July 2, 2015
The recent announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision to require all states to license and witness same-sex unions as well as affirm and recognize such unions performed in other states addresses only the approach of civil law relating to marriage.
It enjoys no authority when it comes to an understanding of the nature of marriage as understood and taught in Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Catholic Church flowing from them.
The court’s decision reflects the sharp division that we experience as related to social issues. Such is the reality of a secularized society. Still, such strong differences never justify hatred or disdain. Each and every person enjoys an inherent dignity resulting from being created by God Himself.
It is such a vision of everything finding value and meaning in relationship to God, the source of life, which informs our way of looking at marriage.
In the years ahead, I am sure that there will be many unintended consequences of this court opinion, consequences that cannot be seen now.
However, it remains for us as Catholic faithful to pray and work to safeguard the right to the benefits of Religious Freedom; as we seek to teach and live out our understanding of marriage.
Such times are not new to the Church. Throughout history the vision of faith has been challenged and opposed; even to the point of persecution. Look at the present fate of Christians in the Middle East. Look at the treatment of Jesus, Himself.
Rather than allowing the court’s decision to weaken our own faith, we can hope it becomes an additional reason for honoring the Sacrament of Marriage with greater resolve.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend David R. Choby
Bishop of Nashville