CNS warns Catholic schools not to honor supporters of same-sex unions

The Cardinal Newman Society (see their feed on my sidebar… scroll down), which keep tabs on what is going on with Catholic higher education in these USA, has issued a statement:

Cardinal Newman Society Statement Opposing Honors and Platforms for Proponents of Legal Redefinition of Marriage

On March 5, 2015, 379 corporations and business groups submitted an amicus brief in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to declare “marriage rights” for same-sex persons. Such a ruling would be contrary to constitutional, civil, natural and divine law and conflicts directly with Catholic teaching and the position of the U.S. Catholic bishops.
The Cardinal Newman Society therefore urges Catholic schools, colleges and universities to refrain from all honors—including public recognition, honorary speaking platforms, and honored positions on boards and committees—for board members and senior leaders of these 379 corporations and business groups (listed below).
The Cardinal Newman Society promotes and defends faithful Catholic education. For more than two decades, the Newman Society has raised concerns about lecturers, commencement speakers and other honorees at Catholic colleges and universities whose public statements and actions oppose Catholic moral teaching and practice. We will publicly warn Catholic families and their bishops and pastors about any school, college or university that chooses to honor any board member or senior leader of the 379 corporations and business groups that joined in the March 5th brief. Any such honor does harm to the Catholic Church and undermines our bishops, who have clearly explained why Catholics must defend marriage without compromise.


The 379 corporations and business groups that filed the amicus brief argue that national recognition of same-sex marriage is necessary to avoid the “economic burden” of a “fractured legal landscape” across states. That is a shortsighted and materialistic position that rejects the primacy of the family in American economy and society as well as the principles of American federalism. Whether or not same-sex unions are legally permitted, they are intrinsically immoral and contrary to human nature. Hoping to relieve their own perceived “economic burden,” the amici ignore the plight of businesses and religious organizations that operate according to Catholic beliefs; these should be exempted from recognizing same-sex unions in employment and health care decisions. To ignore religious freedom is to disregard a fundamental principle upon which this nation was founded, thereby endangering Catholic education and other religious services and activities.
The 379 corporations and business groups also contend that “more than seventy percent of Americans live in a state that celebrates and recognizes same-sex marriages,” apparently hoping to convince the Supreme Court of America’s overwhelming support for legalizing same-sex unions. But citizens in only three states—Maine, Maryland and Washington—have voted for laws permitting same-sex marriage. Another 10 states have laws approved by state legislatures. But in 24 states—two-thirds of the states with same-sex marriage—the practice has been imposed by activist courts claiming a right that appears nowhere in the law or in the U.S.Constitution. The fact of court-imposed laws is no basis upon which the Supreme Court or these corporations should deny the nature of marriage and the rights of American citizens to determine state laws.
The following corporations and business groups joined in the amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on March 5, 2015:


And they are listed….

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  1. yatzer says:

    St. Jude Medical? I presume and fervently hope that is not the famous St. Jude Children’s Hospital?

  2. aquinasadmirer says:


    Looks like it’s these guys, and not the hospital.


  3. williamjm says:

    St. Jude Medical, Inc. is a medical device company. From the little bit I read on it, there appears to be no connection to the children’s hospital. It is just a coincidence they have the same name, I believe.

  4. Adam Welp says:

    Thank goodness my employer is not listed, though I am shocked with our company mantra of Inclusiveness and Diversity and LGBT support groups.

  5. LarryW2LJ says:

    And it’s a darn shame that CNS should have to remind any Catholic school about this.

  6. iamlucky13 says:

    Unfortunately, the length of the list does not surprise me. I have serious misgivings about doing business with these companies, even though there are often few choices. They’re going well beyond simply promoting equal rights to work, housing, government services, etc, or even simply publicly stating they favor same-sex marriages to directly trying to influence a court decision about the basic definition of marriage.

    A few names people who don’t want to click the link will recognize:

    Alaska Airlines
    Bank of America
    Barnes and Noble
    Capital One
    Coca Cola

    It goes on quite a bit further.

  7. frjim4321 says:

    I have positions in five of those either directly or through other vehicles. I don’t mind that they support equal protection under the law. I don’t think they should tell the catholic church what is can and cannot teach though.

  8. chantgirl says:

    frjim4321- First, I don’t accept your premise that “gay marriage” falls under equal protection. One cannot have a right to an impossibility.

    Second, when “gay marriage” becomes the law of the land, the Catholic Church (and individuals) will be told what it can teach. After “gay marriage” is legalized in all 50 states, with whom will you stand when your Church and fellow Catholics are persecuted?

  9. Skeinster says:

    So, my natural food store and Half-Price Books tabs will increase and all media entertainment will cease. That will be good.

    Being a (considered) self-righteous pain in the neck to my family b/c of the fall-out from this- not so good. But stands must be taken.

  10. iamlucky13 says:

    While I should probably leave it to him to explain his statement, it didn’t sound to me like Fr. Jim was arguing that gay marriage genuinely does fall under equal protection, but rather that he recognizes those businesses believe it does and does not fault them for acting in accordance with that belief.

    Personally, even though I would not argue that point since it is effectively superfluous, it still bothers me greatly that when I do business with those companies, I’m giving them money that they will spend, even if only in very small part on promoting falsehood and undermining religious freedom.

    At a minimum, however, the Cardinal Newman Society draws a much easier to accept line in arguing that we must not honor them for their flawed beliefs, nor give them a platform to promote them.

  11. HyacinthClare says:

    Good excuse as any to drop Amazon Prime. Wish I could be REALLY brave and drop Coke, but I don’t drink coffee and that’s the caffeine provider for tax season (and all the rest of the year, too.)

  12. Skeinster says:

    All joking aside- are there considerations that moderate continuing to use these companies or service providers? Eg. you already have a Hewlett Packard computer, so you needn’t get a new one. Versus continuing to use a listed company as your internet provider, or shopping at listed stores?

  13. frjim4321 says:

    So when do we get to read the self-righteous indignation over companies that contribute to global warming, pay poverty wages and manufacture weapons of mass destruction? [Everyone… this is simply a trap. He wants to divert attention from the real issue – how evil is the promotion of homosexuality and homosexual acts – and create a rabbit hole into irrelevant issues. Ignore this.]

  14. Tantum Ergo says:

    Liberals can’t argue any point rationally, so they change the subject. It’s an escape from battles which can’t be won.

  15. Kerry says:

    Contraception & Persecution is Charles Rice’s last book. These long quotes come from it. Where italics appear, they are Rice’s quotes from a document written by some fellow once named, um..Ratzinger.
    In 2003, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued ‘Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons’. That document, approved by Pope John Paul II, spelled out the reasons why, “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way…even analogous to God’s plan for marriage or family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the moral law.” “Moral conscience requires,” said ‘Considerations’ “that …Christians give witness to the whole moral truth, which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons.” To confer the legal incidents of marriage on same-sex “civil unions” can no more be justified than the conferral of the name “marriage” on them: “By putting homosexual unions on a legal plane analogous to that of marriage and the family, the State acts…in contradiction with its duties…Such unions are harmful to the proper development of human society, especially if their impact on society were to increase.”
    “Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity.” Considerations noted “the difference between homosexual behavior as a private phenomenon and the same behavior as a relationship…approved by the law as one of the institutions in the legal structure…Civil laws …play a very important …role in influencing…thought and behavior.
    …The denial of the status of marriage to forms of cohabitation that…cannot be marital is not opposed to justice; on the contrary, justice requires it.”

    Again, look for his last interview with Michael Voris.

  16. andia says:

    I am not sure how to handle this- do we boycott these companies? In order to do that we would have to give up not only Facebook and Twitter, but also Microsoft and Apple and the companies that use and advertise them- pretty much everything computer related.

    Along with Con-Agra foods, and unless we are self-suffient- we would not be able to eat. So what do we do?

    I am not asking because I am liberal, but because I am extremely confused here.

  17. I will definitely be looking into alternatives to these amoral companies. If Catholics would stick together, they wouldn’t dare be as quick to get on that bandwagon.

  18. yatzer says:

    Perhaps a “buycott” where we know who TO buy from would also be helpful. I happily patronize the Chick-fil-a down the street. That might not be practical, though.
    I’m glad the children’s hospital is not involved in this. Thanks to those who knew.

  19. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    To thoroughly boycott all of these companies would pretty much require living in a cave and eating only nuts and berries. The promoters have diligently bracketed almost every element of modern life: telecommunications, finance, travel; not only what you buy but where you buy it and how you pay for it.

    CNS is asking only that we avoid honoring officials of these companies or giving them a platform, the same instruction that the U.S. bishops have given regarding politicians who support policies contrary to Catholic doctrine. I think the real message is that we are being surrounded by those who not only don’t agree with us but are determined to make our lives difficult. As Archbishop Cordileone is learning in San Francisco, if you don’t have “San Francisco values,” they will try to run you out of town.

  20. aquinasadmirer says:

    Our otherwise solid parish and school is using amazon to raise money for the school. We have also get funds through parishioners’ use of their Target cards. (N.B. Target is engaging in political lobbying to have other states permit pseudo-marriage. This is supposedly because in states where pseudo-marriage doesn’t exist, they are at a disadvantage in hiring.)

    However, we did discontinue the boxtops program because of General Mills advocacy of the “Vote No” foolishness here in MN. We’ve also opted out of the Fed’s school lunch stuff.

    Our pastor has remarked that no company is perfect. He has advised that we can’t have perfection be the criterion.

    It’s a confusing mess, and there is not a handy “Examination of Licitness” for evaluating cooperation with sin–like we have an examination of conscience to prepare for confession. Or is there one out there? What’s the distinguishing marker to know if cooperation is remote, proximate, direct….?

  21. Fr. Andrew says:

    I would be just happy if we could get our grade and high schools to at least offer lip-service to the true teaching of the Church regarding marriage. I believe if you want to be a thriving center of Catholic education, you must boldly run counter to the prevailing culture shift in the redefinition of marriage. God will bless the faithful, even when the world attacks and seeks to destroy you. They will not rest until we shut up and agree with them completely. Not going to happen.

    Boycott, protest, write letters, etc. But please be faithful and charitable. This fight will not end well I am afraid, but then they killed Our Lord!

  22. TomD says:

    @frjim4321 3/11/15 2:48PM:

    “I don’t think they [the 379 corporations and business groups that filed the amicus brief argue that national recognition of same-sex marriage is necessary] should tell the catholic church what i[t] can and cannot teach though.”

    Not only will many of these companies tell the Catholic Church was it can and cannot teach teach, they will support lawsuits, both directly and indirectly as they have here, that, first, force parishes to make their facilities available for same-sex wedding receptions and then, finally, force parishes to perform same-sex ceremonies.

    Once same-sex marriage is judicially imposed into the law in all 50 states, it is inevitable that the lawsuits will follow about the “discrimination” against Catholic parishioners who wish to celebrate and be married within the Church. At this point, it is anyone’s guess as to how the courts will rule. After all, aren’t they entitled to “equal protection” under the law.

  23. TomD wrote:
    “…Once same-sex marriage is judicially imposed into the law in all 50 states, it is inevitable that the lawsuits will follow about the “discrimination” against Catholic parishioners who wish to celebrate and be married within the Church. At this point, it is anyone’s guess as to how the courts will rule. After all, aren’t they entitled to “equal protection” under the law.”

    Which may be one reason, inter alia, why the Church in the US should get out of the business of being agents of the state (whichever of the 57…oops 50 states) in performing the dual role of confirming the legal contract and conferring the sacrament of marriage. This blurring of the lines (the priest being the ‘official’ who signs the state forms that the wedding took place) between the sacramental reality and the legal/contractual activities is asking for future trouble.

    “Oh, but won’t that mean that some won’t bother to go through the church ceremony?” Probably. Who says that having a Church wedding is a guarantee of continuing to follow the dictates of the Faith? Or that having to go to city hall on the way to the Church (or the previous Friday afternoon) that the couple won’t show up on Saturday morning?

    To be blatantly honest, society is almost completely finished anyway. Papa Benedict spoke of a smaller, more faithful Church. We see the flickers of the coming conflagration spawned by satan being loosed in society. If the civil authorities want to legalize an immoral contract between adam and steve…well, on a contract basis, there really is no argument that they can’t, since contract law is liable to change with the whims of the legislature (or the courts).

    But, divorcing the civil effect (a la France, and some other countries’ legal systems) from the sacramental economy would pretty much eliminate the coming lawsuits from the usual minions of satan and his useful idiots both inside and outside the Church. Unless the state wants to get into the business of regulating Catholic sacraments; combining the two in one ceremony as is now the case pretty much lets the dripping nose of the state poke into the affairs of the Church.

  24. Imrahil says:

    To the topic of “getting out of the marriage business”, I can only heartily second what Dr Peters has constantly to say on the matter.

    In addition:
    To think that the State will persecute us if we refuse to do same-sex “marriages” but will leave us well alone if only we don’t sign the state forms for marriage in any case does seem to me, pardon the French, naive and, to me, ununderstandable. If they’re of our opinion or if they’re in the mood for tolerance, they’ll leave us alone either way – they can go to the city-hall in any case. If they’re not in the mood for tolerance, they won’t suffer anyone to treat the pseudo-marriages in a way unequal to marriages – however privately. They’ll just come and want their “marriage” to be blessed (as the phrase goes), and then sue us for not blessing it, therewith obviously displaying homophobia and discrimination. Absurd? Yes, but not in the slightest more absurd than the idea of them wanting us to “marry” them in the first place.

    In “getting out of the marriage business” we’re not ameliorating our position a tenth of an inch, but we’re surrendering what the enemy otherwise should have to fight pretty much of a fight to get.

    Because, as for the French example: we did not “get out of the marriage business there”, we were forced out of it by the French Revolution – which decreed that a marriage is only valid if declared by the Mayor, with the Marianne, the french flag and a picture of the French president (?) present in the room (or something along these general ideas). Say what you will, they sprang freshly out of a Catholic society and still knew the value of a good symbolism. But that is, of course, in an originally inimical spirit towards the Church.

    Similarly, the obligatory civil-marriage in Germany was openly used as a Kulturkampf measure by Bismarck. Into Austria it was introduced by Hitler.

  25. Imrahil says:

    Note: a short summary of what I alluded to when referring to Dr Peters is the following:

    what is happening is not combining two things into one thing. What happens is that a Catholic contracts the natural institution called marriage and appropriately is treated as married.

    A Catholic cannot marry at the city-hall; that is invalid. Only, in countries such as France and Germany, he has, by law, to go to the city-hall to make sure his legal effects follow, but he does not marry there*. What there happens ontologically is: nothing.

    (I joked to a good Catholic friend who’s going to understand it that I was going to congratulate her to her “aggravated engagement” after the civil ceremony.)

    That procedure is a lesser evil legitimately accepted, but it is not an ideal nor can it ever be.

    [*There is a philosophical distinction between the natural institution of marriage and the fact that Christ elevated it to a sacrament, but they are inseparable; a Catholic does not “marry naturally” at city-hall and sacramentally in Church.]

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