‘Marriage is part of the natural order instituted by God’
It is with considerable regret that we acknowledge yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow a federal judge to strike down the Kansas marriage amendment. By recalling that 70 percent of Kansas voters in 2005 chose to protect the institution of marriage, it would seem clear that this recent social issue is far from resolved in the minds and hearts of Kansans. In addressing this judicial decision, we also must note that the church’s teaching on marriage is not simply a “position” on a political issue because marriage is not a creation of the state. Rather, marriage is part of the natural order instituted by God and even well-intentioned, conscientious members of the legislature and judiciary cannot alter a given reality. Such truth simply does not change with the times.
No statement on marriage is complete without asserting our core belief that all people, including those with same-sex attraction, are beloved children of God. Indeed, a fact oftentimes lost in this discussion is that many homosexual persons find a loving home in the Catholic Church. They encounter among us not only revealed truth but brothers and sisters who are anxious to journey with them on the path of holiness. However, any effort to stretch the meaning of marriage beyond its essential definition, even in a benevolent effort of inclusiveness, does an injustice to all. True happiness comes only when we embrace God’s plan for us. As explained so beautifully by St. Augustine, our hearts are restless until they rest in the Lord.
Beyond our religious beliefs we also would note that marriage is the very foundation of human society. Its value extends far beyond the individual man and woman who embrace it. By its very nature, it involves the coming together of a male and a female not only for their own good but likewise for the good of children and the stability of society. Therefore, it is equally important to note that every child wants to know his or her mother and father, to be with them, and to be loved by them. Tragic circumstances sometimes render this impossible and we have great admiration for the many noble and dedicated single parents, grandparents, adoptive parents, and others who nurture children in challenging situations. However, for the state to decide that substantial numbers of children will intentionally go without mothers or fathers is an extraordinary injustice.
It is our understanding that the decision to strike down Kansas’ marriage amendment will continue to be appealed, and it appears that the U.S. Supreme Court will ultimately decide the issue for the entire country. We are grateful for last week’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholding the right of states to legally recognize and protect the meaning of marriage as exclusively between one man and one woman. It is our hope that the U.S. Supreme Court will affirm the Sixth Circuit’s decision.
We pray for a restoration of respect for the true meaning of marriage in our country. We pray that those individuals who experience same-sex attraction find comfort in the love of God as they strive to live in accordance with God’s will. Finally, we pray for those faithful Christians who will undoubtedly face criticism, ostracism, and even persecution in the coming years for their steadfast adherence to the Gospel’s timeless teaching on human sexuality.
Joseph F. Naumann
Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas
John B. Brungardt
Bishop of Dodge City
Edward J. Weisenburger
Bishop of Salina
Carl A. Kemme
Bishop of Wichita