NY Catholic Bishops Fear Govt Sanctions Against Churches

Saturday, 25 Jun 2011 01:49 PM

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Roman Catholic bishops across New York state issued a statement lamenting the state’s legalization of same-sex marriage and expressing concern that government sanctions against churches that preach traditional marriage are just around the corner.

The statement came in reaction to the State Senate’s approval of gay marriages Friday night, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signing it into law shortly thereafter.

“The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled,” says the statement, posted on the New York State Catholic Conference’s website.

“We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love,” says the statement, signed by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York and the state’s seven other Catholic prelates.

“But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths.

“We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.

“Our society must regain what it appears to have lost – a true understanding of the meaning and the place of marriage, as revealed by God, grounded in nature, and respected by America’s foundational principles,” the bishops’ statement concluded.

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