Skip to comments.State lacks authority to redefine marriage, says bishop
Posted on 06/08/2013 6:54:25 AM PDT by NYer
.- Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill., explained that marriage is rooted in nature and exists prior to the state, which has the authority to recognize, but not redefine, the fundamental social institution.
“Marriage is a pre-political and natural phenomenon that arises out of the nature of human beings. The Catholic Church, along with virtually every religion and culture in the world, recognizes and supports this natural institution because without it, no society will exist or flourish,” he said.
The bishop explained that marriage is “a natural outgrowth of human nature, capacities and needs.” The natural desire to procreate and create a family “can only be fulfilled through the union of a man and a woman.”
Other unions that are “essentially different” from marriage will not become marriages “simply by taking on the institutional guise,” he said.
“Those involved in same-sex relationships are looking for social validity and legal approval. All of this is understandable, but that doesn’t make it possible.”
His comments came during a May 31 debate sponsored by the Jesuit Alumni in Arizona, held at Phoenix’s Shadow Rock United Church of Christ. The bishop debated Sr. Jeannine Gramick, S.L., the co-founder of New Ways Ministry, which has been criticized by both the Vatican and the U.S. bishop for its dissent from Church teaching on homosexuality.
Although the debate was originally entitled “Two Catholic Views on Gay Marriage,” Bishop Paprocki clarified that there is “only one authentic Catholic view” on the subject.
Noting that advocates of marriage redefinition describe their cause as “marriage equality,” he criticized equality as “one of the very few unquestioned values” of post-modern philosophy.
Attempts to recognize all moral positions in the law are “logically impossible,” he said, because even morally neutral positions are “moral choices that deny recognition and equality to those who disagree.”
The bishop rejected utilitarian and morally relativistic approaches to marriage.
“If the government says that an apple is now the same as an orange, and the law requires everyone to call apples ‘oranges,’ the state would have the power to punish anyone who calls an apple an ‘apple’ instead of an ‘orange,’ but it would be a totalitarian abuse of raw power and would not change the biological reality of the nature of the fruit in question. So too with the definition of marriage,” he said.
Bishop Paprocki said advocates of homosexual unions must show that they are as necessary and beneficial to the common good as heterosexual marriage.
He noted that marriage helps protect the vulnerability of relationships with the potential for children and helps unite the complementary sexes.
Even artificial reproduction, he said, only finds ways to “mimic the union of a man and woman in order to be successful.”
The bishop rejected arguments that legal recognition only for marriage between a man and a woman privileges one religious view over others. Marriage was not invented by the Church or the state, but precedes them both as an institution rooted in nature, he stressed.
As a result, he said, the state has no authority to redefine marriage or family, which make up “the first cell of society, from which the state receives its existence.”
A law recognizing same-sex relationships as “marriages” is thus “devoid of any intrinsic moral legitimacy,” he explained. The state “exists to serve the family” and the family’s “own legitimate nature and identity.”
Bishop Paprocki also recalled the Catholic Church’s experience with 20th century totalitarian movements which sought to remake family life to advance state goals of racial purity or Marxist ideology. This experience, he said, led to the more refined Catholic teaching that “it is not legitimate for the state to interfere with the fundamental nature of the family.”
“(I)t is never legitimate for the state to decide that it will use marriage and the family as mere instrumentalities to be manipulated to achieve the state’s own goals of cultural transformation,” the bishop insisted.
In addition, he said, it is “naive” to assume that the redefinition of marriage poses no threats to religious freedom. Rather, it is “quite likely” that the Church will be pressured for its opposition to same-sex “marriage,” just as it is pressured to provide contraceptives and abortions.
He noted the cancelation of Illinois state contracts with Catholic Charities adoption services and foster care because the government refused to accommodate Catholic teachings against placing children with same-sex or unmarried couples.
Bishop Paprocki also voiced concern over unequal treatment in the media. He lamented the brutal 1998 murder of college student Matthew Shephard in Wyoming because he was a homosexual. However, he also noted that his own former parish secretary, Mary Stachowicz, was “brutally murdered” by a co-worker in 2002 after she urged him to quit the gay lifestyle.
Her murder was “widely ignored by the media, despite the fact that she died as a martyr for the faith,” he said.
Recognizing that it is an “uphill struggle” to convince people that same-sex relationships are not the same as marriage, the bishop emphasized that “the ethical or moral analysis of an issue is not properly based on polls or surveys of public opinion, but on values, virtues and principles.”
I love this quote and wish we could ram it down the throat of every fag loving representative we have:
“Bishop Paprocki also recalled the Catholic Churchs experience with 20th century totalitarian movements which sought to remake family life to advance state goals of racial purity or Marxist ideology. This experience, he said, led to the more refined Catholic teaching that it is not legitimate for the state to interfere with the fundamental nature of the family.”
States didn’t get involved in marriage for most of human history. The only reason for it now is property laws.
This is a GREAT article!
God has blessed you Bishop Paprocki and I pray that he continues to bless you. Wish that more Bishops, who are the direct decedents of the original Apostles, had your good Catholic sense and the will to proclaim it! Keep up the good fight Bishop Paprocki as all true Catholics are 100% behind you.
The government started performing civil ceremonies as an adjunct to religious marriage. And now they claim to supersede them.
Pope Leo XIII saw this coming 130 years ago.
“Now, since the family and human society at large spring from marriage, these men will on no account allow matrimony to be the subject of the jurisdiction of the Church. Nay, they endeavor to deprive it of all holiness, and so bring it within the contracted sphere of those rights which, having been instituted by man, are ruled and administered by the civil jurisprudence of the community. Wherefore it necessarily follows that they attribute all power over marriage to civil rulers, and allow none whatever to the Church; and, when the Church exercises any such power, they think that she acts either by favor of the civil authority or to its injury. Now is the time, they say, for the heads of the State to vindicate their rights unflinchingly, and to do their best to settle all that relates to marriage according as to them seems good.”
He was writing about civil divorce and remarriage at the time. His mitre would have spun off his head if someone would have explained ‘gay marriage’ to him. To the state in the modern era, marriage is simply whatever judges, pols, or 50% +1 of the voting public thinks it is at any one time. It was always a danger.
goodl uck gettign that message past the mobsters in congress-
[[States didnt get involved in marriage for most of human history. The only reason for it now is property laws.]]
Thatr’s not hte only reason- the reason the govenrment took over marriages was for monetary purposes and for htep urpose of joining together two procreatign adults so they coudl create the next generation of taxpayers which woudl support the govenrment (which is precisdely why Gay ‘marriage’ shoudl NOT be allowed Especially if the govenrment insists on taking over the holy sanctity of marriage fro mthe church)
[[Bishop Paprocki also recalled the Catholic Churchs experience with 20th century totalitarian movements which sought to remake family life to advance state goals of racial purity or Marxist ideology. This experience, he said, led to the more refined Catholic teaching that it is not legitimate for the state to interfere with the fundamental nature of the family.]]
They can say it all they like- saying it does nothign to stop it- our govenrment HAS taken over the role of caregivers for our children and has taken over the role of parents- dictatign to parents whaT THEY can and can not do in regards to raisign hteir chuildren- they have been doign htis for decades now, even centuries i nsoem respects-
I know the State hijacked it. What I meant was the only real reason they should have is for property laws, and if people weren’t so messed up morally that shouldn’t even be needed.
Civil unions in Illinois have been legal for just under 2 years. Anyone have a count of the number of same sex civil unions?
That number could spell victory in the fight for normal marriage in Illinois.