Insight from Professor Robert George

Here’s an interview by National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez with Professor Robert George of Princeton on marriage:

The institution of marriage has already been deeply wounded by divorce at nearly plague levels, widespread non-marital sexual cohabitation, and other damaging factors. To redefine it out of existence in law is to make it much more difficult to restore a sound understanding of marriage on which a healthy marriage culture can be rebuilt for the good of all. It is to sacrifice the needs of the poor, who are hurt the most when a sound public understanding of marriage and sexual morality collapses. It is to give up on the truth that children need both a father and mother, and benefit from the security of their love for each other.

You can read the rest here.

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25 Responses to “Insight from Professor Robert George”

  1. The canonical consequences Gov. Cuomo faces as per Edward N. Peters, JD, JCD (Canon Lawyer, Top Vatican Legal expert)

    http://canonlawblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-canonical-consequences-might.html

    “Cuomo’s concubinage gives prominent bad example against marriage, but his official actions in regard to “gay marriage” have changed the very definition of marriage in the populous state under his care; Cuomo’s living arrangements are of immediate canonical concern to only two of New York’s eight arch/bishops, but his political actions in regard to “gay marriage” negatively impact the pastoral mission of every Catholic bishop, parish priest, deacon, and lay minister throughout the Province of New York; finally, while most of the bishops of New York said little or nothing about Cuomo’s living with a woman not his wife, his long-standing actions in regard to “gay marriage” were challenged repeatedly, directly, and forcefully by the Archbishop of New York and by all his seven suffragans.

    In light of the foregoing, I see no way, absent a public reversal of his public conduct, that Andrew Cuomo may present himself for holy Communion (per Canon 916), and, if he does present himself, I see no way that a minister of holy Communion may administer the sacrament to him (per Canon 915). Indeed, the only question in my mind is whether the ordinaries of New York should lift from the shoulders of individual ministers the burden of reaching this decision, by making a determination to this effect themselves and, assuming they do reach this conclusion, whether they should announce it publicly or in a personal letter to Cuomo. (Personally, I think a public announcement more befits the markedly public character of Cuomo’s conduct and responds better to the danger of scandal presented to the faithful by his actions).”

    Question: How will the New York bishops react to this scholarly account?

    Your silence in addressing this matter is deafening to the Catholic faithful and adds to the scandal.

    To conclude, please keep our Holy Father’s words in mind when faced with criticism. – Make us proud of you!

    “God loves every one of us with a depth and intensity that we can hardly begin to imagine. And he knows us intimately; he knows all our strengths and all our faults. Because he loves us so much, he wants to purify us of our faults and build up our virtues so that we can have life in abundance. When he challenges us because something in our lives is displeasing to him, he is not rejecting us, but he is asking us to change and become more perfect. That is what he asked of Saint Paul on the road to Damascus. God rejects no one. And the Church rejects no one. Yet in his great love, God challenges all of us to change and to become more perfect.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

    Be assured of my daily prayers
    Your Brother in Christ
    Joe Reciniello

  2. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2005/feb/05021001

    In a very prophetic statement made in 2005, Cardinal Raymond Burke (the current Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, having previously served as Archbishop of St. Louis (2003–2008) and Bishop of La Crosse (1994–2003) – Warns of Upcoming “Persecution” over Abortion and Homosexuality:

    ST. LOUIS, February 9, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In an interview with LifeSiteNews.com, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said that as Catholics continue to speak out on life and family issues they will face persecution. “There is going to be a persecution with regard to this, that’s clear,” said the Archbishop. The media has painted the St. Louis church leader as a mean-spirited bully, yet in person he is soft-spoken and kind with a keen sense of the truth and an urgency to convey it for the salvation of souls. Rather than using high-sounding platitudes which coast over the heads of many, Archbishop Burke speaks plainly the teaching of the Church on matters of central importance, without fear of being labeled politically incorrect. During the debate in the US about refusing communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion, Burke issued a pastoral letter explaining that, although the refusal by a pastor or bishop to distribute holy Communion to anyone is a “source of great sorrow . . . What would be profoundly more sorrowful would be the failure of a bishop to call a soul to conversion, the failure to protect the flock from scandal and the failure to safeguard the worthy reception of Communion.” With regard to voting by Catholics, the archbishop stated clearly in a meeting held by the diocesan pro-life office, “When we go to vote, we must take into consideration all of the stands politicians make. But procured abortion, that has to be our first question.” Archbishop Burke has been equally clear and courageous on the hot topic of same-sex ‘marriage’. Rather than avoiding the reason behind the gay ‘marriage’ push – the societal acceptance of homosexuality – Burke addressed it head-on, warning that the tendency to avoid the issue is dangerous. In his diocesan paper Burke wrote, “There is a tendency to accept same-sex relationships because we do not want to deal with the embarrassment and hurt of recognizing same-sex attraction as disordered,” he said. “The fact that our American culture more and more fails to make any distinction between same-sex attraction and heterosexual attraction does not justify our failure to make the distinction, respecting God’s gift of human life in its integrity and helping others to attain the perfection to which we are called as true children of God.” After concelebrating the massive vigil Mass preceding the US March for Life a few weeks ago, Archbishop Burke told LifeSiteNews.com that his motivation to continue to speak out on life and family comes from “Christ Himself” and “the natural moral law” which the archbishop said “is not the question of a belief of a particular religion, but is part of the patrimony of the whole human race.” The archbishop acknowledged that speaking the truth was intimidating. “It’s intimidating because we live, as our Holy Father says, in a society of a culture of death where people want to convince us that everything should be convenient and comfortable and they don’t like to hear a voice which says ‘this isn’t right’”, he said. But with being outspoken on the truth will come persecution, a fact the archbishop is willing not only to acknowledge but to accept. “Bishops will be persecuted,” he said, and “also priests and lay people.” Even now those proclaiming the truth are called, homophobic and hateful. Yet the archbishop explains, “It’s what it means to be a sign of contradiction. We just have to accept that and we have to remain tranquil in proclaiming the truth with charity, but insisting on the truth.”“If we look to the example of Our Lord, we have to take up the cross for the defence of life,” he said.

    See former LifeSiteNews.com coverage on the archbishop:

    Archbishop Burke Instructs Catholic Voters: “It would be wrong to give institutional recognition to same-sex relationships” http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/jul/04071609.html

    US Archbishop Says Abortion Has to be the “first question” for Catholic Voters http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/jun/04062504.html

    St. Louis Archbishop Burke Speaks Out About Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians and Communion http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/jun/04062404.html

  3. thomas says:

    Re \need both a father and mother,\ nowadays with mothers often having careers, grandparents are also needed. The 20th century’s narrow nuclear family ideal is outdated and intact, multi-generational holy matrimony is essential.

  4. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    Frankly Your Emminence I was quite shocked to see this article here. I’ve read about this Professor. He’s a great read. I’d like to see it in Catholic NY newspaper.

    We need a tough albeit loving shepherd. I pray you are the right man. Our beloved Church is sinking fast here in the West.

  5. Jim says:

    “‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye. ”

    Where is the condemnation of your brother bishops’ culpability and complicity in abusing children (male and female). http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/us/11priest.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=arizona%20catholic&st=cse

    Where is the outrage that your predecessor tried to get out of a law suit by testifying that priests are independent contrators.

    http://www.bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/top/features/documents/01780639.htm

    Archbishop Dolan it is high time that the bishops of the Roman Catholic church clean their own house before they try to clean the houses of others. Then and only then you may begin to have some real moral authority instead of the power without authority that you now wield.

  6. Jan says:

    Archbishop, you know I am one of your big supporters, so I send you this link to: Contraception is the Cause – from RealCatholicTV.com because this typifies the clarity and simplicity that Catholics MUST hear from the pulpit and in the confessional, and everywhere Catholics meet the Church. As you would say: “He’s on to something . . . “

  7. Mary Jo Marceau-Hawthorne says:

    My question is why were the so called ‘Catholics’ who voted for or supported this heinous bill (Gay Marriage Act) not excommunicated? Silence from the ‘Catholic’ community and officials is as bad as voting for this bill.

  8. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    Mary Jo – there is much fear in Catholic leadership today what with high roller donors and the tax exemption and all. Our leaders worry more about bishop’s appeals, tax exemptions, and losing high roller donors than doing what is right as per Canon 915 and excommunicating the rich and famous.

    The best thing that could ever happen to this Church is for state money to dry up and semi Catholic high roller donors keeping their money so the Church can go about its business of saving souls.

    Money – it’s all about the money.

  9. Rich B says:

    Bishop,
    Why are you still allowing Gov Cuomo and his live in adulteress to approach the altar and dishonor the Body and Blood of Our Savior? Are you kidding? What more proof do you need of his open defiance to everything Catholic. Your inaction disheartens us.
    Your words are fine……..but we’ve heard enough words. Now be a Bishop and rule! No disrespect intended but if Cuomo and his adulteress are in a State of Grace after all of this then I’m a Saint……..
    DO SOMETHING…….NOW!!!!!!!

  10. Irene says:

    I’m a little startled that the Archbishop’s blog seems to only reflect the viewpoints of our more conservative members. And I’m seeing some very harsh words used to characterize Catholics who support Marriage Equality (I am one of them). NYC is nothing if not diverse, and that holds true of NYC Catholics. I hope that other viewpoints would be welcome on this blog.

  11. charles says:

    Irene is right. Does the Archbishop have nothing to offer of his own? Must he rely on the National Review for his words?

    To those who call for the excommunication of public officials … really? Do you think the bishops would dare excommunicate a lay person in this atmosphere:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0713/breaking6.html

  12. Irene – There is no such thing as a Catholic who supports “Marriage Equality” (as you call it). When you are a practicing Catholic, you must believe in ALL the tenants of the Church. When one does not, there is a term for that, a Cafeteria Catholic. If a Baptized Catholic does not believe in all that the church teaches, he / she should not receive the Eucharist at Mass because they therefore are not in “communion” (hence the word) with the church. I’m not making this stuff up my friend. This is what you should have been taught when you were in CCD / Catholic High School. Now that is a problem (lack of catechetical knowledge amongst the flock), I have addressed this problem in the past on this forum and you exemplify my point.

    Charles – When Catholics call for the Bishops of New York to proclaim that, the Governor should not be permitted to receive the Eucharist that is 100% accurate as per the Canons of the Church. Once again, “we” are not making this stuff up. If you are Catholic, and I do not know if you are, then you should know that.

    As for our bishops “not daring to take a strong stand”, if you ask me, the bishops “daring” to react to the Truth (with a capital “T”) is not an option, it is part of their call as Sheppard’s of the flock. “Daring” should not even be apart of the equation.

  13. Renee says:

    Dear Joseph:

    Who are the “tenants” of the Catholic Church, anyway?

  14. The passage of the marriage equality law could not have occurred without the support, encouragement and complicity of many Catholic politicians. We all know that the leading proponent for this legislation is the well-known pro-abortion Catholic, Governor Andrew Cuomo.

    Archbishop Dolan, please do not overlook the open disobedience and dissent of Catholic lawmakers who ignored your clear teachings and grave admonitions on this matter—-not only for the sake of all those who have been scandalized by their defiance but also for the sake of these individuals themselves.

    As difficult as it might be for you to deny Holy Communion to members of your flock, I must remind you that it is your most pressing obligation as a bishop not only to guard the integrity of Catholic doctrine and defend the Holy Eucharist from sacrilege, but also to endeavor to prevent these publicly unrepentant Catholic politicians from committing further grave sin by their reception of Holy Communion while in an objective state of mortal sin.

  15. Dear Your Excellency,

    Contraception destroys marriages and individuals.

    How do you explain to an average person in a few sentences or perhaps, parable form, why it is so evil?

  16. charles says:

    Joe, Yes indeed I am a Catholic. And I know the Rules and the Canons, too. My point here, and in previous posts, is that the Archbishop, and his brother bishops throughout the world, has lost all credibility and moral authority owing to the child abuse scandal that occurred under their watch. Whether the Governor of NY receives the sacrament is between himself and the Lord and should be of little concern to you or me. Joe, please don’t hold your breath for Archbishop Dolan to excommunicate the Governor. He won’t. He can’t – he has no authority anymore. No one is listening.

  17. Abel says:

    I believe that gays will do marriage BETTER, as a while, than straights have managed to do in the last 40 years or so. How sad the Church persists in demonizing gays. You really should beg Christ for forgiveness for what you are doing.

  18. MDomke says:

    Archbishop,
    I have a hard time understanding what you mean by imposing and proposing, these people have been oppressed since the beginning of time, why not welcome them with open arms into Christ’s love, the most oppressed person of all time. Christ has a plan for them as much as He has a plan for us: it’s tolerance, non-violent, forgiving, and humble. The salvation isn’t a game, it is a truth, and the homosexuals who find salvation in the Catholic Church are not to be underestimated, they are the purest form of beauty and benevolence that the Lord has given, those that despise the Church will have to find their own way. But, I refuse to believe that your proposition to enter the Catholic faith does not include these same people that care nothing but for the poor, the helpless and the needy. The time spent denying these well adjusted advocates has lasted too long. They do not wish to be bathed in the Catholic Religion’s thousand year experience of Marriage, they wish to be given a chance to love without an overbearing presence denying them. I am a devout Catholic and I hope that my feelings on this matter does not alieanate me.
    God Bless you always,
    Michael Domke

  19. Brian Cook says:

    Your excellency,

    The very detailed criticisms against you keep piling up in this ‘blog. I still continue to hope that you will address them before they become too massive in volume. I really want to help you.

  20. Renee – sorry about that, I made a typo, I meant tenet not “tenants” (meaning a religious doctrine / principle, or a belief)

    8-)

    Charles – Re-read what Edward N. Peters, JD, JCD, in my post above wrote. It will give you some clarification with regard to your statements and claims. Whether you agree with them or not, does not change the facts.

    As to your conclusion, “no one is listening”. That simply is not true and more importantly; God is silently watching and knows who is listening and who is not. That goes for the laity and the clergy alike.

  21. Joanne says:

    I too believe that our Bishops and priests need to be more vocal in denouncing that wehich is contrary to Catholic teachings. The sooner the better! From The Blaze:Four Catholic Charities regional groups have been granted the right continue their adoption and foster program services in Illinois for at least another month thanks to Judge John Schmidt‘s decision to refuse allowing the state to cut funds based off the organization’s resistance to placing children with gay and unwed couples. Chicago Tribune:————now this is only a stay of decision, gays are fighting this.

  22. charles carroll says:

    Joe, Oh Yes, I too was once young and fresh from a Jesuit University and full of vim and vigor for the Faith. And then, reality set in with indictments and denials and lies. Here in Philadelphia we have THREE Grand Jury Reports detailing the nasty behavior of the clergy and the bishops. And after much lip service from Rome only yesterday we get this:

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0714/1224300712017.html

    So, yes, sorry, but the bishops have lost their voice. Maybe when a generation passes with no abuse claims the church can speak again. But until then, no one is listening.

    New York has not had a Man of God on Fifth Avenue since Cardinal Cooke. When Dolan makes his appearance on Saturday with Ruben Diaz he will just be perpetuating the hate of O’Conner and Eagan. Dirty Hands. Putrid Lips. No one is listening.

  23. john says:

    Where were you last year when the New York legislature adopted no-fault divorce? I don’t remember such an outcry. Or are you only going after minorities?

  24. Irene says:

    I also find it very contradictory that often those who most strongly assert that total adherence to Catholic teaching is required at all times, those same people are quite comfortable publicly chastising bishops for their actions/inactions. I’ m pretty sure complying with the former precludes engaging in the latter.

  25. Charles Carroll – Don’t give up my friend

    Even with all the madness (and I am a realist – there is madness), the Catholic Church is still the only Church Jesus founded. The sacraments are still the vehicles of graces we need, even if some of the clergy are not holding up their end. The truth is still the truth contained in the teachings of the Catholic Church and while we sinners (including the clergy) seem to mess things up, that does not change what we all must strive to be and more importantly do.

    Here is some friendly advice, volunteer with a religious order that is very faithful to the Magisterium and lives the gospel by their actions (not just their words). For example, the Missionaries of Charity, I believe they have a house in the Philadelphia area. It will refresh your heart. It does mine; I stay very close to the MC Sisters in New York.

    Look to Our Lady too, for she is so pure, so immaculate.

    In addition, every December, I run a mission trip to serve the poor in Calcutta. This will be our 5th year going. Why don’t you come along? Seriously consider it. The trip sounds a lot harder then it really is. All you need is a big heart. A good priest will be leading us this year from the NYC area, Fr. Glenn Sudano, C.F.R. (Franciscan Friars of the Renewal). By the way, the CFR’s are another new order within the Church that are very solid.

    Here is some info on the trip

    Immaculate Heart Mission – NYC
    Serving the Poorest of the Poor
    http://www.immaculateheartmission.org

    Please pray for me Charles and I will pray the rosary for you

    Your brother in Christ
    Joe