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in our ongoing process of bridge building and community making.
Pope Francis has just released a new encyclical entitled "Praised Be to you, my Lord: On Care For Our Common Home." Below are links to learn more about this important message from our Holy Father.
This morning, in a 5–4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires states both to license same-sex marriages within their own borders and to recognize such marriages as licensed in other jurisdictions. As a society, we will wrestle with the impact of this decision on our understanding of marriage and family for years to come. This decision is a wrong decision for our country. When we deliberately alter the design of marriage, we weaken the very foundation of society.
The Church has taught and will continue to teach respect for the dignity of all women and men, regardless of sexual orientation. The Church is here for everyone, and Jesus extends His love and mercy to all of us.
Jesus taught unambiguously that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. The Church’s teaching on marriage is changeless, based not simply on reason and natural law, but by God’s design. Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court has decided at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable.
It is my hope that the rights of Christians and other believers who hold marriage as a sacred, lifelong commitment between a woman and a man will be respected and recognized. The First Amendment of our country’s Constitution professes our right to religious liberty, both as individuals and as congregations of all faith traditions. The amendment is intended to secure our right to teach and live the truth according to our beliefs.
The decision rendered today was an opinion of five of the nine Supreme Court Justices. It is my hope that in our nation, people who hold a traditional understanding of marriage may be respected, too. The rights of believers who hold marriage as a sacred, life-long commitment between a woman and a man need to be honored in the spirit of our country’s deep commitment to equality and religious freedom.
I call on all people of good will to proclaim the goodness, truth and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for thousands of years. Where differences arise, we need to respectfully engage in dialogue in a spirit of truth rooted in love.