Today the United States Supreme Court released its ruling that states are required to license a marriage between two people of the same sex. This is not the ruling hoped for by the Catholic Church, which believes that marriage is by definition between one man and one woman. For centuries, this definition has been universally accepted in virtually all cultures – secular as well as religious.
Every nation has laws limiting who can be married and under what circumstances. This is because lawmakers always have understood that marriage does not exist just for the mutual satisfaction of the two people involved, but for the betterment of society. Traditional marriage is the cradle of the family, the basic building block of society. As Pope Francis has reminded us, every child has a right to be raised by two parents, a father and a mother. Both parents are important, and they are not interchangeable. The sad reality that so many children are deprived of this right because of the crisis in traditional marriage does not make it any less important. It is deeply disappointing and worrisome that our courts do not understand this.
The Catholic Church remains steadfast in its commitment to promote and defend marriage: defined as the union of one man and one woman. With renewed hope, sensitivity, and compassion, the Church will continue to attend to the challenges and hardships that confront individuals and their families, and to treat all persons with the dignity and respect due to them as children of God.