Statement of the USCCB on President Obama’s Remarks On Marriage

I would like to share with you the following press release that was issued yesterday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on President Obama’s Remarks On Marriage.


WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement:

President Obama’s comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama’s words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons.


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64 Responses to “Statement of the USCCB on President Obama’s Remarks On Marriage”

  1. I believe that God created Men and Women to reproduce. It is common logic that EACH and EVERY one of us came from a Women’s womb. I believe that men and women that truly believe they are Gay, are merely confused. I have sat back and watched long enough. Cardinal Dolan/Archdiocese of New York, I BEG you!!! Please help me, help you fight this Abomination. I truly DO have a plan worth going public. I will run against President Obama if it is the only way to Preserve the Truth.


    Thomas L. Leto III
    President – US Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce
    CEO/Founder – Fort Knox Hydro

  2. Christopher J Xavier says:

    Thank You President Obama for speaking your truth, the truth of an ever evolving faith. If only the clergy had been as truthful at the onset of the sex scandal. If only they had been courageous enough to come out of their proverbial closets. If only the chief priests (bishops) had not tried to sweep their sex abuse scandal under the rug and had not moved the perpetrators from parish to parish then perhaps so many children would not have had to suffer sexual abuse at their hands. What hypocrisy for one of the most privileged and elitist old boy networks in the world to judge So good for you President Obama for respecting humanity and recognizing that God is greater than dogma and Christ’s arms are wide enough to embrace all humanity, Jew, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Black, White, Brown, Man, Woman, Priest, Rabbi, Nun, Monk, Mullah, Gay, Straight, Bisexual, Asexual, Transgender, African, Asian, American, European, Christ’s heart has enough love to fill the world. Just look at what Roman Catholic nuns have done in their ministries to the poor and the variety of their ministries, they embody compassion and grace and they recognize they are co-creators with Christ in an ever evolving spirituality that embraces humanity. The old boy network of the Church is feeling threatened by the nun’s mission and so the chief priests will try to squelch it and reign them in and corral them to toe the line under the watchful eye of dogmatic leaders bent on suppressing their mission. President Obama if only the Church and it’s representatives were as genuine and transparent as you have been perhaps they too would evolve. If only they would be living examples of Christ rather than politicking every issue they could be co-creators with Christ in an ever evolving universe again and help to heal the world rather than judging, tearing down and creating divisions.

  3. Danii Oliver says:

    When did compromise with religion become a concern of the state?

    The first beauty of American life is that our founding fathers forged this country with the explicit separation of Church and State. Segregated religious views are not to interfere with the preservation and guarantee of basic human rights. Rights and privileges granted and protected by the law of the land are the Right of every living being. Sexual preference, race, gender and age (all aspects of our humanity which we cannot control) should not be a point of delineation in the extenuation of those rights.

    Thank goodness this tenant was written down because, today we seem to have forgotten about the separation of church and state. We have been moving out of the dark ages of fear of all things different and in to 21st century enlightenment. We know blacks aren’t savages. We know women can think and hold their own. We know that young and old deserve respect because all bring something to the table. Thus, why is it that we deny some human beings the right to Love and Live together with all the rights and privileges allowed to families?

    Why is an old man denied the right to heal or die with his life partner by his side? Why can’t a woman receive medical care from the hard work and effort her wife puts in at work to be sure their child is taken care of, food on the table, a roof over her family’s head and the assurance of her partner’s health? These are basic rights to love and companionship the very rights that our government and municipalities are fighting over and denying to some.

    If it is illegal for anyone (there being no delineation in any) to get married, it should be illegal for a woman to have a bank account again; we should have white parks and black parks again and senior citizens should pay full price on everything regardless of their after tax social income. But, that would be absurd! How could we go back? People were miserable in the past. Caste systems have fueled many rebellions and caused many migrations with the same goal… to escape the regime. Is America looking to create a revolt or greater civil unrest?

    All of our higher up politicians are American citizens we all live here why would any of them want to make life uncomfortable? Our President who is the living embodiment of Martin Luther King’s Dream – black & white united in peace – is the poster child for how far we have come as a nation when it comes to social rights. He has declared that anyone should be able to marry, so why is he – the overseer of American Human Rights – trying to plead with Church? Church and State are separate. I for one do not want the words and ideas of a Christian, Muslim nor Hindu leader ruling our lives and denying us human rights. I am American I am not muslim, I am not christian, I am free.

    If every religious group has a leader, who stands for those whose faith is education; whose beliefs are about progress? A man and a man will live together a woman and a woman will live together they have always been yet, who has it bothered? No one feels a single thing when others around them live their lives. All those who do feel ill, sick, disgusted, dirty or otherwise when they think about Gay marriage should liken themselves to the lynch mobs of the south, the KKK and slave owners; trying to rule the lives of their fellow men through the denial of rights.

    Marriage is not Religious. If it were, then it would not require a license nor be legally recognized. A child’s name is not legally changed when he goes through the Catholic right of confirmation because that is a religious ceremony. Marriage is a state contract between people who want to share and care for one another, with all rights and privileges allowed by having proof of familial status. The right to care for one’s family should not be restricted to a person’s religious background. It should be decided by the those who so choose to unite as a family unit.

    Religion should be kept out the the decision making when it comes to human rights just as government is kept out of how religions practice their faiths.

  4. Rich says:

    Cardinal Dolan,
    Why do you waste time arguing with our non-Catholic president when there are so many so-called “Catholic” politicians who advise him, encourage him, and agree with him? Where is the discipline for Pelosi, Biden, Cuomo, and all the others who publicly ignore and even criticize divinely given dogmas that they know quite well?
    Until you and the other bishops show some backbone and discipline these people who use their very public offices to make a mockery of Catholic teaching, your words will have absolutely no meaning.

  5. Ralph Bak says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan: May 15, 2012
    I am very disappointed in your weak response to President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage. A more forceful statement of opposition, based on moral considerations, I feel, would have been more appropriate and effective.
    This is what I would have said: Public immorality (gay marriage/union) has no right under the U.S. Constitution nor under the laws of God. The Golden Rule: Do unto others etc. does not mean to do harm to one’s neighbor as the President is doing by endorsing gay marriage!
    The Catholic teaching of Love the sinner but hate the sin has placed too much emphasis on the former and too little on the latter which has resulted in a grave distortion and diminution of the evil of sin! With respect to sexual morality, we see the consequences of that as regards the gay life-style which enjoys a respectability far beyond its evil and hideous nature.
    Catholics of every walk of life, but especially those who hold political office, must practice what they profess to believe. The moral standards the Church preaches are universal laws for the good of all men. They are not something we are free to pick and choose.

  6. Ellen P. says:

    Those who are Catholic must adhere to the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”. (First published in the USA in March 2000, dark green cover.)

    “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (pg 5)

    “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (pg xiv)

    All Catholics over age 16 must read the CCC, and then they would not question the remarks of Cardinal Dolan which are 100% in accord with the teaching of the Church on this topic.
    I don’t know why all US Bishops do not openly and actively promote the reading of the CCC from the pulpit and all Diocese web sites.

    When Bishops do not publically handle the mortal sin of public SCANDAL with politicians who profess to be Catholic, this CONFUSES the faithful as well as those who might consider becoming Catholic, and others.
    Heretical and/or Schismatic Catholic politicians should be called exactly what they are – HERETICS and/or SCHISMATICS, and they should not be permitted to receive Holy Communion in accord with Canon 915.
    See CCC: #2089 for definition of HERESY and SCHISM.

  7. Thank you Cardinal Dolan for your public statement refuting the POTUS support of so called “Gay Marriage.” An oxymoron if there ever was one. As everyone knows it was just another attempt by Obama to befriend a voting bloc in support of his reelection effort. I too pray for Obama every time I conclude the Lord’s Prayer with the petition, “and deliver us from all evil.” I hope and pray this will be realized in November. Please require or even demand every diocese throughout the nation to read your rejection of the notion of “gay marriage” and its’ incompatability with the teachings of our faith at Mass this coming weekend..

  8. James Leach, MD says:

    The espoused man and woman are the ordinary ministers of the sacrament of marriage.
    The priest is only a witness. Two human beings can decide for themselves whom they
    want for a life partner, not the Church, not the State. Obama is right!!!

  9. Charles Murphy says:

    Cardinal Timothy Dolan

    I think you should also stress that Christian marriage is permanent and faithful.

    This is a matter of civil law, so the church needn’t change practices.

    The church should stop serving as officiants of civil marriages. Only allow Catholic priests and deacons to serve as sacramental witnesses.

  10. Patrick says:

    Marriage is not some static institution recognized the same throughout the world “the place where all of God’s people live”. It is not something that has remained the same since the beginning of time or since old or new testament writings. Even today in areas of Africa in countries with large percentages of catholics or christians there is a common practice of arranged marriages, an idea unthinkable to people in the USA.

    There are many countries that do not issue marriage licenses. In fact, in the USA it was not common for the govt or the church to issue a marriage license until the end of the civil war…a mere couple of hundred years ago, not thousands. The reason for starting this practice of issuing a marriage license was to insure that whites did not marry “negros”. An idea today that I am sure most people reading this would think is repugnant now. See already how marriage has evolved? Was the catholic church for or against such marriage prohibitions back then? Has it always been the opinion of the catholic church to allow interracial marriages? Or has the teachings changed over time? In fact you can go back a mere 6 months ago to a baptist church in Kentucky that refused membership to thier church to an interracial couple because of their interracial status. After denying the couple membership to the church and public outcry they did eventually vote to reverse this bizarre post-civil war policy.

    Marriage licenses as issued by a government entity provides for civil benefits and responsibilities. It really has nothing to do with the church. However, if the catholic church wishes to maintain ownership of the title of marriage, then all current marriages should be called civil unions in the eyes of the government and marriages in the eyes of the church. In the USA we have a very strong and protected by an ammendment to the constitution a belief of equal and fair treatment under the law.

    The idea or belief that marriage is and ALWAYS has been the same and that is what the church teaches is really not telling the truth.

  11. Scott Sullivan says:

    Watching you on CBS this morning, I am furious. How dare you say that birth control is religious freedom. I find it hypocritical of you to say that it’s not the governments right to allow for this coverage in insurance, when the church has its nose and hands deep in politics. Sir if your going to play the religious freedom card for one issue, then be prepared to take the blows that come with it.
    I am a gay man and I don’t agree with gay marriage; personal belief but not religious in nature. I do however favor civil unions that give us the same rights as a married couple.
    With the catholic church having more cases of child molestation than any other organization in the world, I think you should clean your own house before you try to influence policy that blankets a nation. Not only are your comments hypocritical, I find them arrogant and asinine.
    I am a Methodist and I find that my church is more accepting of their brothers & sisters in Christ than any other religion.
    This post was not in respect of you but a rebuttle to your disprespectful comments towards gays and lesbians.

  12. Christine says:

    Until you yourself have spoken to the Lord and he has spoken back to you, you really cannot express what the Lord thy God would say about the issues of today.

    The Lord HAS spoken on theses issues. Unless we are prepared to deny that Sacred Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit a bit of humility would be in order.

    Jesus quoted the Old Testament over and over in showing how He was the fulfillment of everything written in the Law and the Prophets. It is from Genesis itself that he said “Have you not read that in the beginning he made them male and female, therefore a man will leave mother and father and cleave to his wife.”

    As a practicing Catholic I stand with the bishops and the Church. We cannot separate our care for the poor from being faithful to the Lord’s teachings.

    Our problem is that we no longer want to hear His Word.

  13. Dear Cardinal Dolan,

    There is a contradiction within liberalism in its insistence upon ‘gay marriage’.

    If individual liberty is so important to liberals, if they see the objection to ‘gay marriage’ as an affront to individual rights, if the term ‘marriage’ and the institution of marriage are mere conventions – man made and not based in the nature of life, conceived religiously or not – then why don’t they make up their own new word for ‘gay marriage’?: Civil union? Melded? Combined? Amalgamated? Why not?
    Why this insistence on using the word ‘marriage’?

They want what marriage means: unity of opposites, but then have to alter it’s universal meaning – which is an affront on universality as such.

    Liberals want to say the term marriage can mean what we say it means, which is to say that its meaning is man-created, and yet they also recognize, and want to participate in, a unified world, a totality where words and concepts are universal, that is, that they mean the same thing to everyone, in this case that marriage means unity – but now irrespective of what or who is unified.

    We live in two domains simultaneously, this insistence on ‘gay marriage’ confuses these domains: we experience ourselves as separate beings in the world, and we are also conscious participants in ‘a world’ and are oriented by forms that are common or universal. Rejection of gay marriage may infringe on your freedom to participate in what is common or universal but this infringement is only infringement because you want to define your freedom as entailing the right to define the universal from the particular, i.e. individual, level. To define the universal from the particular level reduces the universal, there is no way around this. To claim ‘others’ are ‘oppressing’ you and ‘discriminating’ against you when they reject this claim of sovereignty of the individual, and of your ‘rights’ to define the universal as you see fit, is to reject the meaning of the universal as defining ‘the common world’, i.e. what we share in common as conscious beings.

  14. Deacon Gaspar DeGaetano says:

    Homily Pentecost Sunday 
    2012 B cycle
    Lectionary: 63
    Second reading is B
    Gospel is B

    We just heard about the Spirit of truth:
    “Jesus said to his disciples:
    “When the Advocate comes 
    whom I will send you from the Father,
    the Spirit of truth 
    that proceeds from the Father,”

    The Spirit of truth! The Holy Spirit!

    I would like to discuss 
    Political correctness 
    Christian correctness – 

    that is the error 
    vs the. truth  
    as related to marriage 

    Another way to think of it is 
    the tension between the
    Holy Spirit who inspires the Church in teaching the truth 
    spirit of political correctness that tries to  make a wrong into a right.

    St Paul listed many bad behaviors and good behaviors quite firmly:

    “Now the works of the flesh are obvious:
    immorality, impurity, lust, idolatry,
    sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy,
    outbursts of fury,
    acts of selfishness,
    dissensions, factions, 
    occasions of envy,
    drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.

    I warn you, as I warned you before,
    that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
    patience, kindness, generosity,
    faithfulness, gentleness, 

    The sacrament of Marriage  is one of the two sacraments of service, the other of which is Holy Orders. 
    Those that live in these vocational sacraments
    Should exhibit in some way the 
    “fruit of the Spirit” … Which St Paul describes as:
    “love, joy, peace,
    patience, kindness, generosity,
    faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”     -To others

    I am priveledged to have received both sacraments of service since I have been married for over 40 years and will shortly be celebrating the 5th anniversary of my ordination as a deacon.

     But marriage is my first and longest running sacrament of service

    The beauty and power for good of the sacrament of Marriage is awesome if you reflect on it.

    Lets listen to some beautiful words from the CCC on marriage:

    “1601 “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, 
    is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses 
    and the procreation and education of offspring; 
    this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”

    1604 …
    Since God created him man and woman, 
    their mutual love becomes 
    an image of the absolute and unfailing love with 
    which God loves man. 

    It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. 

    And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful …

    1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another:
     “It is not good that the man should be alone.”

    The woman,
     “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, 

    his nearest in all things,

     is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; 

    she thus represents God 
    from whom comes our help.

    “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.””

    What beautiful words on marriage from our catechism!

    Marriage is a blessed state of life where one man and one woman give  love to each other.  
    They were made for each other.
    They complement each other
    – they become one flesh!  

    They also cooperate with God’s power 
    in the procreation of children!

    In contrast, we have a politically correct 
    but very insidious  wrong idea spreading and promoted around the nation by its advocates as some kind of equal right 
    that is now  even endorsed by the president of the US of America  
    whom I quote:

    “”It is important for me personally to go ahead and affirm that same-sex couples should be able to get married.” ”
    The president gave this statement on May 9, 2012.

    Sadly this sets an extremely bad example to our citizens and the world and to children. 

    It is Not the truth!
    It is a big error!

    It is  opposed to what marriage really is 
    which is a covenant between one man and one woman

    Taking an abnormal relationship and calling it marriage is a serious offense against the truth of what marriage really is!

    As Saint Paul told the Galatians:

    “Brothers and sisters, live by the Spirit
    and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
    For the flesh has desires against the Spirit,
    and the Spirit against the flesh;
    these are opposed to each other,
    so that you may not do what you want.”

    I think Saint Paul would have told the president:
    I don’t care what you want 
    – “you may not do what you want”

    The truth is the truth, period!!!!

    Our previous bishop who is our Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville  whose province covers Tennessee and Kentucky was quoted in 2010 as saying:

    “Preserving marriage between one man and one woman is a matter of justice; 
    indeed it is one of the premier social justice issues of our time. 
    It does not deny but rather supports basic human rights—especially the rights of children,” Said the archbishop 

    Protecting military chaplains is related to this also:
    Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Catholic military archdiocese wants a law to protect chaplains from witnessing gay marriage, 
    however the White House is against such protection.

    Now all this does not mean that we should hate the sinner:
    We are to hate the sin 
    but love the sinner 
    Always we are to love as Christians 

    We shouldn’t  even judge sin
    We’re not qualified

    An Objective wrong may be obvious as in the absurdity of 
    a man marrying a man 
    or a woman marrying a woman 

    But God is the ultimate judge of sin,
     since He knows the heart and mind of the wrong doer and knows  the wrong doer’s knowledge and intent.

    That is,  
    does the person know what they are doing is a wrong and do they intend to do it?

    But we should still  know wrong when we see it 
    even when it’s clothed with falsely contrived mantles of kindness , freedom, equality and political correctness in an attempt to make what is wrong right.

    We should pray to the Holy Spirit for those who live in inappropriate relationships or promote such relationships 
    that the Holy Spirt help them realize that what they do is against the truth and so against God!

    And then that the Holy Spirit also help them live good and holy lives.

    As Christians we should all exhibit in some way:
    “fruit of the Spirit” … Which St Paul describes as:
    “love, joy, peace,
    patience, kindness, generosity,
    faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”

    But still firmly oppose the institution of error as a good when we see it

    As we prepare to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist where bread and wine become the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 
    through the power of the Holy Spirit;

    Let us give thanks for the coming of the Holy Spirit,
     “the Spirit of truth”,  
    upon the Church which we celebrate today!