Marriage: the core of every civilization

It was one of the more uncomfortable moments in my life.

Outside of St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Milwaukee, where I, as archbishop, was celebrating Sunday Mass on an otherwise magnificent Wisconsin autumn day, were a couple dozen very vocal protestors, representing some off-brand denomination, shouting vicious chants and holding hateful signs with words I thought had gone the way of burning-crosses and white hoods.

This frenzied group, taunting the people as they left Mass, were rabid in criticizing the Catholic Church, especially her bishops, for our teaching that homosexuals deserve dignity and respect.

To be more precise, this group was yelling at us because, they objected, the Catholic Church was so friendly, welcoming, and defensive of gay (they used other foul words) people.  They waved placards explicitly quoting and condemning #2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which affirms the dignity of those with same-sex attraction, and warns against any form of prejudice, hatred, or unjust discrimination against them, and insists that homosexual acts, not persons, are not in conformity with God’s design.

Never have I faced such a vitriolic crowd, blasting the Church for simply following the teaching of Jesus by loving and respecting people regardless of anything, including their sexual orientation.

When a reporter asked me for a comment, I replied, “They’re right:  we do love and respect homosexual people.  These protestors understand Church teaching very well.”

I’ve been recalling that episode often of late, because now I hear Catholics, — and, I am quick to add, Jews, other Christians, Muslims, and men and women of no faith at all — who have thoughtfully expressed grave disapproval of the current rush to redefine marriage, branded as bigots and bullies who hate gays.

Nonsense!  We are not anti anybody; we are pro-marriage.  The definition of marriage is a given:  it is a lifelong union of love and fidelity leading, please God, to children, between one man and one woman.

History, Natural Law, the Bible (if you’re so inclined), the religions of the world, human experience, and just plain gumption tell us this is so.  The definition of marriage is hardwired into our human reason.

To uphold that traditional definition, to strengthen it, and to defend it is not a posture of bigotry or bullying.  Nor is it a denial of the “right” of anybody.  As the philosophers remind us, in a civilized, moral society, we have the right to do what we ought, not to do whatever we want.  Not every desire is a right.

To tamper with that definition, or to engage in some Orwellian social engineering about the nature and purpose of marriage, is perilous to all of us.  If the definition of marriage is continually being altered, could it not in the future be morphed again to include multiple spouses or even family members?

Nor is it “imposing” some narrow outmoded religious conviction.  One might well ask just who is doing the “imposing” here:  those who simply defend what the human drama has accepted from the start, a belief embedded in nature and at the core of every civilization — the definition of marriage — or those who all of a sudden want to scrap it because “progressive, enlightened, tolerant culture” calls for it.

Sadly, as we see in countries where such a redefinition has occurred, “tolerance” is hardly the result, as those who hold to the given definition of marriage now become harassed and penalized.

If big, intrusive government can re-define the most basic, accepted, revealed truth that marriage simply means one man + one woman + (hopefully) children, in a loving family, then, I’m afraid, Orwell’s works will no longer be on the fiction shelf.  As someone commented to me the other day, “Wouldn’t it be better for our government to work on fixing schools than on redefining marriage?”

And resistance to this rush to radically redefining the ingrained meaning of marriage cannot be reduced to an act of prejudice against people with a same-sex attraction.

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94 Responses to “Marriage: the core of every civilization”

  1. Corey Smith says:

    Instead of having a loving family of just a man a women, and their children, why not spread the family to the whole world? Why not promote love by giving others the right to marry? It’s funny that you bring up the same points that all the other homophobes bring up. You guys just can’t bring something fresh to the table, can you? You imply that the more gays that get married, the less meaningful the word “marriage” means. How can you say that when divorces are happening constantly, cheating on your spouse is happening constantly, and VERY unhealthy marriages are everywhere you look?

    Besides all of that, why is it your right to say if I can or cannot get married? Was I involved in your decision to find love? Everyone acts like the LGBT community chooses this path. We don’t. Why would we choose a path that directly leads to bullying, harassment, discrimination, an increased rate in suicide, and inequality? We were born this way, and we just want to be able to celebrate love ceremonially like all of the straight folks out there.

    I thought Jesus was supposed to love everybody. Did something change where he doesn’t love everybody anymore?

  2. Mark Jansen says:

    I’m sorry Archbishop, but the definition of marriage IS continually being altered. It used to be little more then a contract to purchase a(nother) wife. Arranged marriages, polygamy used to be legal and was the norm for most of biblical times. In recent US history marriage was redefined to give equal rights to the wife, the right to divorce was added, and the latest one was allowing mixed race marriages.

    Marriage was redefined to (dis)allow all the things I named above, so yes the chance exists that it may be redefined to include family members or multiple spouses, but let us cross that bridge when we get to it and focus on the matter at hand shall we?

  3. Teresa Sitz says:

    If “the definition of marriage [was] hardwired into our human reason” then people would not tolerate divorce and remarriage – but they do. The church does.

    >>If the definition of marriage is continually being altered, could it not in the future be
    >> morphed again to include multiple spouses or even family members?

    Multiple spouses? Like in the Bible?

  4. Joe says:

    I am a New York City Catholic. I am a Minster of the Eucharist. I pray daily. I attend church every Sunday. I kissed the cross and meant it on Good Friday. And I am married to another man.

    From one gay New York Catholic to my straight Catholic Archbishop: I ask you to meet with me. Face to Face. Tell me I am Orwellian. But tell it to my face. It would be a civil conversation. Let others attend as well.

    But I don’t think you have the courage.

    The invitation is open.

  5. Harry Fox says:

    To the point sound teaching – exactly what all Christians need to hear. The treatment of gays in our midst is part of the basic example of our Lord. We are shown to be kind and welcoming, while being honest with all about Godly values. The traditional view of the marriage bond between one man and one woman is also the sound teaching of that same Lord. As a non-Catholic (currently a life-long ELCA Lutheran) I’m familiar with the false logic of those who claim to speak for “the church.” Jesus taught and showed forgiveness, while also saying “go and sin no more.” It is the same struggle of all who are baptized into Christ, dying to sin and living in our new life.

  6. Stan Teixeira says:

    Went to CUA at same time as the AB. Thought church history would broaden his perspective, but sadly he misses the ongoing injustice occurring in our society. No one is asking the church to do anything, but we live in a democracy where church and state must be separate. It’s too bad ecclesiastical politics trumps human rights.

  7. Chris Bord says:

    The same terms and arguments have been used to defend slavery, to deny equal rights for women, and any number of injustices, “because that’s how it has always been.” Those of us not born homosexual have a difficult time understanding why someone else would make such a “choice;” it’s not a choice. People are different and yet should be given the same privileges to love and cherish one another that are taken for granted by those who have always had the full blessing of state and church. It’s time for change.

  8. BobN says:

    What we need are some real social traditionalists, people who want to take marriage back to what it was in, say, 1100 AD, before the RCC made it a sacrament. Or back to 400 AD when it was a purely civil Roman legal status.

  9. Ray says:

    So John, if marriage isn’t a right, should our government not recognize it among straight men and women? While the sacrament of marriage in the Church is one thing, recognizing marriage in the laws of our country is another. I would be interested to hear your response to this article.

  10. Greg says:

    Well, it’s an interesting view you hold Archbishop. I am grateful though, that americans these days understand that when the when the founders of our country wrote “all men are created equal” what they should have meant is all men and all women of every color and creed, rather than white male protestants. Maybe it’s time for “marriage” to move on too.

  11. Rich says:

    While you are correct, obviously, in upholding the Church’s dogmatic – unchangeable – definition of marriage, why do you allow \catholic\ \bishops\ like Hubbard in Albany to continue to scandalize the faithful by giving the Eucharist to Cuomo and his married (in the eyes of the Church) live in lover? Hubbard called Cuomo’s work one of \evangelization\! So sodomite marriage, adultery, and abortion are now the \new evangelization\ according to this guy? Your silence in correcting this so-called bishop is deafening. Your words are great – actions would speak volumes.
    While many bishops say that correcting a guy like Cuomo, a \Catholic\ (I use the term very loosely as a person familiar with canon law like yourself would understand) politician, should be a \private pastoral matter\; myself and many other Catholics disagree. People who trample the faith publicly, like Cuomo, do so unapologeticly for all to see; mainly because they know that nothing will happen to them.
    Therefore, the response from the Church hierarchy must be public so there is no doubt in anyone’s mind.

    May God Bless and Guide you in all you do……..

  12. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    I just have to wonder why groups like Courage are not mentioned more often. Courage has helped many homosexuals come out of that lifestyle proving that it is curable. Why don’t we give them more air time so they can expand their work?

    Also, I’m trying to figure out what this line in the article means:

    History, Natural Law, the Bible (if you’re so inclined), the religions of the world, human experience, and just plain gumption tell us this is so.

    Why the statement “the Bible if you’re so inclined?” What does that mean? Don’t we base our teaching on the Bible and Tradition. Tradition which s based Bibically? The early Church Fathers who established our Tradition consistently quote scripture.

    What does “if you’re so inclined mean?”

  13. Janis says:

    God bless you, Archbishop. Our prayers are for your protection, and strength in this outright battle. Marriage is not a “civil right” as the liberal community tries to “reframe” it.

  14. nancy davies says:

    Well said. This is a truly unbelievable debate!

  15. Michael says:

    What you fail to mention is that we are fighting and will win the CIVIL right to get married in City Hall. We are not fighting for nor do we want to get married in your church.

    I thank God as a Christian everyday for courageous leaders like Gov Cuomo everyday.

  16. Ryan says:

    “If big, intrusive government can re-define the most basic, accepted, revealed truth that marriage simply means one man + one woman + (hopefully) children, in a loving family, then, I’m afraid, Orwell’s works will no longer be on the fiction shelf. As someone commented to me the other day, “‘Wouldn’t it be better for our government to work on fixing schools than on redefining marriage?'”

    I feel as if this whole statement is riddled with logical fallacies. First of all, how is redefining something any more intrusive then maintaining a current definition? Are people not attempting to keep marriage defined in a certain way via political lobbying?

    Secondly your “1984” card is somewhat laughable, to be honest. There is already PLENTY of federal policies in our everyday lives. Furthermore, maintaining a strict definition of a term is foolish because the fact is that language and definitions are constantly changing — and in fact hold no essential properties within themselves. Marriage is currently defined as what it is because people choose to define it a certain way. So if the whole fight is to simply maintain a definition of a word… well I think that’s a bit of a waste of time (After all, Wouldn’t it be better for our churches to work on fixing schools than on redefining marriage?) You can use religious truths (lower-case t) to promote an ideal, but making a law based off solely a religious idea isn’t exactly within the spectrum of what the government is allowed to do.

  17. Archbishop Dolan

    Well said!

    I would like to comment on a few points

    You are right – The church is not anti-anyone. With that being said, some behavior is disordered. You summarized #2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, let me also note #2357.

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    For our brothers and sisters who suffer from same sex attraction (and act upon that attraction) while we must absolutely respect them, we must also call it as it is – disorder behavior. Just as it is disordered behavior for a man and a woman to share a bed before they get married – or – For a heterosexual couple to engage in a sexual relationship and cohabitate without being married – or – For a catholic couple who uses contraception, as a opposed to Natural Family Planning, within their marriage. All of the above are disordered behaviors – equally. These subjects need to be preached upon from Catholic pulpits much more across the US. Please bring that comment with you when you lead the bishop’s conference in Detroit in the coming weeks.

    Blessed Pope John Paul 2 (The Great) said when he began his pontificate, “Be not Afraid”. Were these just words? Heck no, he lived what he preached and because of it, the Church in her infinite wisdom declared him Blessed. How about us? We need to pray for courage, especially for our priests to preach the truth, to say it with love, but preach it plainly, when it is most inconvenient.

    As a man – I issue a challenge to you, another man. Were these just words? “Be not afraid”!!!

    Just because society today says “its ok”, does not mean “its ok”. That is what our Holy Father (Pope Benedict XVI) continuously warns the world about, the dictatorship of relativism. Are we (Catholics) listening?

    The root of this same-sex marriage debate is the resistance to the call to chastity outside the marriage covenant (between one man and woman). If a person has a same sex attraction, they are called to a life chastity. The Catholic Church in her love for this segment of society, offers an organization to help those you have same sex-attraction. Its a group called COURAGE. Here is the web-site

    Let me complete the citation you noted from the Catechism in your article

    #2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    There are plenty of people in this world that have to deal with far worse “crosses” in their lives then a “same sex attraction”. Look at our brothers and sister in Haiti (you were there after the earthquake – you know what I mean), to name one example. Christ gives each of us a unique cross, just as He had a cross. If we cling to “our cross” in obedience to His will (not our own), it will be the very thing that makes us holy!

    You are always in my daily prayers!

    Make us proud!!!!

    Your brother in Christ

    Joe Reciniello

  18. Alex says:

    The definition of marriage HAS evolved and changed over the centuries. In this country little girls are no longer given to muc…h older men against their will to cement political alliances or garner monetary wealth any longer. And yet such unions were solemnized by the Catholic Church who actually performed these barbaric and ugly “marriages” for centuries. Thank God that version of marriage has changed and is no longer with us! Of course, also for centuries, marriage existed OUTSIDE the purview and control of the Church. People simply declared they were married before witnesses and guess what? They WERE married! Even when they THEN went to a local church for the blessing of a priest upon their union the fact of the marriage itself HAD ALREADY TAKEN PLACE. So the Church (ANY church) has no legal position to argue from when it comes to defining marriage. the Church may choose NOT to perform marriage ceremonies for people of whom it does not approve and that is as it should be. But it has NO business meddling in the legal definition of marriage.

  19. John says:

    Your Eminence, my son celebrated his first Holy Communion yesterday. He was surrounded by friends and family including our closest friends, a gay couple in a loving, committed relationship. You appeal to Natural Law and History, but you miss the larger point. What I saw yesterday was emblematic of what I remember hearing in Catholic School and on my wedding day: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

  20. Marissa & Kate says:

    Thank you Archbishop. I, my family and my neighbors support you. (Not too sure about many of my fellow parishoners, though.) The core of marriage has NEVER been redefined beyond opposite-sex unions. We believe, based on experience, history and empirical evidence, that the best foundation for society is a family with a loving female mother and male father. Does this mean kids can not successfuly be raised in any other form of household…of course not. But, the attempt by people who hate God, hate the RCC, hate religion, hate anyone unlike themselves, to destroy society by forcing same-sex marriage is not only un-constitutional and foolish, but also morally wrong. Those juveniles should take responsibility for their actions, focus on genuine issues in this country (such as abortion and the economy).

  21. Irene says:

    @Rich. I think Bishop Hubbard is just terrific and I totally trust his judgement. I read his letter to Congress urging our electeds not to forget the poor in this budget process. I wish Bishop Hubbard was down here in NYC; we need somebody here to speak for the poor.

  22. Pete says:

    With all due respect, even your basic statement about thedefinition is SEVERELY flawed. It is not a life-long union. Please read the marriage laws. It is a union for as long a period of time or short a period as the couple wishes. You are conflating your religion’s view of what a civil marriage SHOULD be and what the people of the Great State of New York hold that a civil marriage IS.

    In my opinion, your statement, in fact your entire post, shows a lack of respect our civil laws. I promise not to petition Rome to interfere with the religious laws of Roman Catholic Baptism if you promise not to petition Albany to to interfere with the civil laws of marriage. Deal?

  23. Nicholas Coppola says:

    Archbishop Dolan, I hope you are hearing what people within the Church are saying. It is time for change. If not, there are going to be alot of empty Churches.
    Please Stand up for What You Know Is Right!
    Peace and Blessings

  24. Katherine says:

    Thank you Archbishop. Your article came at the perfect time. My Catholic school has it’s Gay-Straight Alliance Club spotlight week this week, and I was extremely uncomfortable with their support of homosexual “marriage”. Do you have any advice for a high schooler who feels alone (well, not quite, thankfully, I have a Muslim friend who shares the Church’s view) and afraid to speak out?

  25. Rich says:

    @ Nicholas & @ Irene,
    You understand that no matter what anyone says, clergy or laity, the Catholic Church can NEVER recognize sodomite marriage? Its a fundamental dogma and can not be changed by anyone. Even if the pope himself were to make it “allowed”, he would immediately be deposed ipso facto for heresy before the Church could ever change. This kind of surety is why the Catholic Church is what she is; the gates of hell will not prevail against her.
    I fully understand that there are many who have same sex attractions. But a desire for, or tendency towards a particular action does not give one license. I have many temptations and weaknesses yet I must keep them under control by constantly measuring my life against the plumb line of Catholic morality. I know thats not easy, but Jesus never said to set our eyes on happiness here. Our goal is heaven and the Catholic Church is the only church Christ instituted to lead us there.
    You may not like what the Church says, but understand that Bishop Dolan and the pope himself are powerless to change the definition of marriage. It was set in stone in by scripture, sacred tradition, and the constant teaching of the doctors….

  26. Joe Chartier says:

    Three questions for you, Archbishop, with utmost respect.

    Two children of God find a deep and abiding love for each other – emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual – deep and sacred, a gift from their Creator. They bring their love and commitment to the presence of God, their loving Father, and ask His blessing on their family, the home they have made together, on their commitment to each other, and on their sacred love.

    Is it your position that God may NOT bestow His blessing on these, His children and their love ?

    Would that not constitute a creature dictating to his Creator what He may or may not do ?

    Who was it that warned the Sanhedrin. as they were debating what should be done with our Lord, that they should be very careful lest they find themselves opposing God ?

    Again, with utmost respect, question your certitude.

  27. Kevan says:

    From what I understand of your argument, you are saying that gay marriage should be forbidden, both because it violates natural law and universal human understanding, and because allowing it would result in an Orwellian future.

    You say “The definition of marriage is a given: it is a lifelong union of love and fidelity leading, please God, to children, between one man and one woman.
    History, Natural Law, the Bible (if you’re so inclined), the religions of the world, human experience, and just plain gumption tell us this is so. The definition of marriage is hardwired into our human reason.” This does not make sense. Historically (and in many modern societies), marriage was an economic/political institution having nothing to do with love. Nor has it always been between one man and one woman, as there has been and are many societies which practice polygamy. If your assertion that the one man, one woman marriage is hardwired into human consciousness were true, this would not be so.

    “To tamper with that definition, or to engage in some Orwellian social engineering about the nature and purpose of marriage, is perilous to all of us. If the definition of marriage is continually being altered, could it not in the future be morphed again to include multiple spouses or even family members?” Many societies have and do consider unions with family members or multiple spouses to be valid, yet these types of marriages have never caused a society to crumble. How is this perilous? In what way does this entail an Orwellian future? You do not have evidence to make these claims valid.

    Philos 150.52

  28. Joseph Turner says:

    Archbishop Dolan,

    I completely support you in this statement of yours. I am a Catholic. I struggle with giving into sin. I compromise sometimes. I am weak and I know it. It is clear that the Great Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was correct when he spoke of the identity of the Church as, \The LORD sitting at table with sinners.\ The Church is a group of sinners, but we are unified in the ONE thing that makes us HOLY–CHRIST! WE are the broken BODY of Christ.

    I know that I don’t have to say this to make my words any stronger than they already are, but I sense that what I am about to say may help people. I suppose it could just as easily have the opposite affect…I struggle with same-sex attraction EVERY day. BUT I know by my OWN reason and by my OWN conscience that to give into this inclination is not morally permissible.

    Needless to say, I have failed, still fail, and hope not to fail in the future in my own resolution. I unite myself to the suffering CHRIST on the CROSS because in this alone, although it is a tremendously sorrowful burden, can I find lasting JOY and happiness.

    I am not speaking as a person who knows that change is possible. I live not expecting any \change\ to occur. What the hell does \Change\ mean, anyway. And who the hell cares whether someone changes or not. Anyway, I speak from the perspective of one who has embraced this cross and who will continue to embrace it with God’s GRACE. I am so GLAD that you are weighing in on this important issue and speaking the TRUTH with LOVE. Of course, it is no surprise that you are misunderstood–so was CHRIST. :)



  29. Joseph Turner says:

    Also, the Church has every right and responsibility to speak on social issues such as this one. She has been the most powerful voice in DEFENDING the human person and genuine human freedom and society as a whole! People speak against the Church on a platform that was built BY THE CHURCH. She has the highest responsibility to SPEAK OUT on matters that GREATLY affect society–EVEN in the face of disapproval and even in the threat of a violent death. The TRUTH that the CHURCH defends does not come from some made-up, man-made, wishy washy set of rules, but FROM the authority of the SON OF GOD, Himself, who continues to guide this institution founded on the ROCK and continually guided by the HOLY SPIRIT through the free acts of the human persons that make up her body. There is NO lasting institution that has stood in defense of human dignity more than the CHURCH. She is composed of sinners, but founded on CHRIST. If CHRIST is who He says HE is, then there is no authority higher than Him. Governments come and go, but the Church ain’t going nowhere–Christ’s promise. Looking at marriage, historically, it has been very different from the picture that we are used to (most marriages were open to life, though–they had to be in order to propagate the species, therefore no gay marriage), but it the idea of Christ as the bridegroom and the Church as the bride which shaped Christian, and therefore Western, culture to see marriage (going back even to the Jewish people where it took shape, but definitively taking shape in Christianity) as union of TWO PEOPLE, complimentary individual persons–with the complimentarity stamped RIGHT into their bodies as MALE and FEMALE–in a bond that could not be broken because it was join by God, “and what God has joined, let man not put asunder.”

    There is much more to say and much more for me to learn and for all of us to discuss, but the main point is that the Church has EVERY right and responsibility to weigh in on this social issue. EVEN apart from this lengthy explanation, this country RESPECTS freedom of speech and everyone should be granted the freedom to speak. However, I know that if you speak, you should be willing to take the criticism that inevitably follows from it. PEACE!

  30. Pat says:

    Let me respond to a few statements:
    1. “We do love and respect homosexual people.”

    Gay people don’t believe this statement, based upon the church’s actions and statements about gay people.

    2. “the current rush to redefine marriage . . . . ”
    The first gay marriage was performed over 10 years ago in Scandinavia and thousands have been performed since then in a variety of world-wide countries, states and cities. This is not a rush.

    3. “The definition of marriage is a given: it is a lifelong union of love and fidelity leading, please God, to children, between one man and one woman.’

    Wow, at least 3 main concepts in that statement “lifelong,” “God” and “children” are concepts that are not at all definitive of NY Civil marriage. Read the marriage laws. A lawyer would call that a “material misstatement” of the law, clearly for the purpose of misguiding others and supporting what you WISH was the law. If a lawyer made those statements about this LEGAL, CIVIL matter, he would be guilty of malpractice.

    4. “To tamper with that definition, or to engage in some Orwellian social engineering about the nature and purpose of marriage, is perilous to all of us.”

    There is NO evidence to support this statement and LOTS of evidence to the contrary. See above.

    5. ” . . . a belief embedded in nature . . . ”

    That sounds good, but marriage does not occur in nature. Only humans marry and it is volitional and has nothing to do with nature. I Nature has no place in this discussion.

    6. . . . “the most basic, accepted, revealed truth . . . ‘

    Again, those are not legal concepts. “Revealed truth” is not what holds up our civil laws.


  31. AndyP/Doria2 says:

    Read this article from the trusted Lifesite News – Case closed:

    Gay columnist: let’s face it, we want to indoctrinate children
    by Kathleen Gilbert
    Wed May 18, 2011 13:53 EST

    ALBANY, New York, May 18, 2011 ( – As the same-sex “marriage” battle heats up again in New York, one writer at a prominent gay news source is questioning why his lobby refuses to admit that the gay agenda involves “indoctrinating” schoolchildren to accept homosexuality.

    Queerty contributor Daniel Villarreal criticized (WARNING site contains inappropriate images) the homosexual movement’s knee-jerk reaction against accusations of meddling in public schools. Villarreal pointed to a recent National Organization for Marriage (NOM) ad launched in New York that points out how homosexual indoctrination has been introduced in Massachusetts and California schools.

    Two of the books designed to teach children about homosexuality in a positive light. While gay activists usually deny that they want to indoctrinate children, said Villarreal, “let’s face it—that’s a lie.” “We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it,” he wrote.

    Villarreal pointed to the tactics of a gay activist group FCKH8, which fought a recent Tennessee bill prohibiting classroom discussion of homosexuality in grade school by “hir[ing]some little girls to drop F-bombs” in their controversial online ad campaign, and handing out gay paraphernalia to schoolchildren. “Recruiting children? You bet we are,” he said.

    “Why would we push anti-bullying programs or social studies classes that teach kids about the historical contributions of famous queers unless we wanted to deliberately educate children to accept queer sexuality as normal?”

    In fact, Villarreal said that his dream of increasing not only the acceptance, but the future practice of homosexuality among youngsters was common among those in the gay lobby.

    “I and a lot of other people want to indoctrinate, recruit, teach, and expose children to queer sexuality AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT,” he wrote.

    New York is seeing a renewed push for same-sex “marriage,” with supporters hoping to see passage of a new marriage definition before the end of the legislative session on June 20.

    A similar initiative had failed in 2009, but gay rights strategists are hopeful that power shifts in the legislature since then, including two more senatorial seats in favor of gay “marriage,” will result in a different outcome. Supporters also cite rising support for gay “marriage” in polls among New Yorkers, with 58 percent reportedly saying they back the change in a recent poll.

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lobbied lawmakers in Albany on Tuesday to overturn the traditional definition of marriage in the state.

    Link –

  32. Charles J Murphy says:

    Archbishop Dolan,
    Why never a word about adultery and divorce as corrosive and destructive of marriage?
    A Catholic priest or deacon should not be able to serve as civil authority while also serving as religious officiant. Leave the civil aside and only concern yourself with the religious aspect.
    Thank you,
    Chuck Murphy

  33. Faye Burkett says:

    Thank you Archbishop for your courage and your wisdom. In reading all the comments, several thoughts occur to me. There are none so blind as they who refuse to see. Failing to understand the affects of Original Sin (Pride) handed to us by Adam and Eve is first seen in our constant rebellion against anything remotely difficult to do, like our first parents, we refuse the truth. Seeking and living the truth is difficult so our pride refuses to to ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us. Pride proceeds further by twisting His words in scripture (if we even read it) to our own beliefs. Jesus said, “Seek and you will find, knock it will be opened” but we don’t really want the truth or the help to live the truth because we want to justify ourselves and our actions. Pride proceeds yet further by unrelated counter arguments (i.e. divorce) as if to “trump” one evil action with another evil action instead of realizing each evil stands on it’s own. Pride, the greatest of all sins, leads to every other sin and yet we devise elaborate methods to “explain away” every truth to justify ourselves. Not until we truly desire the truth and humble ourselves to ask for it, will we ever change. This should be a sobering thought in light of where we spend eternity. We have yet to learn that God’s word is Holy and He who created everything sees and understands all about each of us and whether we want to know the truth or not, we certainly will – either now by seeking it or at our judgment when God will remove all the veils from our eyes. Embracing and living the truth now heals and sets us free. We have a choice, seek and live truth now, or have it pierce our souls at our death. Scripture tells us, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.

  34. Faye Burkett says:

    Joseph Turner, I applaud your courage and honesty! How Jesus must love you! Humbly you acknowledge your “visible” weakness towards a sin that is no greater a sin than any of the rest of us deal with. For it is in our humility towards God and uniting our sufferings with His and our constant reliance upon His love and His mercy that we eventually overcome our imperfections. I do not think myself unique as I have watched my own proclivities vanish one by one under the merciful and healing blood of Jesus. Remain faithful in your efforts to overcome and our Lord will give you the victory and you will sing His praises with a heart full of gratitude knowing that only His grace accomplished what you could not. There are Catholic organizations that help and support those with this struggle. The strength of like-minded persons with the same struggles and sharing methods that give success will be of great help to you. God bless and be with you always.

  35. Tony Konrath says:

    Watching what people do rather than what they say is important.

    The Catholic church SAYS that it is welcoming and caring. What it actually DOES is very different.

  36. Sam Schmitt says:

    Pat et al,

    If nature has nothing to do with marriage, and marriage is simply a human construct, then how can we ever really have any definition of marriage at all? Who says it has to be between only two people? Why not between people who are related (mother / son; two blood brothers, etc)? Why not between a human being and a non-human? Why not – since marriage his not connected with nature, but can be any kind of relationship we want it to be?

    But if you think about it a little, marriage isn’t simply about people loving each other or “committed relationships,” it’s about the fact that only two people of the opposite sex can produce a baby. Notice: two people; opposite sex. THAT’S what the good Abp. means when he says it’s rooted in nature. (Even Elton John and partner needed to buy some eggs and then hire a woman to give birth to “their” new baby. How is the child truly the product of a “loving relationship”?) All of which suggests that nature intends a man and a woman in a permanent (life-long) relationship to raise a child. And this, incidentally, is why the state is interested in marriage. It couldn’t care less if two people love each other and want to live together but can’t produce a child. Go ahead and do that. But extending the same legal protection to such relationships has little to do with the interests of the state and a lot to do with normalizing gay relationships in the minds of citizens.

    The bottom line is that unless you root your understanding of marriage in nature, there’s no real logical reason not to extend the definition of marriage to any number of “relationships” as a given individual wants to define it. There’s no reason one can make the same arguments many here are making about “love” (like Mr. Joe Chartier) and extend them to the kinds of relationships listed above.

  37. Jim Henley says:

    Many, MANY commentators are complaining that Apb. Dolan is criticizing homosexuals while giving a free pass to adulterers and divorcees. At least one person stated that the Catholic Church tolerates divorce and remarriage.

    Both are not merely false claims, but *laughably* false claims. The Catholic Church in general, and Apb. Dolan in particular, both hold that so-called divorce is as much a debasement of marriage as so-called same-sex unions. Adultery is a mortal sin.

    There are good arguments to be made in favor of gay marriage. None of them are being made here.

  38. Chris Truth says:

    I’m admittedly a little late to this “party” (post) – but my feelings are the same. Always have been.

    If you apply a rule fairly to all, then it is fair. We all are under the rule not to steal. If you apply your rule unfairly – then it’s just wrong.

    While I appreciate your believe you ‘welcome gays’… you don’t really do that, sir. You ask those gays to accept they are sinners… That’s not very welcoming.

    Today a church in Boston was going to have an “All is Welcome” mass – but the Diocese in Boston shut it down. That’s not very welcoming.

  39. Chris Truth says:

    I saw a great interview with the Lawyer who represented Gays in the Prop 8 case (the counter was Tony Perkins). Anyway – what this lawyer said was awesome and true.

    if you can get someone who is anti-gay marriage on a witness stand, where they can’t just say what they want -but are held to tell the truth, and back up their statements with truth… their case falls apart so fast…

    Youtube that… and watch.

  40. John Mattras says:


  41. Krystof Michal says:

    Jesus, as all His true followers, love everybody.
    Jesus and His followers hate sin.
    Shall we find what Word of Merciful God is?
    The Word of God clearly spells out what abomination is?
    Jesus, the Word of God did not come to change anything – He came to fulfill…
    One can promote through media and justice system any unmoral behavior ;
    when big money talks and corrupts, there is a climate for acceptance of sin.
    In these difficult times need a moral compass –
    archbishop offers it in a very eloquent way.
    There is always appropriate time to turn to God’s Mercy.

    BTW There are no divorces in One, Holy and Apostolic Church. In that Church, there will not be marriages of people of the same gender, either.

  42. Jamie says:

    If you deny equality from someone,can you truly love and respect that person at the same time?

    And how easy it is to forget the history of your church.It wasn’t until the Counter-Reformation in 1563 that the Council of Trent decided that a Roman Catholic marriage would be recognized only if the marriage ceremony was officiated by a priest with two witnesses.Before then,the prescence of a priest was not thought neccessary.If marriage is as important as you say,why did it take the church so long to recognize this fact?

    Also,if a homosexual marriage takes place under the eyes of the state,and not in a church under the eyes of god;what right do you have to complain? The marriage would be civil,not religious would it not? Why force religion into state matters?

    Even Jerry Falwell came to understand that civil equality is a right.Saying,”I may not agree with the lifestyle, but that has nothing to do with the civil rights of that part of our constituency…equal access to housing,civil marriage,and employment are basic rights, not special rights…civil rights for all Americans,black,white,red,yellow,the rich, poor,young,old,gay,straight,et cetera,is not a liberal or conservative value.It’s an American value that I would think that we pretty much all agree on.”

  43. Jim Canter says:

    I read that you were, \…deeply disappointed and troubled.\ about New York’s recent passage of Gay Marriage. You should be deeply disappointed and troubled about your church!

  44. Sean Bateman says:

    Dear Bishop –
    I commend and applaud you for you passionate pleas to keep Marriage as defined within guidelines in line with \Religion\ as you interpret it: but heres a few points to ponder: The Historical facts of marriage between a man and a woman didnt have much to do with Love actually: most were pre-arranged Marriages to maintain financial control of family fortunes: Likewise: Women were considered a mans property and even by Biblical standards the wife – (according to \God’s Law\ in the old testament ) the woman could or should be sold into slavery…if a man neeeds the money : chk Leviticus in the Bible: – the bible states several abominations inlcuding : working on the Sabbath, eating shellfish – and — Adultery…but you never speak of these ? why is that ?? you seem so focused on the issue of whether or not a certain group of adults will get the same civil rights as the rest of NYC.
    Think of all the Gay Christians you further isolate and alienate…the exact oppsite of what Jesus taught…
    A few questions: for you personally – where is your Outrage over the 50 % divorce rate amongst heterosexuals…?? Teen prgenancy ?? Drug Addiction and drunkenness ?? Why are you not taking your time to educate heterosexuals on how to stay married instead of sitting by and allowing them to get divorced again and again ??
    Or why are you not praying or sermoning to bring tolerance and kindness and love to your flock – ??you write how you prayed over the Euchrist and feel the body of Christ – In deep sincerity let me ask you -what would Christ say to you if he were alive today ?? what would Christ do ?? Christ would teach love – heal the sick and adminsiter to the poor – not get involved in politics…

    The body of Christ is a body of Love – a heart of unending Love and compassion….
    and the Mind of \Divine Intelligence…\ can you tell me you are all those things…

    Sean Bateamn