Bishops urge Catholics to pray

For life, marriage, religious liberty

Archbishop Cordileone

The following is a December 6 release issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The U.S. Catholic bishops have launched a pastoral strategy addressing critical life, marriage and religious liberty concerns. The five-part strategy or call to prayer was approved by the bishops in November and is set to begin after Christmas. The overall focus is to invite Catholics to pray for rebuilding a culture favorable to life and marriage and for increased protections of religious liberty.

Campaign components include monthly Eucharistic holy hours in cathedrals and parishes, daily family rosary, special Prayers of the Faithful at all Masses, fasting and abstinence on Fridays, and the second observance of a Fortnight for Freedom.

The call to prayer is prompted by the rapid social movements and policy changes currently underway, such as the mandate by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that coerces employers, including heads of religious agencies, to pay for sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives, as well as increased efforts to redefine marriage.

“The pastoral strategy is essentially a call and encouragement to prayer and sacrifice—it’s meant to be simple,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. “It’s not meant to be another program but rather part of a movement for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, which engages the New Evangelization and can be incorporated into the Year of Faith. Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty are not only foundational to Catholic social teaching but also fundamental to the good of society,” he said.

Details of the strategy follow:

1.Starting with the Sunday after Christmas (Feast of the Holy Family) and continuing on or near the last Sunday of every month through Christ the King Sunday, November 2013, cathedrals and parishes are encouraged to hold a Eucharistic Holy Hour for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty.

2. Families and individuals are encouraged to pray a daily Rosary, especially for the preservation of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty in the nation.

3. At Sunday and daily Masses, it is encouraged that the Prayers of the Faithful include specific intentions for respect for all human life from conception to natural death, the strengthening of marriage and family life, and the preservation of religious libertyat all levels of government, both at home and abroad.

4. Abstinence from meat and fasting on Fridays are encouraged for the intention of the protection of Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty, recognizing the importance of spiritual and bodily sacrifice in the life of the Church.

5. The celebration of a second Fortnight for Freedom at the end of June and the beginning of July 2013 is being planned. This Fortnight would emphasize faith and marriage in a particular way in the face of the potential Supreme Court rulings during this time. The Fortnight would also emphasize the need for conscience protection in light of the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, as well as religious freedom concerns in other areas, such as immigration, adoption, and humanitarian services.

A website with resources from the USCCB is available at:

“With the challenges this country is facing, it is hoped that this call to prayer and penance will help build awareness among the faithful as well as spiritual stamina and courage for effective witness. We also hope that it will encourage solidarity with all people who are standing for the precious gifts of life, marriage, and religious liberty,” Archbishop Cordileone said.

For original release, click here.



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  1. Does anyone know if we are planning to have monthly Eucharistic holy hours in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento?

  2. Vatican II relieved us of the obligation to abstain from meat on Friday. It did not make us better Catholics. Abstinence, a minor penance, reminded us and others that we are Catholics, and the self-denial strengthened our character and made us better able to resist temptation. Some religious orders and lay people have continued to abstain from meat on Friday. We should return to the practice.

    • I believe it was the primate of Scotland (whoever he is) who earlier this year reinstituted the abstention of meat on Fridays for Catholics in that country. I had expected this to easily catch on as a no-brainer to begin the reindentification of Catholics to their Faith, and am disappointed that the event seems to have passed unnoticed. We used to be proud of the epithet “Mackerel Snappers”.

  3. Terri Chandler says:

    Trying to get pastors and clergy in general to follow the strategy by informing the faithfuls in the pews is another matter. Maybe these bishops can personally pay some visits to parishes in their respective dioceses to motivate the pastors to comply.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      As far as I know, all Traditional Parishes still maintain the pennace of meatless Fridays. I know Our Lady Help of Christians in Garden Grove, CA does!

      Even before I found out that our Hierarchy had not given us the full story on meatless Fridays, I decided to go back to it because I realized that we need more pennance not less!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  4. Larry from RI says:

    Let’s throw in a little mass civil disobedience to wake up the politicians and judges around the country??????

  5. good for the old bishops.

    sometimes we catholics just blend in, showing up for mass (maybe) once a week, and then acting like heathens the rest of the week.

    this thing about prayer and fasting, abstaining from meat (which is a luxury for most of the poor world), and special prayers for neeeds of today is a great idea.

  6. Thank you very much for this article. I hope people and parishes cooperate with this. May God hear our prayers and have mercy on our country.

  7. Paul Joseph says:

    The bishops’ unwillingness to prohibit obstinate pro-abortion, pro-sodomy Catholic politicians from receiving Holy Communion places a limitation on the effectiveness of their 5-point pastoral strategy.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Paul Joseph,

      YOU SAID IT!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • you forgot to include the pro-masturbation, pro-premarital sex, pro-whining, pro-cohabitation, pro-watching.t.v.onsundaysinsteadofattendingsundaymass catholics on your most excellent list.

    • Paul Joseph says:

      Thank you, Mr. Fisher and Max. I did everything that the bishops asked during the first Fortnight of Freedom, but wound up feeling betrayed in the end. Inviting Mr. Obama to the Al Smith dinner felt like a knife in the back, as did the bishops’ continued disobedience to Canon Law 915. Although I pray every night for life, marriage, and religious liberty, as well as for Mr. Obama’s conversion, I can’t help but wonder if the bishops’ new 5-part strategy is not just more political theater, a dog-and-pony show.

    • You are so right.
      The Bishops refusal to address PUBLIC SCANDAL is counter-productive to Evangelization.
      1 Cor 5:8-11.

      Their refusal to enforce Canon 915, and publically excommunicate (ab homine) is counter-productive to Evangelization.

      Also Bishops refusal to actively promote and encourage the reading or re-reading of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” for not only the Laity but their Priests, makes ACCURATE Evangelization almost impossible. People can not teach others what they do not know.

      • We should also mention that Bishops also have an obligation for Catholic Colleges and Universities within their own Diocese.

        When these institutions do not use the CCC as a required student text – professors can teach all sorts of heresies and students will never learn the truth.

  8. We are SO blessed to have AB Cordielione as our new Archbishop!!!

    And the Church is especially blessed…..

    Can’t wait to see the guidance that comes from his office out to the
    parishes of this archdiocese, we are in much need!!!

  9. Dear Bishops,
    (With all due respect to your Holy Office). We Catholics had a chance to “rebuild” a culture favorable to life. In a free society it’s called “elections”. The majority of Catholics voted for tyranny and a culture of death – on your watch! (The U.S. bishops collectively are partly responsible for this, in my opinion). What you should have done is gone in to all the parishes personally before the elections and made Obama’s platform clear (especially to the Hispanic parishes) that voting for him (and his platform of religious persecution and cultural death) consitutes a serious sin. You would not have violated the Church’s tax status and you would not have come across as telling Catholics who to vote for. You would have (as teachers) clearly stated the Catholic position. You failed to do this. As a result, it’s too late to immediately change the culture of death. We Catholics now have to be prepared to suffer (and perhaps death for some) the consequences. Perhaps this is what we should be praying Holy Hours for.

    • Del, I agree with the spirit of what you said. On the one hand, trying to close the barn doors once the horses have left implies the bishops have been snoozing for some time. Hard to argue with this. On the other hand, better late than never. CAnnot argue with this. I also find the idea that there is a wide gap between the new-found courage of the bishops and some of their feckless priests to be valid as well. The priests have to face the average parishoner, while the bishops stand at a distance and can speak in abstractions. What’s a bishop to do with a pastor who voted for Obama, favors his policies, and quietly rejoices in the developing storm? Especially if the majority of his parishoners think similarly?

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


        Simple, find an orthodox teaching parish, even if you have to switch to an Eastern Catholic Church!

        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Seconded.

    • Michael Voris makes a good point in his video While We were Sleeping Q and A on Youtube. It is Satan who is behind the religious persecution, abortion and the culture of death and the advancing acceptance of homosexual marriage and adoption. Satan would beset whoever won the election. He has no loyalty to any party or person. It is not too late to change the culture of death, lust and secularism. The reason it has not changed is because we have relied too much on human power and did not turn to God and to our intercessor, the Blessed Mother. I hope you will join the bishops. Have faith in God and faith in Jesus. “For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there” it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Mt 17:20 Again, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven. Mt 18:19 There is nothing that cannot be achieved with the recitation of the Rosary. Fasting is incredibly efficacious. I am sure that you know the graces that pour down on the world form Eucharistic Adoration. Please also include time for learning the Catechism, the Vatican II documents, Church History and praying the Act of Faith daily in this Year of Faith. Please keep up with the Pope’s Wednesday catechism. It is posted on a special page of the Vatican’s website.

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


        Our Lord also taught us to not spread our seeds on unfertile grounds, and right now the Bishops of America for the most part are unfertile grounds. Pray for them, absolutely, respect and trust them, only with a few exceptions!

        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher, Former Secretary to an Archbishop

    • Right on! And I believe that a great part of our preparation “to suffer …the consequences”, to begin to really oppose the Culture of Death, REALLY OPPOSE, is for the U.S. bishops to abandon their apparent overriding concern for tax status, come what may. If we believe and see that they do too we will support our sustaining institutions, as do the Mormons and others. It used to be called “putting your money where your mouth is”.

    • Eric Augustine says:

      Well said and to the point – US Bishops have failed the faithful & I really see very little hope for the future – We need young, energetic leaders with new ideas that will return to the teaching and principals instituted 2,000 years ago -

      • Terri Chandler says:

        Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, new leader in San Francisco, is such a leader and our hope for the future. He is not only energetic and dedicated, he is faithful to God’s teachings, courageous and speaks the truth. He may not be popular among certain circles of the clergy in San Francisco, he does what God asks of him. Let’s pray that we will have more leaders like him.

        • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


          Time and circumstances will tell! I still don’t understand his Imprimatur on Schnexnayder’s book!

          God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
          Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Anton L. Seidl says:

      Ora et labora. The Benedictine motto: Pray and Work! Both are needed in these troubled times, I lay the blame for Obama’s reelection on our prelates. Their “faithful voter guides” were worth less than confetti. The people in the pews never got the message that a vote for Obama was a vote for death and the continuation of the American Holocaust. We have been praying for life for decades on end. We have had little noticeable effect. We need to get off our couches and vote pro-life. Our bishops need to get out of their comfortable chanceries and hit the bricks with us when we march through San Francisco, the belly of the beast, on our next pro-life demonstration. They must show us that they actually mean it. The life issue is fundamentally a moral one, not a political one. To hide behind party neutrality is cowardly. We all know who the pro-life party is, and it is not the democrats!

  10. Randy Engel, US Coalition for Life says:

    I may have missed a key point, but I don’t see what the American BISHOPS themselves intend to DO while the laity is praying for life, marriage and family (as they always have done). Are the bishops going to reaffirm publicly the excommunication of public officials and others who by their anti-life actions have already ex-communicated themselves? Are they going to halt classroom sex instruction programs in parochial schools – instruction which is destroying the physical, mental, moral and spiritual welfare of Catholic children and undermining parental authority and the family? When are the bishops going to move against the billion dollar federal domestic and foreign birth control/abortifacient/population control industry funded under Title X of the Public Health Service Act [HHS] and the U.S. Agency for International Development? Are the bishops going to preach regularly from the pulpit against divorce, contraception, abortion, sterilization, eugenic pre-natal diagnosis, IVF and the many anti-life programs associated with IVF including surrogacy pregnancy? When are the bishops going to confront the Homosexual Collective head on and move also against the wide assortment of Pervert Movements the Collective has spawned? So the bishops want to strengthen family life and marriage? Fine! Have Bishop Cordileone call the U.S. C.L. which for more than forty years has been fighting against federal anti-life programs and we and our pro-life colleagues will lay out a strategy against the Anti-Life Movement which has some teeth – at no charge. The Catholic laity is fed up with decades of pricey but worthless USCCB public relations scams. The bishops need to ACT NOW on their own initiative on the critical life issues highlighted above or forever hold their peace.

    • oh, yes, RANDY, excommunication is always a good way to deal with problems.

      please note how well it worked for MARTIN LUTHER and for KING HENRY VIII.

    • This is why the Catholic Church in the US isn’t taken seriously by politicians. They can see that everybody just does their own thing. Nobody follows the shepherds. Why would Obama care if the bishops protest gay marriage, abortion, euthenasia, IVF, HHS mandate? Even the Catholics who agree with them (which is a minority of Catholics) don’t respect them. They have no power, except for their prayers to God. God will act.

    • Anton L. Seidl says:

      God bless you, Randy Engel! Let us hope your words will be heard and heeded by our prelates!

      • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


        I know Randy. Her words have not been heard and heeded by our sheltered prelates for some time now!

        God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
        Kenneth M. Fisher

    • Paul Joseph says:

      In my own comment (see above), I refer to this as “political theater” and “a dog and pony show,” but I think your “public relations scams” really nails it!

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Hi Randy,

      Great comments! My sentiments exactly!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  11. We should all pray for and act for better catechesis. With strong catechesis this would not have been a problem to begin with.

  12. We all need the prayers, but the Church should include itself in the prayer requests. It has been a series of very painful decades for the Church heirarcy, and I am more troubled about the failures of our Church leaders than I am about Obama, though acknowleging how anti-religion our President really is.

    How do vegetarians practice “absentinence”… they abstain from vegatables by eating meat on Friday?

    Last month, Obama won the Catholic vote by 2%, in 2008 he won it by 6%. However, if you exclude the Hispanic Catholics, Romney won the Catholic vote last month by 17%, a blowout margin. So much for the success of the Church’s doctrinal “outreach” efforts in the Hispanic community.

    • Vegetarians will just fast, since they already abstain from meat.

    • Terri Chandler says:

      Abstinence does not apply to meat only. Anything that one enjoys eating, doing or not doing, can be abstained from as a small offering of sacrifice.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      You actually believe the MSM reports on the percentages, and you ignore the massive voter fraud!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  13. All of the above things recommended by the CA Bishops are good.
    But we must also pray that the Bishops start requiring Priests, Brothers and Nuns, and the Laity read the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition.

    The Bishops will continue to lose Catholics to the secular and relative society without decent catechesis.
    Americans need to know “why” they are doing something and its all explained in the CCC. Americans need to be able to pass on the Faith and its all explained in the CCC.

    They are not following the directions of Pope Benedict in Motu Proprio “Porta Fidei” (for Year of Faith). Starting with paragraphs 11, he stated the need to rediscover, study and share the CCC.

    On the net go to: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE” to see the Popes’ quotes about the CCC.

    So what is the problem? Why are many Bishops so afraid to tell their Priests to read the CCC and preach about it from the pulpit ? ? ?

  14. OK, So our Bishop in Southern Las Vegas has approved the Pastor of St Elizabeths cutting Mass for our children from every morning to one morning, we contributed heavily to building the school and chapel to give our children this exposure to our faith, no dice says the Bishop and Pastor. The two have also banned the Carmelites from using Church facilities for our meetings, to much praying we guess. They attacked our pro-life members by threatening to have them arrested if they came on Church property,the same pro-lifers who are responsible for the closure of the Sahara torture chambers, then they kicked our apologitics group from the property, they participated in the pro-life project to remind people of the intrinsic evils of abortion, a new big no no in the Diocese we assume, we need to pray for fathful Bishops and Priests first, there is no way prayers for life and marriage will make it, much to sensitive to far to many parishoners. MGB

  15. John Feeney says:

    For starters, how about Cardinal Dolan renouncing his glad handing and applause for Obama at the Al Smith Dinner? Without strong and aggresive leadership from the hierarcy, this pastoral strategy will fail.

    • You’re right. EXAMPLES of Bishops and their Priests speaks louder than words.

      Also the lack of catechesis for ALL Catholics (including Priests) is appaulling.

      You can not overturn the lack of teaching in a few months just prior to an election.

      We still have not heard anything on the teaching of CCC and/or Vatican II required to receive a plenary indulgence from my Bishop.
      (See about this with links to the Vatican on: “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE”.)

      • Also important are the Bishops who do little or nothing to stop the heresy, schism and SCANDAL within their own Diocese.

        This does untold damage. And loses Souls.
        And is counter-productive to Evangelization.

        Enforcement of Canon 915, and publically excommunicating (ab homine) is critical to teaching, and upholding the truths of our Faith.
        1 Cor 5:9-13.

  16. “… pastoral strategy … set to begin after Christmas .. encouraged to …”

    This strategy is so important that it needs to wait until after the Penitential Season of Advent, and after all the parties are over, and occur once a month at the end of the month, and it is optional? Good grief! Is this the Book of Jonah story or not?

    So, they gave themselves more than a month.
    Time is up.

    Hey CCD readers … do a little research
    and post comments to this article indicating:

    Diocese name and Cathedral name.
    Phone number.
    Day and time of the Holy Hour.
    Bishop name and presiding status (yes or no).

  17. I do find it rather interesting that on hand the bishops crave religious liberty and on the other hand want the state to force couples to conform to Catholic religious standards in their married life.

    Asking for religious liberty means you must tolerate some practices and beliefs by others with which you do not agree. Obviously, calling something a “religious practice” should not shield it from legal prohibition if it causes clear and objective harm to third parties. Thus, you cannot kill someone for a human sacrifice ritual on “religious liberty” grounds.

    However, the Catholic Church wishes to prohit gay marriage based on the harm done to children raised by gay couples. However, there is a disconnect here. Gay couples can only have children if 1) one partner had a previous hetero-sexual relationship and is a natural parent or 2) through some form of adoption (including in vitro fertilization and host mother agreements).. Consequently, children are not a natural consequence of gay relationships. If you object to gay partners raising or adopting children, then it is adoption and custody law that is defective, not the relationship between gay partners—if your concern is for the children.

    The most natural response to this problem is to prevent gay individuals from raising children, not regulating the behavior of two adult parties who cannot become parents through any natural means.

    Of course, protecting children is not the true concern of the people who want to deny gay marriage. Instead, their purpose is aimed squarely at deterring people from entering into same-sex relationships by socially marginalizing them.

    However, if you strip away the “bad for children” argument, then the only rationale left to deny gay marriage is purely religious, which in the United States is not a valid legal basis due to the establishment clause. Furthermore, banning gay marriage on religious grounds would deny the very religious freedom the bishops are supposedly demanding.

    Of course, the real truth is the Catholic Church does not believe in religious freedom. It only tolerates citizens that do not share their beliefs only to the extent they follow fundamental catholic principles. The Church, however, demands that certain Catholic principles must govern all societies.

    Now the Church tries to claim that these fundamental principles can be discovered in “natural law”. However, the Church holds itself to be the only infallible arbiter of “natural law”, consequently establishing “natural law” as nothing more than a stand-in for specific principles of Catholic dogma.

    • Jon J, you are starting from the wrong end of the issue. There is a God. He created Man in his own image and likeness, male and female he created them. The bond between man and woman is marriage. There is no marriage between two partners of the same sex. So rather than banning gay marriage, it is an impossibility. In terms of law, rather than banning gay marriage, the Church is working to defend the traditional definition of marriage. The Catholic Church is called by God to do so. As for religious freedom, the Catholic Church does not change based on what the government permits. It may have to go underground or be persecuted for its practices and beliefs. The Catholic Church wishes to share the revelation that God has given through Jesus Christ. It does not wish to limit your freedom, but to show what true freedom is-knowing God through Jesus Christ.

      • K. How are we to know that “God created man?”. If we are to have religious freedom, should it not be acceptable for an individual to believe God made space aliens with 6,000 eyes and 18 tentacles?. During a lab experiment, our 6,000-eye squids shot toxic genetic waste into the galaxy, crash landing on earth and recombining to create mankind. If we embed the postulate that “God created Man” into our jurisprudence, have we not then violated the establishment clause because we have now used state coersion against an individual’s religious belief? Such a belief system is only slightly less silly than some currently existing ecscatological theories. Why does the Church cry for “religious freedom” when it doesn’t believe in it? Why pretend? If, in fact, the what the government permits is not relevant to Church behavior, why demand religious freedom protections from governmental authorities? If the Church’s only desire is to show mankind the truth, can that not be accomplished by simple preaching rather than through the mechanism of embedding catholic theology in law and using state force to compel conformity?

        • JonJ, anarchy is the only possiblity if you do not want to impose one’s beliefs on another. I understand that the belief that God created man is provocative to atheists and some others. Traditionally, it is taught that one can see the creator in nature and in man. The vision for mankind of the Church is one of every individual’s dignity. Other beliefs have existed and governments have murdered people of various ethnicities, races and beliefs. Our vision is of a human family under one God. When you lose the belief in God, you lose the identity of man himself. It does not establish a religion to embed the dignity of man into your system of laws. it is necessary and desirable.

      • K, I think it is hard for those of us raised in the United States to understand that the Catholic Church does not truly believe in religious freedom. Religious freedom is a hallowed American value that we are taught to revere. American Catholics tend to presume that “religious freedom” is good, and since the Church stands for good then the Church must also be for religious freedom.

        Yet, it is not. The Church only supports a very limited notion of religious freedom. In the Catechism, we are instructed that it is not moral to use state force to compel Church attendance. I think there are also proscriptions on “conversion by force”. That’s about as far as the Church goes toward “religious freedom”.

        But, on the other hand, the Church insists that Catholics fight to use state force to compel their entire society to follow certain aspects of Catholic theology. One of those areas is marriage.

        The “non-negotiables” are generally recited as: 1) no euthanasia 2) no gay marriage 3) no abortion 4) no contraception. Contraception is generally treated somewhat differently in that the Church doesn’t seem to expect us to return to legal proscriptions on contraception (as of today) but to rather fight state-wide support for contraception through tax dollars.

        The remaining three issues are to be prevented in law.

        Now, these three issues interact with the establishment clause in different ways. Abortion is the easiest. We do not need to invoke religious beliefs to argue against the validity of abortion in secular law.

        Science cannot tell us with any certainty when consciousness begins. (Consciousness, btw, is the key issue, because the Church does not require us to keep people alive in a perpetual vegetative state). If people are to have any value whatsoever, then conscious human existence must be protected. Since we cannot determine when that begins, we must extend that protection to the earliest POSSIBLE point that consciousness can exist.

        Euthanasia can be also can be logically banned on purely secularized grounds without leaning on religious arguments. The risk of euthanasia is who decides when an individual should be put to death “for their own good”? The history of state power and how certain non-favored individuals have been treated make for a basis to ban euthanasia as a means to stop creeping tyranny.

        Gay marriage and contraception, however, pretty much depend on religious doctrine and don’t have sound secularized reasons for banning. Now, as long as the fight over contraception is opposition to state subsidies for contraception, then that can be fought on religious liberty principles. But, if you fight for a ban on contraceptives, then you must lean on purely religious arguments. (one caveat is that we might shape secularized arguments against “the pill” as an unacceptable health risk).

        However, any attempts to ban things like “condoms” and “spermicides” would rest on completely religious grounds.

        As for gay marriage, the Church has tried to frame the issue as an “attack” on traditional marriage. This formulation makes perfect sense if you’re talking about gay marriage undermining the religious concept of traditional marriage. However, in a secular context, it makes no sense at all. How is my marriage to my spouse “attacked” by the two gay guys next door calling their sexual relationship a marriage?

        Will I now despise my wife or start ignoring my children because the gay guys next door are married? Will I now fight more with my wife or suddenly decide on a divorce because I can’t bear to think that gay people can call their sexual relationship by the same term I use to describe my relationship with my wife? Will Catholic men suddenly become so inflamed with sexual desire for other men because the gay guys next door are married that they will decide to become homosexual and toss away their wives? How is marriage “attacked” unless spouses choose to let that fact somehow affect their home life?

        Some hint that allowing gay marriage will somehow cause social collapse in some undefined way. Canada, among other nations, allow gay marriage. Is Canada on the verge of social collapse? How, exactly, will allowing gay marriage destroy society (outside of undermining devotion to a group of particular religions)?

        Please see my earlier post about the “but the children” argument for banning gay marriage.

        The above analysis should make clear that the Church does not in fact support religious freedom—or, more precisely, only accepts a much more limited form of religious freedom than set forth in the Constitution.

        • Jon J, thank you for your post. I want to have pity on the volunteer moderator and not write too much. But I think there are some inacurracies that need to be address first. “The church does not require us to keep alive those in a perpetual vegetative state.” The actuality is that the Church does not require us to use extraordinary means to keep someone alive. Food and water are not extraordinary means so if someone is alive-even if in a vegitative state with no chance of recovery-they need to be kept alive. You are not permitted to starve them to death. It is not conciousness that makes someone alive. Secondly, the 1st amendment says that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. The Vatican goes further saying that “all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs”. It is based on the dignity of human beings being made in the likeness of God. The Catholic Church is in a unique position as the Mystical Body of Christ. It is not just a social group that has a set of beliefs. It is intimately joined with Christ. He resides in her. When the Catholic Church declares something in faith and morals, it is trustworthy. When it says that euthenasia and abortion are murder, it is trustworthy. And when it says that same-sex coupling is not marriage, it is trustworthy. When it says that artificial methods of contraception defeat the purpose of the marriage act it is trustworthy. Catholics who live in American who understand these things have a voice to try to educate others in the better value of living their lives in conformity with the will of the Creator. PETA tries to influence people to not harm animals. Environmentalists try to educated people and influence laws that protect the health of the planet. Health care workers try to educate people and influence laws to better the health of the body. It is a duty to warn others of danger.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      The following is not posted for JonJ, he is at this point beyond help. It is posted for those who want to know the truth:

      First, the Council of Elvira in 305-306 AD:
      The first statement of a Church council on homosexual practices was issued by the Council of Elvira (305-306). The decree excludes from communion, even in articulo mortis (at the moment of death), the stupratores puerorum (corrupters of boys).
      Finally, I give you St. Catherine of Siena, who is not just a saint, but also a DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH. Our Lord spoke directly to St. Catherine, which is very, very, very rare, and not only did the Church declare her a saint, they took the extra step of ratifying the legitimacy of St. Catherine’s locutions from Our Lord by extraordinarily declaring her a Doctor of the Church. The bold text below is the words of Our Lord as spoken to St. Catherine of Siena. Hold on to your hats:
      Saint Catherine of Siena, a religious mystic of the 14th century, relays words of Our Lord Jesus Christ about the vice against nature, which contaminated part of the clergy in her time. Referring to sacred ministers, He says: “They not only fail from resisting this frailty [of fallen human nature] . . . but do even worse as they commit the cursed sin against nature. Like the blind and stupid, having dimmed the light of their understanding, they do not recognize the disease and misery in which they find themselves. For this not only causes Me nausea, but displeases even the demons themselves, whom these miserable creatures have chosen as their lords. For Me, this sin against nature is so abominable that, for it alone, five cities were submersed, by virtue of the judgment of My Divine Justice, which could no longer bear them. . . . It is disagreeable to the demons, not because evil displeases them and they find pleasure in good, but because their nature is angelic and thus is repulsed upon seeing such an enormous sin being committed. It is true that it is the demon who hits the sinner with the poisoned arrow of lust, but when a man carries out such a sinful act, the demon leaves.”

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  18. Jon, and others. All the issues raised are answered in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” which includes the footnotes at the bottom of each page.
    The Church documents in the footnotes can be found on the Vatican web site; and of course everyone should have a copy of a Catholic Bible.

    The CCC is the same throughout the world, and can also be found on the Vatican web site.

    There are 86 separate paragraphs on “freedom” in the CCC.

    Please read the CCC in entirty before making false statements against the Church regarding FREEDOM.

  19. Jon, again please read the CCC before starting your own religion and calling it Catholic.
    Euthanasia is covered in the CCC 2276 through 2279. It has nothing to do with conscienceness.
    Ordinary care (food and water) can never be interrupted.

  20. Jon, you are also wrong about the Church teaching on contraception.
    Remember that the CCC is world-wide (not a national teaching), and can be found on the Vatican web site. It is a mortal sin.

    CCC: “2399 The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).”

    CCC: “2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.
    These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom.
    In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:
    Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other.
    This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality. ”

    Re: Conscience – - –
    There are 69 paragraphs in the CCC regarding conscience.

    CCC: ” 1783 Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.
    It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.
    The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings. ”

    It would probably be better for you Jon, so that you do not misinterpret Church teaching to quote any paragraph that you wish to refer to in entirety. Put quote marks around it, and use the paragraph number.

    All of us who participate in this media have a special obligation to accuracy and truth. (CCC re use of media – 2493-2499).

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