(CNSNews.com) – Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, said that people should hope and pray “that the Supreme Court will recognize that they have no business redefining marriage” in the upcoming same sex “marriage” case, adding that if marriage is redefined “it raises enormous religious freedom issues.”
He also explained that the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage as being between one man and one woman will never change because it is defined by God Himself in the Bible and that the Scripture “begins with marriage and ends with marriage,” in reference to not only man and woman but also the relationship between Christ and His Church.
At the March for Marriage on Saturday in Washington, D.C., CNSNews.com asked Archbp. Lori, “The Supreme Court is having oral arguments coming up and a decision will be coming down in June on this -- what is it going to look like for you and the Church if that decision favors same-sex marriage?”
Archbp. Lori said, “Let's hope and pray that they will, that the Supreme Court will recognize that they have no business redefining marriage, that really when you take, when you redefine marriage as many people want to do today it becomes more a relationship of affection, an emotional relationship.”
“Government should have no interest in that,” he said. “Friendships between people should not be of any particular interest to the government -- bringing children into the world and having good homes for them and new citizens, that's something they should be interested in.”
“If it's redefined, it will be a sea change because the word marriage appears thousands of times in federal, state court, and local laws -- it raises enormous religious freedom issues, and we will have to find our way very, very carefully through what's going to be a thicket,” he said.
“My bigger worry, however, is what kind of a society we're going to be seeing as a result of this and I hope the Supreme Court will think twice,” said the archbishop.
CNSNews.com then asked, “There's some call within the Catholic Church for a change on this teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman -- is it possible for Church teaching on that issue to change?”
“No,” he said, explaining, “this is something that is so deeply embedded in the faith. Really, if you read Scripture, it begins with marriage and ends with marriage. The relationship of Israel to their God is described as a marriage. The relationship of Christ to the Church is described as a marriage.”
“We really believe deeply that this is how God created us, this is the way things are, and this is the way things are meant to be: that there would be one man, one woman, and that there would be openness to life,” said the archbishop. “And it's not that we do not recognize how people might feel about this, that we also, we would not ever countenance discrimination against people who are of a same-sex attraction.”
“But marriage is marriage and it has a lot to do with the love of one man and one woman and openness to life,” he said.
The March for Marriage is an annual rally organized by the National Organization for Marriage, which supports traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
Along with Archbishop Lori, speakers included Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Brian Brown, president of National Organization for Marriage; Rev. Bill Owens, founder and president of the Coalition of African American Pastors; and Cathy Ruse, senior fellow of Legal Studies at the Family Research Council.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in its many documents and teachings on marriage explains that “God Himself is the author of marriage,” and that “marriage is the lifelong partnership of mutual and exclusive fidelity between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children.”
It is impossible to have marriage between two people of the same sex because marriage reflects “the reality of the unique, fruitful, lifelong union that is only possible between a man and a woman,” says the Catholic Church. “Just as oxygen and hydrogen are essential to water, sexual difference is essential to marriage.
“The attempt to ‘redefine’ marriage to include two persons of the same sex denies the reality of what marriage is,” says the USCCB. “It is as impossible as trying to ‘redefine’ water to include oxygen and nitrogen.”
As for homosexuality itself, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained.
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”