A thousand courts may rule otherwise, but the very notion of “same-sex marriage” is morally wrong and a blatant rejection of God’s plan for the human family. As Pope Francis taught while serving as Archbishop in Argentina: “Same-sex marriage is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is a move of the ‘father of lies’ who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
Despite the current trends of our society, or perhaps because of them, the Church must redouble its commitment to proclaim and defend authentic concepts of marriage and family as we have received them from God. We will always do so, however, in a respectful, charitable and constructive manner.
[…] 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.
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.
– Homily for Fortnight for Freedom, Mass 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, June 28, 2015, Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield in Illinois.
We might ask: why has God allowed these attacks on our faith and our Church to happen? Why did He not answer our prayers for the protection of the true meaning of marriage in our country? The answer, I believe, is that we are being called to put God above all else, even above our nation and our country’s laws. Jesus Christ is our Sovereign King to whom we owe all of our love, fidelity and allegiance. We are called to love others, not by condoning their sins, but by helping them to lead virtuous lives and remain faithful to the commandments, for Jesus promises that it is the pure in heart who will see God (Matthew 5:8). We are called to let the “bright light of truth” shine forth to overcome the “darkness of error.” In short, God gives us these challenges as a test of our faith, our hope and our love.
V. Let us pray for the Bishops Tobin, Strickland, Paprocki, Silva, and Jarrell [and for all the Bishops].
R. May they stand courageously and tend your flock, O Lord, in your sublime name.