Bishop Barres in the Diocese of Allentown said, “The Diocese of Allentown stands with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops which has called today “a tragic day for marriage and our nation.” The Diocese agrees with the Bishop’s Conference which said, “The common good of all…depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance”
Tony DeGol, Bishop Bartchak’s Secretary for Communications, said, “Today’s decisions by the United States Supreme Court are very disappointing. The Catholic Church sees marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman, and the Court’s rulings do not change our belief. No one has the authority to redefine what the Lord has taught us. As we continue to review the decisions by the Supreme Court, we call on all Catholics to unite in prayer and to continue to defend the God-given truth about marriage.”
Bishop Persico in the Diocese of Erie said “As always, the Catholic Church is very interested in preserving the dignity of marriage and family based on nature, tradition and Scripture as the union of one man and one woman. Those of us who favor preserving the natural and traditional understanding of marriage do not do so because we want people who experience attraction to their same sex to suffer. We recognize and respect the equal human dignity of everyone—that is emphasized throughout Catholic teaching. We believe that when a man and a woman enter into marriage, they form a community of faith that models Christ’s love for the church. They share a unique complementarity. It is not discrimination to treat things that are different in different ways. This decision does not end the debate on the question of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts. We must continue to stand for the truth of marriage and the good of children.”
Bishop Brandt in the Diocese of Greensburg wrote, “Marriage and families are critical foundations of society. We know that a loving marriage, in its proper form, is the most beneficial means of supporting and raising children. Because of that, we will continue to work to strengthen marriage and families and to protect them from the many factors currently threatening them.
I am concerned that redefining marriage in our laws will lead to attempts to seriously limit the religious freedom of the Catholic Church and other faiths to teach about and defend the natural definition of marriage and to attempts to portray Catholic teaching as against the law and, therefore, a form of “bigotry.” We have already seen examples of the curtailing of Catholic Church ministries, especially adoption services, in states and municipalities that have approved same-sex unions. We must continue to work, therefore, to protect our religious liberties and conscience rights.” Read his entire reaction here.
The Diocese of Harrisburg reacted, saying “The difference is the difference. Men and women matter. They are equal but different. Sexual difference is essential to marriage. We see the issue as not about equality, but rather about the purpose of marriage. We see marriage as a communal good that through the permanent and exclusive union of one man and one woman can bring life into the world, not one that is simply for the emotional benefit of 2 people.” Read the entire statement here.
Bishop Zubik in the Diocese of Pittsburgh wrote, “Both decisions of the Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 26, did not impose same-sex unions on the nation or Pennsylvania. That does give us reason for hope.
However, there are numerous troubling aspects in these decisions, particularly when words are used that equate a gay relationship to marriage. This can only further undermine our understanding of the true nature of marriage as a life-long union of one man and one woman for their good and the good of their children. We weaken that understanding much to our peril as a people and a nation because marriage is not merely a private institution, or a private matter, but foundational to society.”
Archbishop Chaput in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said, “In striking down Sec. 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in United States v. Windsor, the Court leaves intact – at least for now — state constitutional definitions of marriage as an institution restricted to one man and one woman. As Justice Samuel Alito points out in his dissent, no federal “right” to same-sex marriage exists. The Constitution simply does not establish one.” Read his entire statement here.
Bishop Bambera in the Diocese of Scranton said in part, “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down part of the Defense of the Marriage Act and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 is unfortunate and disappointing. This decision clearly opposes the Catholic Church’s belief and teaching that the sacrament of marriage, rooted in natural law, is a faithful, exclusive, life-long loving union of a man and a woman open to the transmission of human life. The dual purpose of marriage: the unity and love of a man and a woman, and procreation has been embedded in human history long before any religion, nation or law was established.”