The True Meaning of Marriage

The stampede is on.  Our elected senators who have stood courageous in their refusal to capitulate on the state’s presumption to redefine marriage are reporting unrelenting pressure to cave-in.

The media, mainly sympathetic to this rush to tamper with a definition as old as human reason and ordered good, reports annoyance on the part of some senators that those in defense of traditional marriage just don’t see the light, as we persist in opposing this enlightened, progressive, cause.

But, really, shouldn’t we be more upset – and worried – about this perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?

Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea.  In those countries, government presumes daily to “redefine” rights, relationships, values, and natural law.  There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of “family” and “marriage” means.

But, please, not here!  Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values – life, home, family, marriage, children, faith – that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.

Please, not here!  We cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought; we acknowledge that not every desire, urge, want, or chic cause is automatically a “right.”  And, what about other rights, like that of a child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad?

Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people.  The Church affirms the basic human rights of gay men and women, and the state has rightly changed many laws to offer these men and women hospital visitation rights, bereavement leave, death benefits, insurance benefits, and the like.  This is not about denying rights. It is about upholding a truth about the human condition.  Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits:  It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children.  Please don’t vote to change that.  If you do, you are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so.  This is false, it is wrong, and it defies logic and common sense.

Yes, I admit, I come at this as a believer, who, along with other citizens of a diversity of creeds believe that God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago.  We believers worry not only about what this new intrusion will do to our common good, but also that we will be coerced to violate our deepest beliefs to accommodate the newest state decree.  (If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.)

But I also come at this as an American citizen, who reads our formative principles as limiting government, not unleashing it to tamper with life’s most basic values.

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404 Responses to “The True Meaning of Marriage”

  1. Rich R says:

    David, of June 17, 6:14 am has answered your treatise, Archbishop Dolan, as only a man who is learned and articulate can do; therefore, I will not add to his excellent argument except to offer one addendum…in the form of a question. Is it possible, Archbishop Dolan, that, in truth, it is not that you believe marriage equality will fundamentally harm the institution of heterosexual marriage or the welfare of children in homosexual marriages, but that you are, simply stated, one who is homophobic because you must be as you understand certain biblical inferences and the history of your church?

  2. Old Southerner says:

    The same sex marriage issue is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
    This is a state, civil, legal issue, not a religious one. We don’t want your blessing nor do we need your approval. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. Take care of your own house before trying to pass judgement on others.
    Your comments are in the same vein as those bigoted heterosexuals who are screaming about gay marriage being the ruination of str8 marriage while make NO mention of the 50% divorce rate among the heterosexual marriages.

  3. Bruce says:

    I am saddened by the tone of the Archbishop’s letter. Less instructional than alarmist, Archbishop Dolan’s comment seem ladened with suspicion and fear. I pray that American Catholic leadership find the courage to live the meaning and the message of our counciliar fathers: “The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ.” Vatican II. Do not deny the work of the spirit acting with and through the legislative process in New York.

  4. Paul says:

    I was raised an Evangelical, willing and deliberately chose to become Roman Catholic (confirmed in the Church in Germany) and now I am a member of the Church of England in Canada (Anglican). I have no idea what you mean by “If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.” You are so hatefully scared that you are becoming irrational. I am worried and concerned by your intrusion into the common good, A commonality that in general is rejecting religion because more and more, what you say is so stupid and irrelevant that people are walking away from you. No one carries on a rational conversation with someone who (not to put too fine a point on it) is an idiot. What do you mean “Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people”? Your dogmatic beliefs ARE discrimination. The only human right you affirm for gay people is the right to be psychologically tortured and abused by your dogmatic pronouncements or, by those who believe “the gay” can be cast out like demons or evil spirits. This is the 21st century, not the Palaeolithic era. My God, if marriage “…is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children” then how many heterosexual couples (many Roman Catholics amongst them) are not married by your definition due to a decision to not have children or inability to have children? How many customs has the Church tolerated, created and introduced or abolished which are directly repugnant to God’s word? If you can’t or don’t want to lead then get out of the way.

  5. Jim says:

    Megan, Andrew, Noelle, and Ed didn’t notice that the Bishop signed off as an American citizen. As a citizen he has a right to be concerned about tyrants ramming their agenda down our throats. The Catholic Church condemns theft. So does the state. Should the state legalize theft in order to not impose Catholic morality on its citizens? How absurd! I only object to the Bishop’s use of the “gay” word. In my view, confirmed “gays” are motivated by hate for the order of creation itself. They deny that as men and women, they have freewill and can, with grace, fight the good fight and lead chaste and penitential lives and win the crown of life. As the book of Tobit teaches, they are not beasts like mules or oxen who must follow brute physical drives. A lttle lower than angels, people who carry the cross of same-sex attraction, are called to sainthood, not hell.

  6. Danny Seaman says:

    Father Dolan, I’m really disappointed that you resort to a Blog to trasmit your views against Gay Marriage. The Catholic Church, and for that matter other similar thinking religious intstitutions, should have be way out in front of this challenge to traditional marriage. Have you been living in a cave? Gay activists have been planting this seed for a decade. They are organized, dedicated and wrong !

    You have the power to LEAD your faithful. Do it ! LEAD your faithful.

    This week Mayor Bloomberg was effectively lobbying Albany. He was carefully advocating with his words and threatening with his cash. There is no reason you can not send bus loads of faithful to lobby our reprsentative. I understand that our laws limit religious influence on domestic policy but there is nothing wrong with organizing voters to voice there displeasure with the Gay Marriage Act

    I contribute to the National Organization for Marriage. It an nonpartisan group against Gay Marriage. Why can the NY Archdiocese create a similar fund to effective stop this movement.

    Father Dolan you have to get off these Blogs and start using your powerful influence to prevent the passing of this bill. If it passes on your watch It will show your gross powerlessness. Please find some Balls and fight this issue with both hands.

    Danny Seaman

  7. Ken says:

    The beautiful and natural differences of women and men – equal but complementary! One does not need to prescribe to a particular religion or faith to see such a common sense and natural truth!
    Physically, psychologically and emotionally men and women are different and complementary and still equal.
    From that complementary, lifelong and faithful union naturally comes children most able and prepared to live also in natural truths.
    Perhaps, as a society, we are too use to thinking we can control, reengineer and redefine things to suit our own desires and egos even when reality can be so very obvious. Thank you, Fr. Dolan, for speaking the truth.

  8. John Reynolds says:

    I’m so ashamed to call myself a Catholic at this point that I’ve left the church. The thinly veiled hatred that is in this blog post by the Bishop turns my stomach. His words are NOT Christian.

  9. Jim says:

    I was raised Catholic and born gay. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle choice but rather what god made me in his vision. I have heard the arguments about the sanctity of marriage and I have witnessed both of my parents divorce, remarry and divorce again. How does no one see the hypocrisy in allowing straight people to marry and remarry like they are upgrading their cellphone and deny gay couples who are truly committed to one another the chance?

    The Archbishop’s argument about marriage seems to focus on the fact that marriages should result in children? Are you implying that it is wrong for straight couple’s to marry if they do not plan to pro-create? Perhaps his holiness is trying to secure a steady stream of young children in our parishes. After all, where would we all be without those hard working alter boys?

  10. Rebecca says:

    Archbishop Dolan, though I cannot commend your ideas or your stance, I must wholeheartedly commend you for allowing open comment on your blog post. The voices of the faithful are speaking, and you are allowing us to be heard. Even if we are not heard by you, we can be heard by one another. By allowing such vigorous open commentary, you are reminding us that the Holy Spirit still moves among us. May God’s will be done, and may dissenting voices never be silenced.

  11. Frank Connelly says:

    The Catholic Church receives a subsidy from the United States Government via the tax-free status on their properties. The United States Government has diplomatic relations with The Vatican. I am opposed to the government defining marriage or any other relationship between consenting adults. I am opposed to the United States Government providing special status with the Catholic Church with regard to the Diplomatic relations with The Vatican.
    I am a strong supporter of all appointees of The Vatican, i.e. Bishops , Cardinals etc being required to register under the “Foreign Agents Registration Act.”
    I do not wish to accuse Bishop Dolan of having Dual-Loyalties … I wish to accuse him of being Dis-loyal anti-american agent of a foreign entity.
    It’s no longer fashionable to go after Jews , as did Father Coughlin in the 1930’s … So just go after Homo-sexuals … Don’t mind our child molesters though

  12. James says:

    The Church teaches that contraception is a sin, and a mortal one at that. Should we make it illegal for those who don’t share that sentiment?

    Look, we live in a representative republic, not a theocracy. Allowing gay marriage imposes *nothing* – nothing! – on heterosexuals.

    The exact same arguments against gay marriage were used against interracial marriage. For example:

    “When people (like this) marry, they cannot possibly have any progeny,” wrote an appeals judge in a Missouri case. “And such a fact sufficiently justifies those laws which forbid their marriages.”

    These types of marriages are “abominable,” according to Virginia law. If allowed, they would “pollute” America.

    In denying the appeal of this type of couple that had tried unsuccessfully to marry, a Georgia court wrote that such unions are “not only unnatural, but … always productive of deplorable results,” such as increased effeminate behavior in the population. “They are productive of evil, and evil only, without any corresponding good … (in accordance with) the God of nature.”

    They said this about INTERRACIAL marriage, folks … draw your own conclusions and connect the dots.

  13. ROBERT FOLEY says:

    I am tired of these old hypocrites who decide what is o.k. for everyone else based on their own and the church’s narrow minded bigotry. I grew up a catholic and know first hand the depths of that institution’s depravity. The church and it’s reactionary leaders would better serve their fading cause by embracing those who choose love and commitment. Their energies should be used to change the culture that allows pedophilia and cover-ups.

  14. Michael James Joseph says:

    I respect your right to not perform the sacrament of holy matrimony on me and my same-sex partner.

    I do not think this has anything to do with civil marriages. We deserve the same rights that you all enjoy.

    We are successful, intelligent, well spoken, productive, loving and caring members of society who only want the same benefits, privileges and protection under the law for us and our children.

    I can’t see any reason for a Catholic, or any christian, to not support that.

    Your comparison to North Korea is actually infuriatingly worded and misguided.

    I wish the church would recognize my love for my partner being equal to, if not greater than, the love of many hetersexual married couples, however I am not asking this of you.

    This is a legal rights issue, not a religious issue.

  15. William Mannion says:

    Barbara B – this site has not “been hijacked by special interest groups”. If you read the posts by those in favor of marriage equality, the majority of the posts are from Catholics who hold a different viewpoint from you and Archbishop Dolan.

    The issue is being debated in the Legislature because that is the manner in which the New York State government enacts legislation. The New York State Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in the Empire State and clearly lobbies government officials on matters pending before the Legislature; the marriage equality advocates are undertaking the same activities.

    As a devout Catholic, I have read widely on human sexuality and marriage equality. My stance in favor of marriage equality is certainly not an issue of tolerance, it is an issue of civil rights. Regarding tolerance, I have long been treated as a second class citizen within the Church yet continue to pray that the love of Jesus will be shown by the church leadership as well as all members of the Body of Christ.

  16. The Catholic church has completely lost its credibility on all things related to sex, love, and marriage.

    Last week, you headed a conference where you refused to make changes to enforce polices to prevent child sex abuse.

    You don’t understand children, marriage, or love.

    Jesus did, and he doesn’t speak through you.

  17. Quincy says:

    The Church holds the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. How sad that seeks to conquer Albany. Albany!

  18. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    No disrespect, your eminence, but what do you know about marriage in the first place? In order to receive the sacrament of marriage we had to sit through a pre-cana lecture from a priest telling us the Church’s position on birth control–from a man who had never married or worried about supporting a family. If two people love each other and want to marry civilly, what business is it of yours, so long as they are not asking for the Church to grant them the sacrament?

    And don’t even start me on priests not being able to marry. This works fine for Orthodox priests (which is arguably the true Church). Or why women can’t be priests. Rank sexism, pure and simple.

    I pray for the day that the Church finally joins the 20th century.

  19. Galen says:

    God made me gay and it hurts beyond belief the things you say.

  20. Shaun says:

    Go Archbishop Dolan! You are right on track! I am thankful that you are not intimidated by those who don’t, or choose not to, understand!

  21. Mike S says:

    As I am not a Catholic, I haven’t the slightest interest in the Catholic Church’s definition of marriage. Don’t try to impose a Catholic definition on me. Thank you. If I decide to become a Catholic in the future, then I’m sure the pope will see fit to annul my un-Christian marriage; but until then, you go your way and I’ll go mine. BTW, the church should stay out of secular affairs. I cannot stress it enough, I AM NOT A CATHOLIC, and I will not be restrained by catholic laws.

  22. CRobinson says:

    I am appalled at the self-rigtheous posture of the Catholic Church and Archbishop Dolan in opposing same sex marriage. No, I am not gay. However, I am an American who believes in fairness for all. Who do you think you are to want to deny other human beings the desires and benefits of lawful marriage to the person of their choice? Moreover, what’s it to you? Does it hurt you or anyone else in any way? I think not. This only concerns the lives and loves of same sex couples who deserve to be treated equally in the eyes of the law, humanity and gain benefits commonly shared by married couples. Where was your outrage when members of your clergy were molesting children, i.e. mostly little boys? Did you care so much then and what have you done, except try to act as if you are above the law in order to escape proper punishment for these criminal acts and try to hid the despicable acts of your brotheren. Don’t bother to act as it you are so moral and above it all. You are not. What is worse, you have no humanity and no respect for the dignity of all human beings. Shame on you!

  23. Brendan P says:

    Barbara B,

    Would you like it if their had been a popular referendum on whether women could vote, because if their had been one, women most likely wouldn’t have the right to vote today. Or maybe their should have been a popular referendum on interracial marriages, instead of those “activist” courts getting involved and invalidating laws against it. No majority has a right to subject to a vote, a minorities rights. That is why we have a republic, and not a direct democracy. Also the New York State Constitution doesn’t provide for a referendum process. This is a matter of civil rights. No gay or lesbian person is asking to get married in a church, or synagogue. They are just asking that they be entitled to the same rights you have. For example, allowing survivor’s benefits to one’s spouse if they die (which is currently restricted to married heterosexual couples). Also, I have friends that are gay, and my cousin is a lesbian (who got married in Massachusetts), so I take personal offense to anyone who calls same sex marriage “an abomination”. I am sure back in the 1940’s and 50’s people thought interracial marriage was an abomination, so I guess your in good company. Please do not use religion ask a smoke screen to preach such hateful things.

  24. Annalee Perez says:

    It makes sense to me that ultra religious organizations would not welcome the idea of marriage equality since they hold a very narrow view of what is ‘right’ sexually. However, since there is supposed to be a separation of church and state in this country – a freedom from religious persecution – then those of a different faith or non-faith must not be persecuted, restricted or otherwise discriminated against, as is happening with this vocal opposition to love and marriage. The state should look at legalities not religion in making their decision about this. Discriminatory laws must be stricken from the books and the way to begin this is to start by allowing equality in marriage. It’s a simple issue made complicated by those, like you Archbishop Dolan, who wish to force their firmly held beliefs on others.

  25. Edward C. says:

    Archbishop Dolan, do check your facts before writing, otherwise you might embarass yourself yet again.

    You define marriage as “one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start.”
    Marriage is different in every culture, and in fact your definition is one that has only existed since the second part of the 20th century. Before that marriage was synonymous with patriarchy and was used as a social system that guaranteed the submission of women. Property passed from a woman’s father to her husband and she was relegated to a position of powerlessness. Women were married off to men of their parent’s choosing and usually there was the financial exchange of a dowry-in other words the highest bidder took the “prize”.

    “Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits: It is the union of a man and a woman in a loving, permanent, life-giving union to pro-create children. ”
    FALSE: On that twisted logic, people incapable of having children would be restricted from marriage.

    “you are claiming the power to change what is not into what is, simply because you say so.”
    FALSE: It is you and the catholic church who want to impose your will and your view of the world “simply because you say so”.

    “I admit, I come at this as a believer, who, along with other citizens of a diversity of creeds believe that God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago.
    ABSURDLY FALSE: “God” didn’t settle the definition of marriage, in fact marriages pre-date the existance of your religion and so does homosexuality. Before your religion hijacked marriage, it already existed in Roman law, and we can even find examples of Gay Marriage in classical history.

    and finally “If you think this paranoia, just ask believers in Canada and England what’s going on there to justify our apprehensions.”
    FALSE: Canada and England, and other countries that have gay Marriage like Belgium and Spain, have lower levels of violent crime, prostituion, teen pregnancy and drug use than the United States, they also have lower levels of Teen Gay Suicides.

    So perhaps the Catholic Church and Archbishop Dolan would better serve the world by focusing their efforts on bringing good to humanity rather than persecuting and marginalizing gays.

  26. P. D. Harzewski says:

    Your Eminence: A news wire picked up your comments regarding putting this before a referendum. Before we do, consider this quote from one of our founding fathers, “That the desires of the majority of the people are often for injustice and inhumanity against the minority, is demonstrated by every page of the history of the whole world” – John Adams. I believe it is time for Christianity to be not a cloak which one hides behind while repeating anthems of excoriation. Rather it should be the blanket that warms the least of us when we need it most.

  27. Art Dodson says:

    The Catholic Church’s\holy\ war on gays to deprive them of fundamental rights is a mistake for the Church. This issue is so far from the core teachings of the church, one has to wonder why so much capital is spent on opposing it. It alienates gays and many youth who might be more open to the Church. Also it WILL happen and the Church will look foolish as it did when Jesuits owned slaves in Maryland.

  28. Stephen says:

    \Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to “redefine” rights, relationships, values, and natural law. \

    Congratulations, I believe you’ve managed to construct the two dumbest sentences in this whole debate. Neither China, nor North Korea, are that keen on handing out civil rights or pushing for \equality\ in almost any regard.

    And, by the way, last time I consulted our constitution, we weren’t living under a theocracy, where \It’s in the bible\ is an acceptable basis for our country’s laws.

  29. Jason Green says:

    \drastic departure from traditional values\
    It’s sad that so many people are willing to entertain the notion that by being allowed the same rights that straight people have, we are somehow departing you from your \values\. Uhm…. we are including ourselves in the same right you enjoy.
    Who are any of you to say that love and the rite of binding 2 souls together should only be enjoyed in the way \you\ are familiar with. So \you\ can be comforted in feeling like your walls have not been breached. Wake up you blind souls, to the fact that god’s light shines on all. Even the ignorant who would speak against his own children….

  30. pete says:

    Serious question: can (and will) anyone here defend Dolans’ statement yesterday to the news cameras(made in opposition to the NY gay marriage bill) that “marriage is already defined as the “lifelong union between one man and one woman in love, bringing about children . . . “?

    Firstly: can we all agree that this is a material misstatement of NY law, since the words “lifelong” “love” and “children” are not in any way elements of NY civil marriage?

    Second, how can we call his words anything other than a bald-faced lie, meant to confuse the public about NY law? Help me out here. I think his actions are reprehensible. How are we supposed to trust

  31. V. Sim says:

    Greetings from Singapore!

    Archbishop Dolan, I’d like to ask you and celibate men in the Church what you know about marriage and sexuality? You have taken a strong moral stand against same-sex marriage and homosexuality and yet you have no experience being married or being in a loving, sexual relationship with another human being.

    What do YOU know about the daily experiences of married life? You know, my strong suspicions tell me you know absolutely NOTHING! Even a child can put two and two together and draw the conclusion that a celibate man, like you, is in no position to offer any valuable marriage advice.

    It’s sad, but you and all those out-of-touch, morally bankrupt men in your crumbling organization live in bubble where you have either ( directly and indirectly) create a lot of unhappiness and have torn beautiful families apart!

    This is personal, but I have to say that you are a really sad example of a human being. Do you think you can face your EVER-LOVING God and say you walked in the foot steps of Jesus?

    I wish you could find within you the ability to have UNCONDITIONAL LOVE and respect for ALL your fellow human beings.

  32. mishaleen says:

    Thank you Bishop Dolan for your courageous stand. The ancient pagans had better virtue than a lot of Christians today.

  33. ck says:

    “an undeniable truth – one man, one woman, united in lifelong love and fidelity, hoping for children – that has served as the very cornerstone of civilization and culture from the start?”

    Perhaps the good archbishop should re-read his bible: Genesis 29:18-30

  34. Your Eminnce: Please help me to understand why marriage between to loving couples though they be the same gender is opposed by the church but someone like Mr. Hefner can marry someone 60 years younger and this is accepted by the State of NY? Just because two people are of a different gender should not be the deciding factior in legal marriage.

    It is because of opposition like this that I have left the church. I pray you will reconsider.

  35. Jenny says:

    I didn’t realize that being Catholic and heterosexual would place me in a category of hated citizens. Our Christian beliefs are centered in the Bible, the Word of God. Our commandments, that we as children of God are to obey, are in the Old Testament and are Mosaic Law. Our Father, who Art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, on Earth as it is in Heaven; Give us This Day our Daily Bread and Forgive us our trespasses AS We forgive those who Trespass Against Us, and lead us not into temptation, but Deliver Us From Evil. Amen.
    Those who stray from the Commandments and try to create their own list of rules and laws to fit their lifestyle, end up bitter, unhappy, angry people causing strife to all around them. It’s only when you meet someone who truly follows and honors and obeys the commandments and tries to help those around them to follow, is where you find a person who speaks the truth with peace. Archbishop Dolan is a man of truth and integrity and speaks with the love of Jesus in his heart. I am proud that he is my archbishop.

  36. TH says:

    It is time to end the debate on Gay and Lesbian marriage. There is no need for further discussion on the matter. Everything that needs to be said has been repeated many times. There is no new information that would sway a person from their current conviction or side of the debate.

    The correct and morally responsible answer is to provide Gay and Lesbian civil marriages. If not, then we as a society are left with pure discrimination against those in society who are attracted to members of the same sex. Why should society allow for this discrimination? We claim to be a civilized society and recognize the differences between all manners of people. Why is it that the Church cannot accept the change in definition of a civil marriage? We are not asking the Church to change its definition of marriage nor are those who wish to marry in the Christian tradition being asked to give up their right to do so.

    This is such a hypocritical view promoted by Catholics and other Christians that marriage is the union of a man and a woman for the purposes of pro-creation. Many Catholics and Christians marry in their faith and provide very poor role models for their children, get divorced, and truly ignore Archbishop Dolan’s assertion of the right of the child to be raised in a family with a mom and a dad. If a Christian decides to marry in the Christian right that is their decision and they should take the sacrament with all the responsibility it implies.

    However, let’s make one thing abundantly clear. There are more than just Christian religions in the world and all have a clear and specific take on the idea of marriage and even some Christian religions support the union of same sex partners.

    Many Christian’s that have been disenfranchised with the world’s Christian religions choose not to marry in the Christian tradition. Does this mean they take pro-creation any lighter? Does this mean they are not good parents? Does this mean they should be denied the rights provided to others whose marriage is sanctioned by a Church? No! These people, me included, find the Church to be a stagnant and unrepentant monolithic structure that has little relevance in today’s society. Catholics around the world should live as true Christians and love all thy neighbors and not just those neighbors that live a similar life.

  37. Nydebaytr says:

    God bless Bishop Dolan. Someone has to be the voice of reason, and a moral compass in our society. I am sick and tired of people trying to twist logic, and reason, and to undo everything we know, and have known about marriage for the last thousand years! I can care less what people do in their own home, but when I have to explain behavior that defies the laws of nature to my children, then a line has been crossed. Civil unions should have been the end of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. M.J. says:

    330+ comments and I don’t see a single response from the Archbishop. What a shame. If ever there were a time and a topic for you to engage in a real dialogue with people of your faith and other faiths, I would think this is it.

  39. Anthony says:

    Thank you Your Excellency for being brave enough to speak the teachings of the Church despite all worldly opposition. I pray that God gives you guidance and strength in all your endeavors.

  40. Robert says:

    Change can be very difficult and frightening. Especially when it challenges our faith or beliefs. But there is only one source…God. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord! Know, that everything is God’s will, is God’s plan. Have FAITH that God is in control, not man. There is no need to fight against Gay Marriage. You either have the unwavering faith that God’s Will be done or you don’t. And if you lack this true faith, then you have bigger issues then Gay Marriage. God’s ways are miraculous, his methods are sure.

    Ask and it is given. Prepare the way for God’s blessing, dig your ditches. Give thanks that God has already provided the best solution. It is not up to “man” to figure these things out. God knows the best, fastest and easiest way. Leave it all in God’s hands. God wants us to give over all of our burdens. When we step in, and try to “fix” something that we see as “wrong”. That is not having faith in God, that’s coming from the carnal mind, the mind of man or conscious mind. It’s man’s falling from grace (believing in two sources..Good & Evil) that keeps us from God’s blessings. That keeps us in bondage. It is our own choice. It’s our free will.

    If today you carry the burden of fear, anger, jealousy, contempt or hatred in regards to this issue of Gay Marriage. Release it to God. It is God’s business. Let it go. God’s will be done. Not yours.

    Pray often: “I release the burden of this issue of Gay Marriage to the Christ within, and I go free in happiness, joy and peace of mind.”

    Thank you God for always providing us with everything that we require, desire and more. Thank you for opening our hearts to all humans on this planet with peace, love and joy. For the good of all, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

  41. Frank says:

    Reading these comments I can’t help but think that the wisdom is with the people and power with the clergy, especially the hierarchy. When can we have our Spring? If love cannot be recognised for what it is what hope have we got!

  42. Keith says:

    “Homosexuality is neither a disorder nor a disease, but rather a normal variant of human sexual orientation. The vast majority of gay and lesbian individuals lead happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and productive lives. Many gay and lesbian people are in a committed same-sex relationship. In their essential psychological respects, these relationships are equivalent to heterosexual relationships. The institution of marriage affords individuals a variety of benefits that have a favorable impact on their physical and psychological well-being. A large number of children are currently being raised by lesbians and gay men, both in same-sex couples and as single parents. Empirical research has consistently shown that lesbian and gay parents do not differ from heterosexuals in their parenting skills, and their children do not show any deficits compared to children raised by heterosexual parents. State policies that bar same-sex couples from marrying are based solely on sexual orientation. As such, they are both a consequence of the stigma historically attached to homosexuality, and a structural manifestation of that stigma. By allowing same-sex couples to marry, the Court would end the antigay stigma imposed by the State of California through its ban on marriage rights for same-sex couples. In addition, allowing same-sex couples to marry would give them access to the social support that already facilitates and strengthens heterosexual marriages, with all of the psychological and physical health benefits associated with that support. In addition, if their parents are allowed to marry, the children of same-sex couples will benefit not only from the legal stability and other familial benefits that marriage provides, but also from elimination of state-sponsored stigmatization of their families. There is no scientific basis for distinguishing between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples with respect to the legal rights, obligations, benefits, and burdens conferred by civil marriage.”

    –American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, others: in an Amicus curiae brief to the CA Supreme Court

  43. Jeremy says:

    Actually, this has absolutly nothing to do with God, faith or tradition. This is a Constitutional equal rights issue. It is very important that the the equal rights protection under the law is preserved regardless of the poularity of the opposing force. Please rememeber that everyone is intitled to their opinion in regard to how THEY should live their lives and their definition of morality, but you MAY NOT force those opinions on others.

    Preserving individual morality, regardless of its unpopularity, is the true essence of freedom and free choice. Please approve of same sex marriage to preserve the great society as we know it!!!

  44. St Reformed says:

    Well through the 19th century, popes consistently denounced such “radical” notions as freedom of religion, freedom of speech & the press, human equality and women’s suffrage. “Error has no rights,” quipped one of these pontiffs. It is true that such ideas were bold and novel in that age. But now we embrace these concepts as integral to the fabric of Western civilization and look back with embarrassment in remembrance of some of our ancestors’ ideas. Were the Church’s 19th century views in those areas infallible, i.e. were they derived by divine revelation? Even Benedict XVI knows the answer to that! May the Church continue to freely practice its sacramental definition of matrimony. May the rest of our civilization be free to practice theirs.

  45. Elias Lebron says:

    GOD BLESS Bishop Dolan thanks for that blog post on The True Meaning of Marriage, im a protestant christian ,i just want to say we have to get together on this very important issue , with much prayer and fasting remembering what Esther did went her people were in danger ,keep up the good race Dolan in JESUS CHRIST our LORD and SAVIOR

  46. Will says:

    Beautifully stated, Your Excellency.

  47. Dr. Mark says:

    Jeremy, would you please the cite the section(s) of the constitution that explicity guarantee the rights of homosexuals to marry? Probably right next to the “right” to privacy which was “conjured” in order to destroy millions of unborn Americans. Nothing to do with faith?? Aside from the unsubstantiated claims that 1 or 2 of the Constitutional founders was anything but a strong believer in God, the rest were members of orthodox traditional faiths. Why is there no reference to such aberrant behaviors and a right to them? Because such notions were so far from consideration in the rational and pious mind of their day (as was abortion), The society of the founders of this Christian nation, while imperfect, was predicated on a belief in the Lord. You cannot separate truths of faith from our Constitution, they were the foundation for them. If you chose the situational morality of our day you do so simply to rationalize your libertine mind-set. “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence” John Adams. The fact is that homosexual marriage is an oxymoron and just another effort to “normalize” deviance.

  48. Kent says:

    Archbishop Dolan,
    GOD teaches love and respect for all mankind. The Catholic nor any other religous group should be opposing gay marriage. First and foremost, marriage is actually a contract and has nothing to do with religion. It can be very easily performed at city hall. It seems to me that in your mind you are a Christian Catholic but in actuality are nothing more than the another Hater in the country. Gay men and women are all over in all walks of life. I personally find that gay people are more Christian, loving, and understanding than many of the heterosexual Christians. Your beliefs equate to those of the Blacks in the early 1960s. Did that ruin the World and does God not still love them?

    The United States pledge of allegiance states Libery and Justice for All!! In actuality, Liberty and Justice?? This doesn’t currently exist for gays without marriage. There are approximately 1700 benefits gays are excluded from without the right of marriage.

    There is supposed to be a seperation of church and state therefore religion should not be a factor concerning the law.

    Let’s take all the benefits afforded to heterosexual couples away and see how they would like it? I GUARANTEE bedlam would occur and they would change there minds toward gay same sex marriage!! You state “Our beliefs should not be viewed as discrimination against homosexual people”? Your beliefs ARE discriminatory. This is the 21st century, if marriage “…is the union of a man and a woman in a loving union to pro-create children” then how many heterosexual couples (many Roman Catholics amongst them) are not married by your definition due to a decision to not have children or inability to have children? How many customs has the Church tolerated, created and introduced or abolished which are directly repugnant to God’s word? How many Catholics have children out of wed lock? How many Catholics practice birth control? How many priests abuse children and it is covered up? Shouldn’t you be addressing these problems instead?

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Should you really be casting a stone at all?

    Shame on you and all those other citizens that are full of hatred opposing gay marriage, prohibiting gay same sex marriage and rights and not showing love for all mankind as God desires.

  49. Adam says:

    Five words discredit your entire argument: separation of church and state. Our nation isn’t defined by religion and just for your information, Catholics aren’t the only ones inhabiting the United States. You are just afraid of something you don’t understand. I feel bad for you because you aren’t believing in Jesus’ most important message: He loves everyone.

  50. mind ya business says:

    “Marriage is not simply a mechanism for delivering benefits…” I’m sorry if you are senile and delusional, but that is EXACTLY what marraige is today. Don’t use the rhetoric of God when it comes to legislations; have you not heard of the term “separation of church and state?” If God has a problem with same sex marriage, he can smite these “sinners” and send them to hell, it’s HIS problem, not yours. If those religious homosexuals understood the repercussions and decide to undertake that risk, then that’s THEIR problem., and not yours. I really do not unerstand where YOU factor in to this decision.