia ista (Serm, xlii., in Cant)."

And what greater chastisement than to be abandoned into the Lands of sin, so that, being permitted by God to fall from sin to sin, the sinner must in the end go to suffer as many hells as he has committed sins?"

Add thou iniquity upon their iniquity. . . . let them be "blotted out of the book of the living (Ps. lxviii. 28, 29)." On these words Bellarmine writes: "There is no punishment greater than when sin is the punishment of sin." It would be better for such a sinner to die after the first sin; because by dying under the load of so many additional iniquities, he shall suffer as many hells as he has committed sins. This is what happened to a certain comedian in Palermo, whose name was Caesar. He one day told a friend that Father La Nusa, a missionary, foretold him that God should give him twelve years to live, and that if within that time he did not change his life, he should die a bad death. Now, said he to his friend, I have travelled through so many parts of the world: I have had many attacks of sickness, one of which nearly brought me to the grave; but in this month the twelve years shall be completed, and I feel myself in better health than in any of the past years. He then invited his friend to listen to a new comedy which he had composed. But, what happened? On the 24th November, 1688, the day fixed for the comedy, as he was going on the stage, he was seized with apoplexy, and died suddenly. He expired in the arms of a female comedian. Thus the scene of this world ended miserably for him.

Let us make the application to ourselves, and conclude the discourse. Brethren, I entreat you to give a glance at all the bygone years of your life: look at the grievous offences you have committed against God, and at the great mercies which He has shown to you, the many lights He has bestowed upon you, and the many times He has called you to a change of life.

to be continued...

From Top Attorney in Texas

some of this article here

“Importantly, the reach of the court’s opinion stops at the door of the First Amendment and our laws protecting religious liberty. Even the flawed majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges acknowledged there are religious liberty protections of which individuals may be able to avail themselves. Our religious liberties find protection in state and federal constitutions and statutes. While they are indisputably our first freedom, we should not let them be our last.”
While reiterating that the ruling “fabricated a new constitutional right in 2015,” Paxton concluded the decision “did not diminish, overrule, or call into question the First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion that formed the first freedom in the Bill of Rights in 1791. This newly invented federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage should peaceably coexist alongside longstanding constitutional and statutory rights, including the rights to free exercise of religion and speech.”
Paxton offered the following opinion to guide Texas officials and those asked to participate in same-sex marriages they deem inappropriate for religious reasons:
  • “County clerks and their employees retain religious freedoms that may allow accommodation of their religious objections to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.”
  • “Justices of the peace and judges similarly retain religious freedoms, and may claim that the government cannot force them to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies over their religious objections, when other authorized individuals have no objection, because it is not the least restrictive means of the government ensuring the ceremonies occur. The strength of any such claim depends on the particular facts of each case.”
  • “It is important to note that any clerk who wishes to defend their religious objections and who chooses not to issue licenses may well face litigation and/or a fine. But, numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs, in many cases on a pro-bono basis, and I will do everything I can from this office to be a public voice for those standing in defense of their rights.”
Paxton concluded: “Texas must speak with one voice against this lawlessness, and act on multiple levels to further protect religious liberties for all Texans, but most immediately do anything we can to help our County Clerks and public officials who now are forced with defending their religious beliefs against the Court’s ruling.”

From the Archbishop in OK City

Archbishop Coakley Statement on Supreme Court Ruling for Same-Sex Marriage

“Today is a moment of historic consequence for our nation. The Supreme Court has made a tragic error. This decision will have devastating consequences, especially for children today and for generations to come. No matter the court’s ruling, it cannot change
what marriage really is. Marriage by its nature remains the union of one man and one woman. Marriage is a natural institution that predates and precedes governments and government regulation.

Marriage is about far more than love shared between adults. Society needs an institution that connects children to their mothers and fathers, and marriage is the only institution that by its nature is able to accomplish this. Children have a basic right, wherever possible, to know and be loved by their mother and father together in a stable union.

The Church will steadfastly defend this right, and continue to affirm the sanctity of marriage as established by God, written into human nature, and recognized as such for millennia. Even as Roe v. Wade did not end the public debate over abortion, this decision will not end the debate over marriage. I encourage prayers for our nation, for families and children, and for those who disagree with us. Now more than ever we have to be vigilant in our defense of religious liberty due to the threats that are sure to ramp up as a result of this decision and its consequences in law and in public opinion.”

- The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop Oklahoma City Archdiocese

Statement from Bishop Serratelli of Paterson Diocese in NJ--Superb Letter

Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

The recent Supreme Court decision “Obergefell et al. v Hodges” has now redefined the legal definition of marriage in our country.

Responding to the cultural trends of the last sixty years, the judges have made a decision that will affect not only those individuals who decide to enter same-sex unions, but every citizen and institution within the nation.

This decision rejects the understanding of marriage that has been held across the millennia by people of every race and religion. The consequences of this decision will have long-range effects in politics, economics, education, and, in no small way, religious freedom. The adverse consequences of this decision will become more and more evident in the days and months ahead in terms of our Catholic schools, universities, hospitals, charitable institutions and churches.

As your bishop, I take serious my responsibility to safeguard and pass on to you the teaching of Jesus that has been handed down to us by the apostles in the deposit of faith. Therefore, I ask you to always keep in mind, as faithful Catholics, the following truths of faith.

First, as believers, we abstain from judging the consciences of those who choose to live in lifestyles contrary to the teaching of Jesus. Only God sees the heart and judges rightly each human person. As a consequence, we speak charitably and compassionately of all people, even those who disagree with us on fundamental truths of the natural law.

Second, precisely because we are people of reason and faith, we hold that there is objective truth about the human person and the world. Objective truth is founded on God’s design for creation and independent of the political and cultural trends of any age.

Third, without a doubt, the objective truth about family, as intended by God, is a most fundamental, objective truth for the good of all society. From the very first pages of Genesis, we learn that God created us in his own image and likeness, male and female, he created us. (cf. Gn 1:27). In the beauty of God’s creative design, marriage is based on the complementarity of man and woman. As Pope Francis has said, “the removal of difference, in fact, creates a problem, not a solution.”

Courts and constitutions may change the legal definition of marriage. But, they cannot alter God’s loving plan inscribed within the natural law

As Catholics, therefore, we are committed to the teaching of Sacred Scripture faithfully handed down to us by the Church that marriage is, by God’s design, a union between a man and a woman, open to life, in a lifelong commitment of fidelity and mutual love. That is God’s gift of marriage that we cherish and seek to protect.

Fourth, the laws of a nation are good or bad only insofar as they are in accord with God’s plan for his creation. Human laws are fallible and change. In 1857, the Supreme Court of this nation upheld slavery. Clearly, a bad decision condoning an evil. Because a court tells us something is good does not make it good. We, as believers, are ultimately responsible to a higher authority.

While accompanying, with patience and love, others, even members of our own families, who do not accept the Church’s teaching on marriage, as believers, we cannot cease to support and promote God’s sacred plan for marriage. Please keep in mind that, by our own fidelity to what is good in God’s eyes and by the witness of our lives, we are of invaluable benefit for all of society.

In the days ahead as we face many challenges to our faith and, perhaps, even persecution, I pray that “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rm 15: 13).

Invoking God’s blessing on each of you and your families, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D.
Bishop of Paterson

Alaska Bishops Response


Alaska's Catholic bishops today released a joint statement through the Alaska Catholic Conference responding to the United States Supreme Court decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that redefines the institution of marriage in this country. Alaska Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state. 

Statement from Alaska's Catholic Bishops: 

Today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to redefine marriage represents a profound legal turning point in the contemporary and cultural understanding of spouses and family. The bishops of Alaska agree with the president of the United States Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, in his statement for the bishops of the U.S.: “Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex 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. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the ‘integral ecology’ that Pope Francis has called us to promote. 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. 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.” 

We continue to teach that every human person deserves respect and compassion. The experience of samesex attraction is a reality that calls for attention, sensitivity and pastoral care. While every person is called to love and deserves to be loved, today’s momentous decision will not change the truth of the Church’s teaching on marriage. Going forward, the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage will have a significant ripple effect upon the first amendment right to religious liberty. It sets the Church’s teaching about marriage in opposition to the law and will create inestimable conflicts between the state and religious persons and institutions. As the impact of the decision plays out over the coming weeks and months the Catholic Church will continue to preach the truth about marriage and will promote, in the public square, this truth as what is good for society and our world. 

Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, OMI Bishop Chad W. Zielinski Bishop Edward J. Burns Archdiocese of Anchorage Diocese of Fairbanks Diocese of Juneau

Not so strong, and never has been on this subject, from Wilton Gregory

For some reason, I cannot copy the pdf file. Here is the link.

Archbishop Gregory was the bishop who stopped discussions by Cardinal George, Bishop Bruskewitz, and Cardinal Burke back in the early 2000s at the bishops' meeting concerning the sex scandals. All three of these good men wanted to discuss homosexuality and the scandals, and were told to be quiet and sit down very rudely by Archbishop Gregory.

I saw this with my own eyes on live television in Canada.

Article on some bishops commenting on fall-out of decision

In wake of same-sex marriage ruling, Archbishop Lori and fellow bishops seek freedom to practice, not just preach

June 26, 2015

By Erik Zygmont
Twitter @ReviewErik

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s divided 5-4 ruling that makes same-sex marriage the law of the land, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is focused on Catholics’ freedoms to not just speak and teach their beliefs, but to put them into practice.
“I think, as I understand the decision, it makes a nod in the direction of religious liberty, but not enough of one,” said Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, at a telephone press conference June 26, the same day of the Supreme Court ruling.
“I think it respects free speech,” Archbishop Lori said, adding that he believed the church would be allowed to continue “to speak, to teach, to advocate for the true nature of marriage.”
However, he added, “it does not protect our right to implement our teaching and follow our teaching … when we interact with broader society.”
Archbishop Lori said that he foresees “many challenges and legal controversies, and we will do our best to protect ourselves in terms of how we organize and run our ministries, and advocate for protections at the state and local levels.”
Anthony Picarello, USCCB general counsel, said that challenges could arise in the areas of accreditation of Catholic institutions such as schools, as well as their tax-exempt statuses as their teachings oppose same-sex marriage, now the law of the land.
Hiring practices and employment benefits could also be challenging areas, Picarello added.
“We’ve seen these in states that have aggressive anti-sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination laws,” he said, adding that the church would “organize internally” to protect itself while seeking external protections at the state and other levels.
Picarello also noted that things are already changing in “the civil sphere” as a result of the ruling.
“A newspaper in Pennsylvania said it will no longer accept op-eds criticizing same-sex marriage,” he said. “They’ve already moved to silence debate on the question.”
An editorial by The Patriot-News in Harrisburg was modified at 12:58 p.m. on June 26 to state that the newspaper will “very strictly limit op-eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.”
Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, a  member of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, commented that “the narrowness of the ruling indicates that the debate is unsettled.”
During the telephone press conference, a reporter from the Boston Globe referred to polls indicating a majority among those who identified as Catholic as supporting same-sex marriage.
“The words of St. Paul come to mind,” Archbishop Lori said. “We preach the truth, but love in season and out of season. Very often, it’s helping people to see not a caricature of what marriage and family life is, but the true beauty and truth of that vocation.”
Archbishop Lori added, “The Gospel is always going to be to some extent counter-cultural. We’ve been living with this for 2,000 years and we expect to live with it for a few more.”
In an interview with The Catholic Review, the archbishop said that he cannot predict how the law will immediately effect states which, until the ruling, prohibited same-sex marriage.
“Some of them will enact religious liberty protections,” he said. “I hope many of them will.”
As same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, has been the law of the land in Maryland since 2013, the archbishop said that he does not expect too many immediate effects in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
“I think it will be different interacting with the federal government, but even that had already begun to change,” he said.
June 26 was the sixth day of the Fortnight for Freedom, an annual two-week period of prayer, discussion and advocacy focused on the preservation of religious liberty, coordinated by the USCCB. 
- See more at:

Statement from Bishop Swain

Statement from The Most Reverend Paul J. Swain Bishop of Sioux Falls June 26, 2015 offered in the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges Decision 

The 5-4 decision of the United States Supreme Court redefining marriage is not a surprise but still a sad development. I fully support the statement made by the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville, and its characterization of the Court’s decision as harmful to the common good. I also fully concur in his call to be people of faith, hope and love. Faith in the unchanging truth of marriage as God intended; hope that this truth will once again prevail in our society; and love of all our neighbors even those who disagree or punish us for our faith and moral convictions. On Monday, June 29 beginning at 7:00 PM at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, a previously scheduled prayer service will be held in conjunction with our annual Fortnight for Freedom. This coordinated effort of the US bishops seeks to raise awareness of threats to our protected religious liberty. The recent ruling and other examples of intrusion into protected freedoms will be addressed more fully at that time. Saint Thomas More and Saint Joseph our patrons, pray for us.

Cardinal DiNardo's Statement


Statement re. Supreme Court Ruling on Marriage
June 26, 2015

The Supreme Court's narrow majority decision today is gravely unjust as it attempts to change the nature of marriage. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error harming the common good and the most vulnerable among us. The ruling does not and cannot change what marriage really is. No one and no court can make what is false true.

Marriage is a perennial institution, with deep roots in who we are and in our nation's culture and laws. Marriage is and always will be the union between one man and one woman. This truth is inseparable from the duty to honor the God-given dignity of every human person, to protect the beautiful truth of marriage, which concerns the essential well-being of the nation, especially children. Children have a basic right, wherever possible, to know and be loved by their mother and father together. The law has a duty to support every child in this most basic right.

With renewed purpose, we call upon all people of good will to promote and defend marriage as the union of one man and one woman for life. The redefinition of legal marriage to include any other type of relationship has serious consequences, especially for religious freedom.

Our Church will continue its efforts to support public policy issues, including a version of the marriage and religious freedom act, which would prohibit the government from discriminating against those who act in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is the union between a man and woman.

I encourage the faithful of the Archdiocese to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, and love for all our neighbors. Together, we must increase our efforts to strengthen marriages and families and rebuild a marriage culture. And, we shall continue to reach out with love and support to all people, including those who experience same-sex attraction knowing that all people are loved by God and are called to love Him.

For more information, visit the website for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on the promotion and defense of marriage.

La decisión de la Corte Suprema por una estrecha mayoría hoy es gravemente injusta en su intento de cambiar la naturaleza del matrimonio. La obligatoriedad de redefinición del matrimonio en todo el país es un trágico error que daña el bien común y a los más vulnerables entre nosotros. El fallo no puede y no debe cambiar lo que es el matrimonio en realidad. Nadie, ni ningún tribunal puede hacer de lo que es falso, verdadero.
El matrimonio es una institución perenne, con profundas raíces en quienes somos y en la cultura y las leyes de nuestra nación. El matrimonio es y siempre será la unión entre un hombre y una mujer. Esta verdad es inseparable del deber de honrar la dignidad dada por Dios de cada persona humana, para proteger la hermosa verdad del matrimonio, que se refiere al bienestar esencial de la nación, especialmente los niños. Los niños tienen un derecho básico, siempre que sea posible, a conocer y ser amados por su madre y su padre juntos. La ley tiene el deber de apoyar este derecho más básico de todos los niños.
Con un renovado propósito, hacemos un llamado a todas las personas de buena voluntad a promover y defender el matrimonio como la unión de un hombre y una mujer para toda la vida. La redefinición del matrimonio legal para incluir cualquier otro tipo de relación tiene consecuencias graves, sobre todo para la libertad religiosa.
Nuestra Iglesia continuará sus esfuerzos de apoyar cuestiones de política pública, incluyendo una versión del matrimonio y la Ley de Libertad Religiosa, que prohibiría al gobierno de discriminar contra los que actúan de acuerdo con una creencia religiosa o convicción moral de que el matrimonio es la unión entre un hombre y mujer.
Exorto a los fieles de la Arquidiócesis a seguir adelante con fe, esperanza y amor: fe en la verdad inalterable sobre el matrimonio, la esperanza de que estas verdades volverán a prevalecer en nuestra sociedad, y el amor por todos nuestros hermanos. Juntos, debemos incrementar nuestros esfuerzos para fortalecer los matrimonios y las familias y reconstruir una cultura del matrimonio. Y, debemos continuar para llegar con amor y apoyo a todas las personas, incluyendo a aquellos que experimentan atracción por el mismo sexo sabiendo que todas las personas son amadas por Dios y son llamadas a amarle.
By Daniel Cardinal DiNardo