The Supreme Court’s ruling requiring all states to recognize same-sex marriages is a “tragic error,” America’s Catholic bishops said Friday, vowing to continue teaching the value of traditional marriage to their congregations.
“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,” Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement released after the court ruling.
The archbishop compared the decision to the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to an abortion, saying “neither decision is rooted in the truth” and insisting the 5-4 ruling is not the last word on the matter. He said marriage as an institution is about mothers and fathers with children, and the law “has a duty” to support that understanding.
“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,” he said in his statement.
Liberal Catholics, however, praised the ruling.
Christopher J. Hale, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, called the decision “a moment of great joy for many Catholics.”
He acknowledged that his church doesn’t accept same-sex marriages, but said that was an error that demanded Jesus’ forgiveness.
“Too many times our Church and our nation have failed to recognize this basic truth and have discriminated against the LGBT community, and for that we beg for pardon as we cry out with the Psalmist: ‘Forgive us, O Lord, for we have sinned,’ ” he said in a statement.