It’s time to kneel down and pray for our nation

The Supreme Court came down in favor of same-sex marriage today.  The Slip opinions are HERE.

Held: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. Pp. 3–28.


KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. ROBERTS, C. J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA and THOMAS, JJ., joined. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS, J., joined. THOMAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA, J., joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA and THOMAS, JJ., joined.

There is no provision for any state which has its own laws limiting marriage to two sexes.  Thus, this is now the “law of the land” in all 50 states.

Who wins?  Not society.  Perhaps divorce lawyers.

It may be that this was as inevitable as the night which follows the day.  I had hoped not, but with only a little hope.

We now await cases that test the bounds of religious freedom.  I’m not sanguine.

Get ready for the onslaught.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. AnthonyJ says:

    We live in a judicial tyranny where 9 people can overturn moral laws. I don’t even know why they bother to hear arguments in these cases . The 5 that voted for this abomination had their minds made up years before they were appointed to the Supreme Court.

  2. Legisperitus says:

    Welcome, Catholics, to a world of second-class citizenry, legal disability, and unfettered persecution, brought to you by a couple of your own.

  3. FL_Catholic says:

    Between this and the Obamacare decision, I’m starting to wonder if Obama has threatened the lives and families of the Supremes to make sure that he gets the outcomes he wants..

    What an absolute disgrace. What utter pride, to think that 5 people can decide for millions and for all time to come that moral law does not matter. I shudder to think what their Particular Judgement will be like. There will be, quite literally, Hell to pay for this for our nation. God will not be mocked. Perhaps this is why God allowed all the Islamic State attacks today. To remind us that His punishment will come like a thief in the night but will be terrible when the reckoning comes.

    St Michael the Archangel defend us

  4. The Astronomer says:

    Is there any way to see this as other than the Lord Jesus withdrawing grace from the United States as a nation? Sodomy is now the law of the land, so hours long until the Roman Catholic Church is compelled under penalty of law to confer matrimony on homosexuals or lesbians?

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
    Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

  5. The Astronomer says:

    Oops, dumb autospeller, I meant ‘how’ not hours.

  6. Scott W. says:

    After much prayer, and before the “let’s punt on marriage” exhortations begin, let’s remind ourselves of our duty as made explicit by the CDF:

    In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

  7. DisturbedMary says:

    I’m waiting for them to descend on St. Patrick’s and demand the smiling Cardinal’s welcome. But first, they have to parade on Sunday. Get out the speedos guys. Can you imagine the behavior about to be unleashed as the Proud celebrate their sin. St. Peter Damian, pray for us.

  8. Pigeon says:

    Those who have been telling us churches will never be compelled to wed gays will soon be leading the charge against them.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Father, my prayers for you and all priests, who will bear the brunt of this. I pray for you and priests and sems daily to be strong in the face of gross persecution.

  10. DisturbedMary says:

    And will this be enough? Will this be the end of it. Don’t count your on it. The thorn in their side will not be removed by earthly judges. By requiring everyone to celebrate. A week after the Pride parade, reality in the form of conscience, will once again begin to make noise. Conscience imposes its own punishment on the wicked.

  11. drohan says:

    I think the key is mass resistance. They will try to marginalize you, but you don’t have to choose to be marginalized. It is even more important for faithful Catholics to remind our Bishops we don’t agree with this. Do not be afraid to write letters demanding fidelity to the Church, not the ill-conceived law. This goes especially for people like Catholic Relief Services who are already in hock to the feds anyway.

    I guess Wyoming Catholic College is correct not to take Federal money.

    This is on its face evil. But what it is also is cynical to the core. All sodomites want is benefits. If there were no benefits guaranteed by marriage, you’d have no sodomite marriage. Also, Fr Z. is correct. With the falling rates of marriage among opposite sex couples, they needed something to grease the skids to their wallets.

  12. Quaeror says:

    The Church survived the legalization of divorce. In fact, those laws are barely a blip on the Church’s radar. And divorce is something that Christ himself spoke about–and forbid. He had nothing to say about gay people, so the fact that this outrages Christians more than civil divorce laws puzzles me.

    The Church will survive this too. Meanwhile, millions of loving people have a new way to commit to one another and enjoy the protections of that bond. Most of them are not Catholic, and so shouldn’t be subject to Catholic laws anyway. Their freedom to marry civilly is a good thing.

  13. DisturbedMary says:

    Just started reading Randy Engel’s essay on St. Peter Damian’s: Book of Gommorah. This is difficult Church history. I’m afraid good priests today will be caught in the middle of the unfaithful priests on one hand and doughboys on the other. Stay faithful, Fathers. We who have eyes and ears will pray and step up for you.

  14. Elizabeth M says:

    I’m so incredibly sad. If anyone had doubts whether America was turning into the new pagan Rome, their doubts should be put away.

  15. This will go against the Democrats in next year’s election and may end up costing Hillary Clinton the presidency.

    Why? A substantial portion of the electorate was excited about this issue and turned out for the Democrats because of it. The Court has taken the issue off the plate. Great for Republicans. Much of the left wing of the Democratic Party will see Hillary as no different from a Republican and fail to turn out to the polls. Republican strategists are celebrating.

  16. JesusFreak84 says:

    Anyone who’s read “Making Gay Okay” probably already saw this coming =- Or anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear…

  17. Michael H says:

    Our Pastor has warned that the Church’s exemption from paying taxes will most likely be taken away as a result of it not performing same sex marriages. And his ability to sign civil marriage licenses will likewise be taken away, should he not agree to marry all couples who appear before him. Catholics will need to be “married” by a civil authority before having a sacramental wedding in church.

    Are we surprised by this? We shouldn’t be. The statists have been bent on destroying the Church since the Roe v Wade decision.

  18. capchoirgirl says:

    I am too, Elizabeth. I had, like Fr. Z, hoped for a different outcome. “There was never much hope; only a fool’s hope,” but still. I had it.

  19. vandalia says:

    A very interesting opinion.

    Justice Kennedy just outlined the manner in which Roe v Wade may be overturned by the Supreme Court. The core of the opinion is that evolving standards (and by extension scientific evidence) may result in a radical overhaul of core Constitutional principles.

    Now re-read Kennedy’s opinion keeping in mind what I just wrote.

    There may well come a day when the ultra-liberals deeply regret this opinion.

    [Intersting. I doubt it… but interesting.]

  20. eborgman says:

    It will soon be like the 1st Century AD for Catholics. I hope the Church will be as true to the faith as the early Church was and won’t be accommodating to the secular/pagan culture.

  21. eben says:

    I can’t parse through the implications with any degree of clarity.

    I suppose……if the Church is forced to make a choice, its only option may be to stop administering the Sacrament of Marriage in the US altogether? So…..Roman Catholic couples who wish to receive the Sacrament would need travel to…..Rome to get married.

    Answer: Buy Airline stocks on the next dip.

  22. chantgirl says:

    Quaeror- They aren’t actually able to marry. It’s not good for society for citizens to be forced to lie to acknowledge something that doesn’t exist. It’s not good for society for school children to be forced to learn that harmful, deviant sex is equal to natural, procreative sex. It’s not good for society for children to be forced to grow up without a mother or father (no child who has been brainwashed or abused would ever choose to grow up without a mom and dad). It’s not good for poor women to become “wombs for hire” so that two men can have a baby, or for men to become simply sperm donors for two women to have a baby. A society which doesn’t acknowledge natural law is on its way to tyranny.

  23. Scott W. says:

    I’m so incredibly sad. If anyone had doubts whether America was turning into the new pagan Rome, their doubts should be put away

    Indeed. It was implicitly a declaration: “We have no god but Caesar”.

  24. Legisperitus says:

    Quaeror: You make a good point. But divorce and adulterous remarriage is different for a couple of reasons. First, unless you know the personal history of a remarried couple, the appearance of it is the same as a proper marriage. It doesn’t confuse children. Same-sex “marriage” looks nothing like a marriage and will definitely confuse kids.

    Second, as bad is adultery is, the conjugal act itself is not unnatural. Sodomy is one of the four sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance, and now we are being told to speak of it as if it were a sacrament. I get the feeling God will have His vengeance somehow, and I’m not optimistic that the scenario will include the survival of our nation.

  25. FloridaJoan says:

    in the words of St Augustine ” Let us pray, and, like sowers sowing their seed, let us not faint; the time when we shall reap is not far distant .”

    pax et bonum

  26. chantgirl says:

    Sorry, that’s * not* been brainwashed.

  27. Supertradmum says:

    People will lose jobs over this–like Catholics being fired in the Soviet Union in the old days for standing up and going to Church on Sunday.

    I do not think some Catholics understand how our lives will be changed forever. Many millions of souls will be lost through compromise and falling into these sins now legal.

    Time to mourn, pray, fast for ourselves and others. We Catholics are no longer protected by the laws of this land.

  28. iPadre says:

    Thanks to so many of our bishops and priests who have remained silent for so many years. It will be on their heads. And those who have actively supported SS marriage, we all know who they are. There is a just judge.

  29. Supertradmum says:

    PS Silence from the Cardinals and bishops in America? Silence? They should have been ready for this with honorable and grave statements.

  30. MarkJ says:

    In the Traditional Roman calendar, today is the feast is St. Pelagius, who was captured by the moorish caliph, and was martyred when he would neither submit to the homosexual advances of the caliph, nor convert to Islam. What an appropriate saint for today’s disturbing news on both fronts…

  31. Nun2OCDS says:

    Just as January 22nd is a Day of Prayer, so too, June 26th should be a Day of Prayer and Penance. May God have mercy on our country.

  32. frahobbit says:

    to the Astronomer: hours long is right. It will happen very fast.

  33. robtbrown says:

    Queror says,

    The Church survived the legalization of divorce. In fact, those laws are barely a blip on the Church’s radar. And divorce is something that Christ himself spoke about–and forbid. He had nothing to say about gay people, so the fact that this outrages Christians more than civil divorce laws puzzles me.

    Prohibition of homosexuality is found in the Old Law, which Christ Himself said he did not come to destroy.

    BTW, He also said nothing about bestiality.

    The Church will survive this too. Meanwhile, millions of loving people have a new way to commit to one another and enjoy the protections of that bond. Most of them are not Catholic, and so shouldn’t be subject to Catholic laws anyway. Their freedom to marry civilly is a good thing.

    According to what you say, you would also think it’s a good thing that “loving people” no have a new way to commit to their dog . . . or a corpse.

    Catholic laws on marriage are based on the natural law. They’re not just arbitrary rules.

  34. acardnal says:

    Looks like I can marry my goldfish now.

  35. Dennis Martin says:


    It’s not a question of the Church surviving. She will. For a law student you surprisingly like to employ straw man arguments.

    It’s not about survival. It’s about the persecution under which the Church will survive.

    You ought to think carefully before you blithely greet persecution of your fellow Catholics.

    But that’s secondary. Others have already pointed out that “same sex marriage” is a lie. Lies are never good. Compelling people to celebrate a lie (which is what will happen next, as others have pointed out upthread) is sheer evil.

    That you acclaim this lie as in some sense good tells me a good bit about how you reason, morally.

  36. TNCath says:

    “Our Fathers chained in prisons dark…”

    Get ready. It’s not going to be pretty.

  37. Dennis Martin says:

    Drohan wrote:
    “All sodomites want is benefits. ”

    Actually that is incorrect and very misleading. What those afflicted with same-sex attraction (we don’t need to use inflammatory language) want is full and complete approval of the normalness of same-sex attraction. What they want is for those of us who believe it is a grave disorder and, as a disorder, not freely chosen (but as an act it is chosen) to proclaim it is ordered and natural, not a disorder.

    We do not help our cause by reducing the campaign for same-sex “marriage” to a desire for benefits. Please, the matter is serious. It will cost many people much. This is not the time for exaggerated, false assertions, for dismissing those who oppose us as merely venal. That’s way too easy a way to AVOID the real issue.

  38. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    ….” and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.”

  39. vox borealis says:

    So I guess that before, when the DOMA was overturned by this same supreme court and the court ruled that the federal government had no business telling states how to define marriage, that was pretty much untrue.

    The whole “process” has been a rig job for years now.

  40. Bosco says:

    Speaking of Judgements:

    “And now I heard another voice from heaven say, Come out of her, my people, that you may not be involved in her guilt, nor share the plagues that fall upon her…and all her plagues shall come upon her in one day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned to the ground; such power has the God who is her judge. How they will weep over her and beat their breasts, those kings of the earth who once lived in dalliance and took their pleasures with her, as they see the smoke rise where she burns! Standing at a distance, for fear of sharing her punishment, they will cry out, Alas, Babylon the great, alas, Babylon the strong, in one brief hour judgement has come upon thee!” Rev. 18:4, 8-10

    Get those Catholic go-bags packed!

  41. templariidvm says:

    As has been said, prayer is absolutely needed, but we also need concrete action. We must proclaim our faith, live our faith and VOTE our faith. Remember that 20 years ago this would have been absolutely unthinkable. Bell-bottoms were thought the height of fashion as well, if I recall correctly. Do not keep quiet. We must live our faiths to combat the insidious evil that seeks to ensnare the world.

  42. Scott W. says:

    The are no Divorcé Pride Parades. Divorce is still mingled with an appropriate sense of shame. Not so with the homosexualists. But the inherent shamefulness of it can not be wiped away with legal fictions. This is why persecution is certain. There is no peace of soul for those doing evil, but instead of repenting, they will assume that it is others responsible for their lack of peace and will destroy all signs of contradiction.

  43. yatzer says:

    How does one get ready for this? It’s a real question. I have seen some sort of meltdown coming for decades and am still not ready. Meanwhile another section of the family is celebrating giddily.

  44. Time for the Church to get out of the legal (as in civil) business. Said it a long time ago. This just confirms the fact that when you lie with dogs, you do get fleas.

    Anyone who thinks the legal wrangling will NOT start to force the Church to perform same sex ‘marriages’ under equal access and non-discrimination clauses is living in a fool’s paradise. And anyone who thinks a wayward or ‘progressive’ deacon or priest will not be happy to be seen as being ‘with it’ and happily stand in His Sanctuary and witness such hasn’t been paying attention. And his bishop will remain silent, lest the furies of Hell descend on the diocesan offices.

    If you want to know what happens to civilizations who descend into a mushy, emotion-driven, emasculated shell of what they started out as really needs to study the causes and pressures behind the fall of every great civilization. It’s legal to kill humans before they’re born, becoming legal to kill them when their ‘quality of life’ (ie usefulness to the state) is judged suboptimal, ‘marry’ whomever you have an affectional preference for, and divorce at will your partner when you’re finished with them for someone else to satisfy your urges. And, oh, by the way, you have to finance their lifestyle by the confiscation under the police and war powers of the fruits of your labors.

    The US (I really don’t care what the rest of the world is doing…) is no different.

    Nah, there’s no slippery slope. We slid down that hill a long time ago.


    1. After fully neutering/bankrupting the Church through legal means, if the Church stays in the ‘agent of the state’ business of handling both the legal and sacramental aspects of marriage, using the ‘child abuse’ (ie homosexual abuse of teenagers) canard, the next threat will be removing the tax exempt status of the Church, fully taxing the property holdings and forcing our schools to hew to the ‘new realities’ of modern (ha!) civilization or loose the accreditation they need to have so our children will be eligible to advance in their education.

    2. Lowering (or eliminating) the age of consent (North American Man-Boy Love Ass’n anyone? One of the founders was a priest.) and ‘mainstreaming’ recruitment and decriminalizing same of youngsters.

    3. Jailing or threatening such for preaching against the ‘societal norms’ through expansion of ‘hate speech’ laws.

    4. Increased scrutiny by the tax/confiscation authorities for those who speak out against moral injustice.

    Just as a start. Feel free to disagree. And I’d hope to be proven wrong. But, with the linguistic and logical gymnastics that the latest ‘decisions’ have evidenced…I’m pretty sanguine about the depths to which this society is descending. It may be beyond redemption at this point. Hope I’m wrong.

  45. oldconvert says:

    What will happen next, judging by past experience, is that Catholic priests will be specifically targeted by gay couples DEMANDING to be married in a Catholic Church, with full ceremony, , and probably that the priest will be ordered to produce a wedding homily full of slogans promoting gay marriage.

  46. MarkJ says:

    This is a direct frontal assault against the sacred spousal relationship of Christ and His Church.

  47. Supertradmum says:

    And, now that there is this precedent, a gay couple can knock on the rectory door and demand a wedding in a church. The priest will say “no”, and be fined, or put in prison if the fines cannot be paid, church doors will be shut and the Church will go underground as in other places.

    I was called a Jeremiah for saying these things years ago, but one could see it coming. I have asked people to form communities which would protect priests, bishops, themselves, their children…people simply have been in denial about what is coming.

  48. Sonshine135 says:

    I guess we really found out today what was meant by the phrase, “words have no meaning”.
    Not in this country anymore!
    With this being the case, it is hard to imagine how the courts would not allow for trouples and incestuous marriages. What defense could be waged?

    It doesn’t take a large leap of logic either to see that Catholics in particular will be labeled as a “hate group” in coming years. St. Thomas More – pray for us. Lord Jesus come quickly.

  49. Imrahil says:

    I don’t know if that thought is sinful; if so, I do not assent to it; but as getting a thought is never a sin in any case:

    if it is only prison and only the death penalty, I’ll be glad enough.

    I am ready to die for our Lord. If it really does come to “offer incense to Ceasar [or likewise clear act of apostasy] or place your head under the guillotine”, there we go. Anytime. Only let it be over quick.

    I tremble at the question whether I really, that is in any situation, shall be ready to live for Him, also.

    That said, the CDF seems to have made a neat distinction, in the quote from above.

    One must
    [ a)] refrain from any kind of formal cooperation [read: in any case whatsoever]
    in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws
    and [ b) ], as far as possible, [also] from material cooperation on the level of their application.
    In this area,
    [ c) ] everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection [read: in any case whatsoever].

    Formal cooperation: always impossible!
    Conscientious objection: always possible!
    Material cooperation: never obligatory; sometimes, ad majora mala vitanda, permissible under protest.

    The question what is formal and what is material is going to become rather important. Would that casuistry had a better name.

    (Why? Because demanding, as a demand, what is in reality just a good but supererogatory work is going to backfire. So, in the Roman persecution, it was doubtlessly in itself a pious act to confess publicly to be a Christian; but it was not what most of people did until being directly questioned, made to sacrifice to Caesar, or something similar. And the way the Church practically managed through the times, and attracted followers, was also because of that latter fact.)

  50. Bosco says:

    You said:

    "He (Christ) had nothing to say about gay people, so the fact that this outrages Christians more than civil divorce laws puzzles me." I respectfully refer you to this:

    "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfil. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished." Matthew 5: 17-18

    Leviticus 18: 22-23 commands:

    "Thou shalt not have commerce with a man as if it had been with a woman; such commerce is abominable. 23 Thou shalt not defile thyself by commerce with a beast; nor shall a woman allow any beast to have commerce with her; it is foully done."

    There are more such condemnations, of course, such as 1 Corinthians 6:10.

  51. Supertradmum says:

    Mr. Boyle,
    Great summary and true…

  52. Pigeon says:

    Quaeror has an interesting point about divorce. Could we have had today without divorce first? No! Memes justifying gay marriage on the basis of ” the bible condemns divorce. Which Christians take part in ask the tone ” abound. Yes, it is hypocritical to accept divorce despite the Bibles’ condemnation and oppose gay marriage for that reason. Thankfully, the Catholic church is consistent. Protestantism, however, is not and bears a good portion of the blame.

  53. pmullane says:

    The Church will survive, but America wont, and probably shouldn’t.

    As an outsider, I would suggest rather then spending years and decades fighting unwinnable fights through corrupt and rotten institutions, why doesnt the less basket-casey people in the less basket-casey states make a serious push for secession? There is no America to save any more.

    Also, it is not a coincidence that these abominable happenings are taking place at a time when the Church is turned in on herself, questioning the truths of marriage even though Christ has made them abundantly clear.

  54. TheDude05 says:

    What’s amazing to me is the hypocracy of Justice Kennedy who in his opinion on DOMA said that according to the Constitution the definition of marriage is in the realm of the states and then in this opinion he says no it’s covered in the Constitution. What a turnaround of opinion. I’ll have to stay off of Facebook for a few days as this travesty is celebrated much like Nero fiddling as Rome burned.

  55. Giuseppe says:


    Marriage of divorced people has been legal for decades, yet I don’t know of a single Roman Catholic priest who has been forced to marry a divorced couple. Sure, people can ask and demand, but (writing from my ‘fool’s paradise) I just cannot imagine any circumstance where a church would be forced to marry a divorced person, let alone 2 men. Orthodox rabbis have never been forced to perform an interfaith marriage – will they be forced to marry 2 non-Jewish men?

    I think catastrophizing is an appropriate response to bad news, but I think the churches-will-be- forced- to-perform-gay-marriage idea distracts from the true and immediate risk to the church, namely the provision of benefits to same-sex couples who are employed by churches, church organizations, church affiliated schools, etc. That is the true and imminent worry. 2 guys marrying in a church is a red herring. Plus, that’s what UCC and Unitarian ‘churches’ are for.


  56. Pigeon says:

    Ask the tone is autocorrect for all the time

  57. Supertradmum says:

    pmullane, secession with two states? I think there are only two states with DOMA of MPA laws intact.

  58. magistercaesar says:

    For the first time in my life, I logged on Facebook, saw the news, and actually felt fear. Fear for myself, my family, and my friends. I just spent the last two years of college trying to learn as much as I can of the faith, and now we are called more than ever to defend it. Pray for my generation of practicing Catholics as we strive to learn to more articulate our faith in this world. The gates of Hell shall never prevail!

  59. Mike H says:

    Be not deceived, God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption.
    Galatians 6:7-8

  60. Supertradmum says:

    magistercaesar, St. John Paul II, “Do not be afraid!” Prayers.

  61. pmullane says:

    Supertradmum – why not?

  62. Imrahil says:

    Dear Pigeon, while what you say is true in a “practically-speaking” way,

    still the Church did always know what actually used to be called divorce (though in these days we better refer to it as “separation from table and bed”). If people then violate the little-thought-of but present natural, and the very much present sacramental, condition of indissolubility because their sexual desires are not saturated, that is a sin, but (let’s face it) it is somewhat to be expected. One can even argue that the state had better take an official note of it (though he shouldn’t have given it acceptance). There’s some understandable slippery slope from “separation from table and bed” to “no-fault divorce as often as you wish, with remarriages”.

    Gay marriage, in this theoretical sense, is a totally different thing, because it is unnatural.

    (In fact, I think the “divorcers” played a lesser part than those who championed a purely man-made marriage ban as “natural law” and explicitly said so, giving the argument a very bad name.)

  63. george says:

    Succession? That’s been tried and failed. And it seems they are trying to erase the memory of the prior attempt, most explicitly just this week.

    I do, however, think that maybe it is time to try again.

  64. Supertradmum said:
    “I was called a Jeremiah for saying these things years ago, but one could see it coming. I have asked people to form communities which would protect priests, bishops, themselves, their children…people simply have been in denial about what is coming.”

    People are too busy posting cute photos on Facebook, protesting that a 150-year-old flag is displayed, and watching reality TV (bread and circuses, anyone) to think further ahead than tonight’s meal.

    There are lots of ‘shiny baubles’ to divert attention while the real work of deconstructing this society are going on behind the scenes with nary a dissenting view thoughtfully considered by the guardians (?) of information.

    All in the name of diversity and inclusiveness, you understand. You WILL be assimilated (or marginalized and punished if you dare dispute).

    The big problem, I see, is that in planning for small communities which protect our spiritual fathers…telling which ones are faithful to HIS gospel (rather than the one that society has interpreted as being correct) and worthy of protection will be almost impossible. I can name 4 or 5 who I’d stand in front of to take that bullet. The rest, like the Judases they are, will ‘go along to get along’.

  65. monknoah says:

    Religious freedom is probably easier to defend today than it was yesterday, because Justice Kennedy wrote the following in his majority opinion released this morning.

    Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned. The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths, and to their own deep aspirations to continue the family structure they have long revered.

  66. Supertradmum says:

    We are not to be afraid as God is calling us to be saints and He will give us the strength. If we look at our puny selves, we shall be afraid, but if we look at God, we shall not be afraid. Look at the Cross. If I look at myself, I shall only see my weaknesses. If I look at God, I see His power. He always gives us enough grace for the moment.

    Mr. Boyle, again, good comment…

  67. Pingback: U. S. Supreme Court Legalizes So-Called Same-Sex Marriage

  68. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    It is noon on Friday as I write. How long until a bishop or group of bishops comment? I am especially eager to hear from my own archbishop, Cardinal O’Malley.

  69. Gregg the Obscure says:

    It was 12 years ago today that the same court (with a few personnel changes since) invented the constitutional right to sodomy, invalidating felony laws that had been in place for centuries. That was a tragedy. Roe v. Wade was a tragedy. Easy divorce, social acceptance of bastardy and of fornication were tragedies. Those, though, did not attempt to require people to redefine a fundamental characteristic of humanity like this does. No court can make a crime family equivalent to a real family. No alleged same-sex marriage is valid.

  70. Woody79 says:

    I weep for my children and grandchildren.

  71. Imrahil says:

    One other comment if you suffer it:

    bring back triumphalist liturgy!

    Yes, especially in this time!

    I was thinking about that in face of the “Facebook celebration” thing that were here mentioned.

    We’re men. Grace builds on nature. We need the feeling of having a victory to celebrate, from time to time, if we don’t want to grow uncapable of action due to material (even if not formal) despair.

  72. mysticalrose says:

    Wow, it’s just bad news after bad news . . . are there no victories? Welcome to the wrath of God.

  73. Supertradmum says:

    mysticalrose, the victories will be in the sufferings of those who resist the lies of the evil one.

  74. Pcito says:

    J.R.R. Tolkien: “Actually, I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic, so that I do not expect ‘history’ to be anything but a ‘long defeat’ – though it contains (and in a legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or glimpses of final victory.”

  75. Dennis Martin says:

    Divorce did not bring this about. Something underlies both divorce and the “normalizing” of homosexuality: the separation of sexuality from procreation, the Pill. I’m weary of explaining the connection again. But embracing contraception (or remaining silent while focusing on abortion) was the fundamental mistake the bishops in the West made.

    In the tattered remnants of a culture, at the bottom of the descent into chaos and Lies, the natural meaning of sexuality will reemerge. The violence, chaos, persecution, the bottoming out will finally purge all the distracting “baubles” mentioned above.

    But that’s the only way out. Through the fire. Nothing else can break through the Lie.

    Meanwhile, in Africa and many other areas of the world, people have never lost sight of the natural meaning of sexuality. The Christians there have a different set of trials to face. But they will be the Church’s anchor on this matter for the foreseeable future.

  76. O. Possum says:

    For those concerned, the USCCB did release a statement. I found it to be truth filled and comforting and not the wishy washy mercy-babble I’ve come to expect. :)

  77. lmgilbert says:

    With this I hope that Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and Alito resign in protest. The court has failed to defend us from the worst and a strong Catholic presence on the court is only something that will be held against the Church down the centuries, like Galileo, the Inquisition, Crusades and the recent “pedophilia” scandals.

    There are no further arguments that can be made except the inevitable judgments of God. We are a nation that has outsmarted itself and will go down in history as an example greatly to be avoided. “Let us not be like the Americans! Remember what happened to them. . .”

    All this has happened because we have abandoned the constitution and submitted to judicial tyranny, beginning with Roe vs. Wade. If we cannot govern ourselves through our state legislatures, but must submit to the rule of judges, how are we a democratic republic any longer?

    Meanwhile, our soldiers, sworn to defend the Constitution are fighting in the Middle East!

  78. yatzer says:

    Supertradmum said: I was called a Jeremiah for saying these things years ago, but one could see it coming.

    I was called an overemotional woman with rigid, Old Church views. Mmmm, not really; I was just saying where I thought things were going and I have no memory of “old Church”, being a convert and all. Right now I feel like Cassandra, saying the truth but not being believed.

  79. Supertradmum says:

    O.Possum, am on the USCCB website and do not see a statement dated today. Link please.

  80. Supertradmum says:

    ok just came up..I was there too early for the update which just came in.

  81. O. Possum says:


    The USCCB website has a link but it seems to be broken. Scroll down in this article to see what Bishop Kurtz has to say on behalf of the USCCB.

  82. Geoffrey says:

    St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, pray for us!

  83. rhhenry says:


    The quote you provide from Justice Kennedy actually spooked me, for he mentions only advocacy and teaching, not practice (or refraining from practices). Am I parsing his words too closely?

  84. AvantiBev says:

    Father Z wrote; “Who wins? Not society. Perhaps divorce lawyers.”
    I have worked for the past 20 years for lawyers in the field of – ahem – “family” law. They actually are of a mixed bag on this; some salivating over how lucrative this new crop of quarreling couples will be; others dismayed at the tangle of our current IL Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and the dissolution of gay unions.

    As an actress, I have warned my gay friends for over 5 years that we heterosexuals have so screwed up the laws governing matrimonial dissolutions, they will not like what they are served up by the Courts come any divorce for their gay marriage. A painting, a 401K , a sports car are held or distributed differently by mere roommates splitting up, than by a court ruling on a married couple divorcing.

    But the previous comments on what we heterosexuals have wrought by our own behavior in this Sexual Revolt are correct. Hooking up; shacking up; serial monogamy; infidelity; multiple marriages with multiple divorces all paved the way for marriage = “feelings” and thus being regarded as a totally subjective and personal creature we can shape to our ever-changing desires.

  85. PostCatholic says:

    I’ve found this post and each and every of the 72 comments preceding this one to be a good way learning what the Catholic church and its ardent adherents think of the new settled law of the land, and why. Thank you.

  86. LOTH says:

    I have yet to see this word here: excommunication.
    Justice Kennedy can no longer remain a Catholic in good standing.

  87. LOTH says:

    I guess I forgot Justice Sotomayor.

    My sense of being is wounded today and my faculties are weakened.

  88. Jason Keener says:

    I’m becoming more convinced by the day that this Republic has already reached or is fast approaching the point of no return. When you combine gross immorality (abortion, pornography, homosexual “marriage”), rampant government abuse from all three branches, out of control debt, and the threat of radical Islam, the future looks very bleak indeed. I was hoping to have at least a week to recover from yesterday’s bizarre Obamacare (aka Robertscare) ruling before having this gay “marriage” bomb dropped on us, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

  89. kimberley jean says:

    Don’t blame the Justices. It never should have gotten to the Court in the first place. We the people allowed the decadence to grow and we the people blew it.

  90. jonguz says:

    Intrate per angustam portam: quia lata porta, et spatiosa via est, quæ ducit ad perditionem, et multi sunt qui intrant per eam. Quam angusta porta, et arcta via est, quæ ducit ad vitam: et pauci sunt, qui inveniunt eam!

    Prayers for strength for all of you.
    Prayers that God may have mercy on His faithful.

  91. Imrahil says:

    Dear PostCatholic,

    1. I guess you didn’t need to read comments first to know that to a Catholic, a positive law that is opposed to natural law has zero claim to obedience. Compliance in the face of armed power may be a detailed and difficult question, but obedience in conscience? Never!

    2. Even when we consider the positive law merely as such, I used to be thinking that the [in the United States] Constitution and the legislative powers of Congress and President (by non-use of the Veto power and countersignature), and state legislatures, make up that one (in other democratic legislations it’s similar). A misjudgment of the Supreme Court may, yes, again have all the “force” in its favor, but that, even considering merely the positive-law area, does not change its being a misjudgment, and does not make it law.

    If Catholics happen the be the only ones that uphold that little independence of mind instead of bowing down to “law is what the responsible judge says it is”, I consider that a compliment to us.

  92. Imrahil says:

    (As to no. 2: Note that my concept of law is, naturally, utterly “civil law” where for all the value of standing precedent which is known there too, the basic principle still is “a decision of court is just as good as the arguments it is grounded upon”.)

  93. LarryW2LJ says:

    Besides the moral implications – that the courts feel that the expressed will of the people, as indicated in the voting booths, means absolutely nothing is mind boggling. The United States of America has become a tyrannical society and governs at the whims of the Media and the Left.. And in my wildest dreams, I never thought those words or that thought would ever come out of me.

  94. departing contestant says:

    “Do not abandon yourselves to despair, we are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song” JPII

    Our need now is to pray

    Let us pray…

    Grant unto thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that She, being gathered together by the Holy Ghost, may be in no wise troubled by attack from her foes. O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication unto Thee,and turn away the scourges of Thine anger which we deserve for our sins. Almighty and Everlasting God, in whose Hand are the power and the government of every realm: look down upon and help the Christian people that the heathen nations who trust in the fierceness of their own might may be crushed by the power of thine Arm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

  95. Spade says:

    Good link on the religious freedom aspects. As in, the majority glossed over them and the dissents are rather worried about that.

    From Robert’s dissent:
    “Today’s decision, for example, creates serious questions about religious liberty. Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority— actually spelled out in the Constitution. Amdt. 1. …

    The majority’s decision imposing same sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to “advocate” and “teach” their views of marriage. Ante, at 27. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to “exercise” religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses.”

  96. Supertradmum says:

    America is now under the dominance of the elite, a false meritocracy, and pushing the politics of fear

  97. Lori Pieper says:

    Excellent statement by Abp Kurz.

    There are some very dark days ahead for the Church and faithful Catholics. We reed to pray, persevere in the faith and not be intimidated. It looks like God has given this country up to its sins; we have to travel a lot farther along the path to our destruction — perhaps even hit bottom — before we repent. And then we will have to pick up the pieces of civilization and start over as the lamented Cardinal George has said.

    And it is going to happen, you know. Society regularly reverses course. Think of the Regency and the Victorian era, or the “flapper” era and the more sober times that followed in the Depression and WWII. This time the pool we are drowning in is vastly wider and deeper than ever before, and only divine grace can help us to shore. All this while we are offering scarcely any resistance to the forces, with Islam terrorism, front and center, that are seeking to destroy us. Pray indeed!

    It will do you heart good as well to read the scathing dissents of Justices Roberts and Scalia particularly. There the resistance is alive and well, at least as far as the rule of law is concerned. They will be remembered long after Justice Kennedy and the majority’s ill-considered waste of paper has been forgotten.

  98. O. Possum says:

    Spade, thanks for the link. I expect we have about 87 seconds until they start the assault on individual churches for not performing SSM.

  99. AnthonyJ says:

    I would support secession. I believe the current push to ban every symbol of the Confederacy is due to the federal government fearing a new push for a new secession by the conservative states.

  100. ScottW:

    I’m very grateful for the CDF quote you provided. But in order to make use of it, I really need a citation; I’d be even more grateful if you could provide that, if possible.

  101. Supertradmum says:

    Lori Pieper, sadly the author you quoted misses the point…this is not about fashion or a few years of evil powers assailing the last vestiges of Christendom, but the all-out assault on the Church and God which has been prophesied for many long years unless we all repented and said the rosary faithfully, which most have not.

    No comparisons with these times of the fall of Western Civilization and the final battles of evil against God’s Kingdom. To say less is to miss the signs of the times.

  102. pjthom81 says:

    I’m an attorney, and we needn’t merely wait for persecution. The writing has been on the wall on this matter since 2012 at least given the opinion polls and the fact that my profession leans much further to the left than the population as a whole. Given this dynamic, the courts, even if staffed by Republican appointees will go as far left as popular opinion will allow them…at least on social issues. To me this matter seems to pose a challenge similar to that of the separation of Church and State in France in 1905…it will hurt, but maybe we can affect how much.

    To that end I can see Catholics going one of two ways:
    (1) Push for more lasting marriages. If the homosexuals want marriage then make it as close to the 1950’s definition as is possible. Made for family stability, a sacred bond, and not easy to make and break easily.

    (2) Not (1). Go libertarian, acknowledge that marriage is gone as we understood it and that the…dare we say…marriage of Church and State on recognizing marriages is irreparable. Therefore, push for abolition of marriage inside a state, leaving that instead for religious congregations to determine, and instead issuing a “Civil Documentation of Union” for all, one that is nondiscriminatory but that would be no more important to a marriage than a joint bank account. Another thing to sign up for. The law permitting this would have to be drafted carefully in order to not upset any laws against, say, polygamy (although according to the Chief Justice we may not have long on that anyhow.)

    Any thoughts? I’d love to hear what others might think.

    Lastly, before we all give way to despair, I would point out that our case on abortion is making progress, that more restrictions have been made on that since 2010 than in the entire period from 1974-2010, and that the raw number of US abortions, already at a low in 2010 from the time that they started counting these things in 1974, has declined a further 15% since 2010. Millenials are more likely to be pro-life than the preceeding few earlier generations. There has been a cultural shift, but it took 40 years. Today, as opposed to 1974, the pro-abortion lobby is tepid, but the pro-life cause is fervent. All of this has happened during the administration of the most powerful liberal President since LBJ. Todays decision may yet prove to work out in the same way….seemingly a final blow, but over time proving to be a high water mark for its advocates forces.

  103. LOTH:

    As dreadful as this ruling is, and as disappointed as I am, especially, in two Catholics joining themselves to it, I don’t think it is grounds for excommunication. (I say that as no particular expert in canon law, fwiw.)

    Why do I say that? Because both Kennedy and Sotomayor will surely say, if pressed, that they ruled as they did because of what they believe existing civil law — i.e., the Constitution, subject to precedent — called for this result. I think they’re terribly wrong in their reading of the Constitution; but what about the Catholic Faith requires a Catholic to read the law in certain ways? At most you could say that they were bound to recuse themselves, or even resign, because their duty to uphold the law conflicted with their duty to their Faith.

  104. rhhenry says:

    Fr. Fox,

    I found the CDF document through the Vatican website at

    I apologize for not knowing how to shorten / hide the full link.

  105. ChrisRawlings says:

    Secession? Are you kidding me? A poll just yesterday showed only 41 percent of TEXANS oppose gay marriage, and a whopping two-thirds of voters aged 18 to 29 supporting it. Which “conservative” states exactly do you think would seceed, over this issue, no less?

    The whole country has been consumed by this demonic fever and the solution is not secession. The solution is a bold and passionate witness of the gospel, of truth, in our communities, parishes, and most of all our families and homes.

  106. Supertradmum says:

    pjthom81, with 73% of Millennials supporting ssm, (Pew research online), I do not see how your outcome could be realistic. Also, the majority of politicians see ssm as a civil liberties issue, as in all minority civil rights. In the EU, religious marriages alone are illegal, not recognized without civil unions. I assume the same law applies here. In other words, Catholic marriage alone, as in recusant times in England, would not be recognized as marriage. I wrote about this in 2013 and 2014, as the nation-states purposefully took marriage out of the hands of the Church and put it into the hands of the States, in order to undermine religious marriages, i.e. sacramental marriages. As this is a long legal precedent, I can see no way in which religious marriages alone would be recognized. I assume that you are pushing legally for no marriage certification even by the State-how does that help married people tax wise and wills, etc.

    There can never be, since the Enlightenment, separation of civil and religious marriage contracts. Too many years of history of legal opinion on this in the West.

    As to making the bond stronger, no fault divorce laws are so popular, this will never happen either. There would not be enough public support for such changes. The Protestant denominations already support divorce, wholeheartedly, except for a few, small groupings.

    Sorry, but I cannot see any change. And being realistic is not the same as despair. Despair is giving up on God, but God has a right to punish, cleanse, sanctify all people, including His Own through very hard times.

  107. Legisperitus says:

    I think our country just Obergefell a precipice.

  108. RhHenry:

    No worries. Thank you for the link.

  109. ChrisRawlings says:

    It was St. Josemaria Escriva, whose feast we celebrate today, that said, “these world crises are the crises of saints.”

  110. Supertradmum wrote:

    “Father, my prayers for you and all priests, who will bear the brunt of this. I pray for you and priests and sems daily to be strong in the face of gross persecution.”

    Many thanks for the prayers and charity; but I must disagree with you.

    It will not be priests who will “bear the brunt” of this. I may be wrong, of course, but I firmly believe we won’t get hit that hard. I already pay taxes; so removing the tax-exemption won’t hurt me it will hurt the parishioners who donate the money. Yes, they may come and try to make me perform a same-sex marriage, but the probable punishment for that will be to revoke my license to perform marriages (with civil effect); I’ll go right along as a sacred witness to sacramental marriages, and do all the other things a priest does.

    With the High Court’s blessing, all of us are now labeled bigots. That’s going to fall on the lay faithful the hardest. As long as there’s a remnant, someone will want me to offer Holy Mass and hear confessions — I have a job for life.

    It’s the lay faithful who will bear the brunt. Many, many have no idea just how brutal that brunt will be. How many of us are really ready to be viewed, by our society, as the equivalent of the KKK?

  111. thomas tucker says:

    A couple of thoughts. First, I think it is right to point out that views on abortion are changing. With time, and after seeing the effects, views on this will change too. People will come to see and understand the deleterious effects that this will have on society and will see that their sanitized view of SSM is not the reality. Second, divorce did change the Church. Oh, it still exists and goes about its mission, but the congregations are filled with divorced and remarried Catholics who think nothing of receiving Communion and ignoring Chruch teaching on a multitude of things. Third, we faithful Catholcis need to remember that marriage is a sacrament, and lives our lives shining as devotedlyand lovingly as possible. And since it is a sacrament, the Church should stop witnessing marriages for the State, which has its own concept of marriage.

  112. Suburbanbanshee says:

    pjthom81: You forgot the European solution, where church marriage is separate from civil marriage. That way, priests can’t be forced to celebrate marriages for anybody but Catholics, and so that Catholic marriages are governed only by canon law.

    The nice thing is that this would be unilateral. The bishops just announce that Catholic priests will no longer be agents of civil marriage, and Catholics have to go get civilly married at the courthouse as well as getting church-married in church. Obviously this would be kind of a pain for Catholic couples to have to line up at the courthouse too, but it takes a weapon out of the hand of the baddies who would love to force priests into lawsuits or jail.

  113. gracie says:

    We Americans are practical people. So, aside from the coming persecution over same-sex “marriages”, what will be the next onslaught on marriage coming our way that will be told we must accept? Shouldn’t we be preparing for that also? I mean, now that there is no definition of marriage anymore, what can we expect next?

    My money is on polygamy. After all, polygamy isn’t even against nature, like sodomy is. It’s natural, so why not? What reason – separate from the Christian one (which doesn’t count anymore) can you give for maintaing the laws against polygamy?

    The fact is that there are no secular reasons for prohibiting polygamy. The good of the children? Please. There are cases wending their way through State courts as we speak, arguing that polygamous marriages come under a right to privacy. A federal judge in Utah already has declared that laws against polygamy are unconstitutional; Judge Sotomeyer has pointed out that this is the logical outcome of legalizing same-sex marriages.

    So polygamy will become legal. This means that if your husband/wife show up with their new spouse – ready to move in with you – you have absolutely no say in the matter. No grounds for divorce. Nothing, nada, zero. You can put up with it – and with the children being produced from the new union – or you can leave. Or you can stay and share the chores, as well as your spouse, with the new arrival. Or arrivals. Why leave it at three? Why not four, or five, or six?

  114. Scott W. says:

    I’ve found this post and each and every of the 72 comments preceding this one to be a good way learning what the Catholic church and its ardent adherents think of the new settled law of the land, and why

    Executive summary: This “settled law of the land” might as well be the Fugitve Slave Act or a law requiring everyone to salute me as Emperor Napoleon.

  115. Supertradmum says:

    Fr. Martin Fox,

    I hope and pray you are right. But, if not, I shall, like the good laity in the past, try and get you out of prison.

  116. Pingback: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: SCOTUS Ruling on SSM A ‘Tragic Error’, ‘Profoundly Immoral and Unjust’ | PJ Tatler

  117. Supertradmum:

    Well, thanks!

  118. MWindsor says:

    @ Fr. Martin Fox & Father Z,

    I’ve got a nice little cutout in my house that will make a workable priest hole. With the proper shielding, I can make it immune to both infrared and magnetic/radio scans. Gimme a couple of weeks. I’ll start laying in a stock of unleavened bread in air tight containers. Fear not, we got this licked!

  119. Rachel K says:

    So sad and so inevitable…..
    Sorry, but I think the Supreme Court guys are idiots.

  120. Jenson71 says:

    I’m going to go ahead and predict that the world and America won’t end, priests won’t be jailed, and there won’t be people marrying horses, dogs marrying cats, etc. because of this ruling.

    The Church has survived a lot worse than people of the same sex receiving legal equality of their monogamous union. We’re talking about the institution that kings have tried to shut down, whose popes have been imprisoned, whose priests have been slaughtered, and that has consistently been a bedrock of civilization amidst all the progress or digress of 2000 years of history in every corner of the earth.

    And so has America, and so will it continue.

  121. As far as the question of what’s next, here are some thoughts (worth every penny you pay for them):

    > The broad, cultural drumbeat will be magnified to an explosive degree.

    If you are observant of these things, you may have noticed in the last few years a drip-drip-drip of media images and messages giving a kind of social imprimatur to same-sex “relationships” (really just one; it ain’t about friendship). There’s an Ad Council ad with two skeletal images kissing behind a kind of X-ray screen, and the crowd erupts in joyful surprise to learn — golly! — it’s two women! “Love is love” is the tagline later. Then there’s an ad here and there with various couples, and an inevitable same-sex couple. I saw one recently with two men showing up, carrying a baby. The advertisers can play coy all they want, the message is clear.

    Well, this is all just a little pebble compared to the avalanche coming soon.

    And you can say, oh, it’s just advertising. It’s more than that; it’s the shaping of civic values. And the path forward is quite deliberate: being against homosexual behavior = being racist. It’s all very clear. Imagine having that message beamed at you from all sides, all the time, everywhere…

    > Don’t be surprised by an increase in homosexual behavior.

    The party line is that sexual orientation is fixed, period. While I’m not a scientist, what I’ve read over the years suggests a much more complicated picture. For some people, sexual attraction is probably fixed; but not for all. The “fixed” theory served an agenda; before very long, it won’t be needed anymore, so expect it to drop down the memory hole.

    If I’m right, and there are people who are more fluid, then expect more people to be fluid in the same-sex direction. Lots of reasons, but the result is the same.

    > The next move in the legal arena won’t necessarily be linear.

    Logically, the next move probably ought to be polygamy or incestuous marriages. The mess the courts have made of the law in this area invite that next step. But why expect any of this to proceed logically? It’s about advocacy, and it’s clear that it isn’t these groups who have powerful advocates. It’s the so called “transgender community.”

    The logic of where we’re headed is for government to mandate that who is a woman or a man is determined by self-declaration, more or less. That’s already happening, step-by-step.

    > Every organization that owns any sort of reception hall or venue had better be on guard. Wait and see who starts seeking to have wedding receptions in your hall.

  122. Here in Tennessee–one of the 4 states whose anti-SSM statutes were specifically invalidated in this decision–a prevalent view is that this is more about religion than about sex. A bill has been introduced in the Tennessee legislature that would prohibit a clergyman being required to perform a same-sex marriage, and would prohibit lawsuits against him for refusing to do so. I don’t know whether whether this particular bill passes legal muster, but some such bill is likely to pass in a legislature where conservative Republications hold (considerably) more than a 2/3 majority in both houses.

  123. MWindsor says:

    @pjthom81 – My wife is Polish. By that, I mean she lived under communism and her family lived under both Nazi and Soviet occupation. My mother-in-law was a Solidarity member and my wife knows the smell of tear gas first hand.

    The Polish government and Church reached an agreement in the 50’s. People in Poland had to get a marriage license and married by the state, and then get the same from the Church. Everyone in Poland during the communist era had to get married twice to make it work.

    This idea follows your libertarian line, I know, but think of it from my wife’s point of view. The United States of America, the country that her people looked up to as a beacon of liberty during the darkest moments of the last half of the 20th century, has now taken a gigantic step backward into the old Soviet days. Why should we dance backwards?

    Her quote: “I escaped communism in Poland only to be forced to embrace socialism in America. During the war, my grandmother said there was a saying – ‘The world is so big, but there’s nowhere to hide.’ That’s how I feel here now.”

    Stalin said, “Fitting communism onto Poland is like putting a saddle on a cow”. I think fitting socialism on America will work just about as well. I don’t see your libertarian option really working in the long-term, unless something else changes here in a hurry.

  124. PostCatholic says:


    I came to read the range of reaction from traditionalist Catholics. I found it instructive. I don’t wish to enter the debate.

  125. Matthew says:

    Fantastic! Now perhaps my bishop, who has remained silent during this, can finally take the husband he so wants. He has been ogling and fondling his staff for years and even paying hush money.

  126. Bosco says:

    Dear Father Fox,

    It will not be priests who will “bear the brunt” of this. I may be wrong, of course, but I firmly believe we won’t get hit that hard.

    Here in Ireland it is not expected that priests will get hit hard either but that is because most of them were not in the boxing ring when the fight was being contested.

    There will perhaps be a problem with all the littlest of your parishioners who attend public schools and who will get this same sex marriage pounded into their skulls. Here in Ireland it cannot be condemned now in parochial or public schools following our Marriage Equality Referendum last month.

    As a priest, I would also expect you would bear the brunt insofar as this represents an extraordinarily heightened danger for the salvation of the souls in your care and how they must be catechized.

    Perhaps the party who sells you your altar wines, candles, books, vestments, etc. will be discovered to have a prejudice against homosexuals and run out of business. The permutations can be direct and endless.

  127. Sconnius says:

    My parish priest is “on loan” to us from his diocese in India, and I (renting out an office space in his basement) usually have lunch with him. We talked about this for a good long while, and he is prepared to stand against it. I joked that our new house does have a space that may make a good hiding hole, an he laughed. Then he asked me about it’s size and dryness.

  128. MWindsor says:

    “I found it instructive. I don’t wish to enter the debate.”

    Excellent news!

  129. Quaeror says:

    For someone so afraid of being silenced for his views, MWindsor, y0u seem remarkably disinclined to engage in dialogue with others, even if they are respectful.

  130. Bosco says:

    Father Z.,

    I’m starting to think that “Your comment is awaiting moderation” is part of my Com-Box name. Joking.

  131. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    I think normalcy may end up being the worst thing that could happen to the gay rights/same-sex marriage movement.

    Go to YouTube and search for the video, “Lesbian Relationships – MGTOW” by the user Sandman (I am not a supporter of his or the “Men Going Their Own Way” movement.) Based on his experiences interacting with gays and lesbians in Toronto, Sandman shows how the growing acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage by heterosexuals destroyed what many gays and lesbians loved about gay culture (i.e. the gay pride parades and gay bars, etc.) and their radical movement. Looking for new markets to cater to, big corporations now sponsor gay pride events, gay establishments are now heavily patronized by straights as well, and lesbians find themselves being besieged by heterosexual couples looking for threesomes.

    I wouldn’t despair too much, remembering that in the context of history, fads and bad ideas can last for decades and even longer. Indeed, it took a couple of centuries for the early Church to defeat the Arian heresy, which won a lot of support during its heyday.

  132. Jenson71 says:

    Henry Edwards, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits laws that burden a religious practice unless there is a compelling interest and does not specifically target a particular religion.

    Is anyone suggesting that there is a compelling interest to have all same sex marriages blessed or performed by the Catholic Church? Is any advocate of gay marriage pushing for this? Wouldn’t advocates of gay marriage probably be the least inclined to think a blessing from the Catholic Church is compelling?

  133. MWindsor says:

    Quaeror, perhaps I’m a bit more inclined to choose my battles rather carefully these days. But regardless, cheer up, you should be happy. Your side has, for all intents and purposes, won. And I don’t recall ever saying that I was “so afraid of being silenced for my views.” Perhaps you read something incorrectly, or have me confused with someone else.

  134. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Jenson71 – Plenty of gay marriage supporters apparently “want” wedding cakes from supporters of heterosexual marriage, for the purpose of legal harassment. So why wouldn’t they also “want” Catholic marriages?

    And in case you hadn’t noticed, people have been marrying themselves, bridges, buildings, and their cats and dogs. They just haven’t yet demanded legal privileges as a result. I know it’s hard to keep up with this lunacy, but it has been done quite seriously by various folks with various fetishes.

  135. Supertradmum says:


    You are missing the point. This new legal position is the acceptance of sin as normal and the move to make more and more sin acceptable in the culture. It is about de-sacramentalizing marriage, and it is about condoning lust. Those who have pushed this agenda want all the rest of us to accept sin as normal, when it is actually sub-human activity.

  136. Supertradmum says:

    ps I should have written de-sacralized, as the Protestants have not seen marriage as a sacrament but as sacred until this century.

  137. Scott W. says:

    And I don’t recall ever saying that I was “so afraid of being silenced for my views.” Perhaps you read something incorrectly, or have me confused with someone else.

    I cant speak for everyone, but fear doesn’t enter it for me under the adage, “The darker things get just make easier to see where the light is coming from”. I leave it to readers to recall the first chapter of John about the light and the dark.

    Or, to put it more lightly, Catholics are like the brownies from Willow:

  138. Supertradmum says:


    In England and Wales, marriage is 100% canonical, not connected to civil, so that a priest can say no, just like he can to a baptism.

  139. drohan says:

    Dennis Martin:

    They are venal. Every single social justice warrior I have ever met is a venal, nasty person. Yes, they want my approval. Well they will never get it. I will never support them, and I will ridicule them because they have no conscience at all. They are emotional twits and this idea of being civil with the perpetually uncivil is unhelpful. They got where they did by a concerted effort to debase and attack traditional family values.

    If there were no state benefits associated with marriage, you still think they would press forward? I think not. As Justice Thomas says: They are suing for taxpayer funded benefits. I have read that the State of Oklahoma has proposed to eliminate marriage entirely from the statute books. At this point I would tend to agree with them. Tie all benefits to families with children. If the federal government wants to have same-sex marriage, let them do so at the Federal level. That way we can remove ourselves from it entirely.

    On the legalization of Pedophilia: That is the ultimate goal of all the perverts. They want the kids. Mark my words. The same social justice animals promoting gay unions today will be on the front page of the newspaper pushing for pedophiles to be normalized too. After all, they can’t control it that they were made that way. Then they will want Jerry Sandusky on the $20 bill. Evil knows no bounds. These people are degenerates whose only purpose in life is to live that way and make the rest of us pay for it.

  140. Supertradmum says:

    Hey if you drop laws on marriage, incest is next…and all the rest

    Marriage laws protect women and children first of all. The Church knows this and God said this to the Jews in the OT “Do not forget the wife of your youth” and so on.

    Marriage laws protect the vulnerable.

  141. Quaeror says:

    There’s something faintly ironic about painting an entire cast of people as “venal and nasty” and then implying that people who support monogomous unions between two loving adults are “perverts” pushing for the “legalization of Pedophilia” who “want the kids” and are “animals” and “degenerates.”

    Venal and nasty indeed.

  142. drohan says:


    It has always been the goal of Evil to require the Church to confirm it in its iniquity. For that reason the Church will be a prime target. They will seek to close Catholic schools who won’t bow to them. While you are right, they should not want the Church to do so, they will attempt to make Her, only to scandalize her in front of the faithful.

  143. drohan says:

    Quaeror: It’s already coming. They are going to force pedophilia on us just like they have gay marriage. I mean the pedophile can’t control who he/she is either.

    And you are correct, my polemic can get overheated at times, for that I apologize. But the content of what I have to say is true. The problem is the aspect of toleration. The left and their social justice minions are like wolves. When they are weak, they whine and ask for tolerance. When they are strong, they seek to stamp out all that disagree with them. That’s why the polemic is needed.

  144. Dennis Martin says:


    By reducing the motivation of ssm advocates to venality, you miss the true nature of the enemy we face. You would be wise to back off some of your emotivity and carefully think about these matters.

    Of course the lawsuit that led to today’s SCOTUS decision was about state granted benefits to married couples. I never challenged that. I challenged your reduction of the matter to benefits.

    If they were motivated solely by benefits, having been granted those benefits now by the Court, the matter would be settled and we’d all be left in peace. Until you grasp that the goal they seek is social approval, normalization and that being able to say “we are married” is a stamp of “normality,” you will misunderstand what you are up against. The harrassment against us will only increase, now that the benefits are granted. We must be silenced because our resistance is NOT about granting state benefits but about normalcy, about the meaning of marriage. That we will become the targets of increased pressure, not less, proves that the motivation is not mere venality but gaining social approval as utterly natural and normal.

    You must know the nature of the opposition you face if you are to be able to face it with intelligence and courage. Dismissing advocacy of same-sex marriage as motivated only by a desire for state granted marriage benefits is most imprudent. Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

  145. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Supertradmum, I agree with you and oppose the decision. I believe hell exists and don’t want anyone to go there (because of unrepentent sin). This should not be confused with believing that no one is in or goes to hell (not even, if you believe, the religious left, members of the National Rifle Association (NRA), budget-cutters, and opponents of campaign finance reform).

    Obviously, the Church should continue to teach that homosexual conduct is sinful lest sinners, when they face God, can’t use the excuse that no one told them that their conduct was wrong.

    Nevertheless, I do think “normalization” will no doubt transform the gay rights movement in ways that its members will not expect or even welcome and may end up undermining it.

  146. Supertradmum says:

    One of my favorite saints is Margaret Ward, who helped Fr. William Watson escape from the Tower in 1588. She was a maid. Sadly, she was caught when the priest forgot to take the rope away, leaving the boatman, who had changed his clothes for that of the priest, and Margaret.

    She was cruelly whipped and hung from her wrists, then finally hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn.

    The priest got away…..which is the point of this story. Somehow, I feel that it is no accident that my son was born exactly 500 years from the year which saw some of the bravest martyrs for the Papal cause die in England.

    Today, I asked STS whether he ever thought of the fact of martyrdom when he is a priest. His answer, ” I think it’s always something you keep in mind given the history of the world .”

  147. acardnal says:

    Some evil can only be driven out by prayer and fasting. Let’s start by lobbying the USCCB to bring back obligatory abstinence on all Fridays!

  148. The Masked Chicken says:

    I’m on the road, so not much time. There is a law in modal logic that if something is not possibly what you say it is, then you can define it as anything. Same-sex marriage is not possible, so it can be defined as anything you like, including with the word, “marriage,” even though that is not the same as marriage. Of course, if something does not exist in reality, you can give it any properties you like, like, say, benefits. This court has given benefits to a figment of their imagination and, thereby made marriage the substance of nightmares, a spectral phenomenon.

    Let me say this loudly and clearly (and I mean no offense to those brave men and women who died or served defending this country), but, Your Honors, if this is what the Constitution “really” says, then to hell with it. It would be written, by definition, by the Devil. Perhaps, you should re-think your conclusion.

    Justice Kennedy, shame on you. His bishop really must speak to him with a bell, book, and candle in his hands.

    The Chicken

  149. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    Polygamy has to be next. Despite the fact that a number of lefties might consider polygamy an “icky,” right-wing Mormon thing, there is now no legal (in the secular sense) reason why a marriage needs to be limited to two people.

  150. acardnal says:

    Justice Scalia: “jiggery pokery”. All of it.

  151. Oh that explains why WordPress has the gay rainbow banner across their website reader. I know I have a coffee alternative with Mystic Monk……….

  152. pannw says:

    I’ve thought it for a while, but I’m almost certain I know how Lot felt, now. I am really sickened (oppressed) by our perverse culture. We are truly Romans 1. It is uncanny how exactly St. Paul described what has happened to us. One might think it was supernatural!

    It feels like time is very short, though as Peter warns us, one day with the Lord is as a thousand years. (A long time to be oppressed by the injustice and lewd conversation of the wicked.) I don’t know how long it will take for the fullness of His wrath to come upon us, but in light of the way our laws are crumbling, racial powder kegs in our cities, the invasion occurring mainly across our southern border (complete with evidence of radical Islamists in the mix with those murderous drug gang members, etc.), the economic bubble that is just waiting to burst, Russian taunts, Chinese taunts, a soon to be nuclear Iran, California (major source of food) becoming a dust bowl, and so on and on…. it seems that the USofA is on borrowed time. Then again, I should probably say Western Civilization is. Of course, when looking at the horrors in the rest of the world, my question really is whether this chastisement will be merely against the West, or if this one will be the big one. God have mercy.


    Ever heard, “Woe to you that call evil good…?’ Have you ever read Romans 1?
    ‘Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.” You might also benefit from a review of 2 Peter 2. You are consenting to evil. That’s not a good plan.


    “Compelling interest”… Other than ‘whatever the tyrants in power say it is’, what, pray tell, is the ‘compelling interest’ in the forced production of cake or bouquets of flowers? There is none, yet that doesn’t stop the governments persecuting Christian bakers and florists, does it? And it won’t stop them doing the same with priests, (because, while the homosexualists don’t care about the blessing, this isn’t about marriage, it is about power) as soon as they think they have diminished the Church enough in the eyes of a large enough segment of the population to get away with it. Yet another way the majority-homosexual priestly sex abuse and coverup will haunt the Church. It will be used to rationalize persecution of all Catholics, by making the Church an enemy. Ironic, really…

    The Masked Chicken, well said, as usual. Safe travels.

    But where do we go with our go-bags? The whole world is a powder keg just waiting for the spark to ignite it.

    I need to get to Confession.

  153. Giuseppe says:

    1. The White House is illuminated with rainbow colors this evening. This is not a metaphor. Just google “White House rainbow” and see for yourself.

    2. A 5-4 decision with each dissenter writing? Bush v. Gore (2000)

    3. In both the Obamacare and the Same-Sex Marriage (SSM) rulings, the core liberals (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan) wrote nothing. In each case, a Roman Catholic Republican wrote the decision. In the SSM case, they rode shotgun on Justice Kennedy’s murky dignity jurisprudence, although I think they would have preferred a ruling on clear equal protection or due process grounds, including applying heightened scrutiny or even strict scrutiny to all laws about gays/lesbians. They also joined CJ Roberts’s Obamacare decision (Kennedy silently included). Chief Justice Roberts, a superb lawyer in front of the court before he became a judge, wound up writing a brief instead of judging the case. He chose a side (upholding tax credits for people in states without exchanges) and then wrote his best argument for it. Wooed 5 other votes.

    4. The court today had the opportunity to go modest on SSM and let the country work this out. They could have ruled that states without gay marriage have to accept gay marriages performed in other states and left it at that. Neither side would have been thrilled. It would have created a weird situation, though, where gays in Mississippi, for example, who got married in another state would have to be accepted as married in Mississippi, but those who didn’t go out of state would not be recognized. Businesses would have started to boycott non-gay marriage states, and there would have been more pressure for those states to approve gay marriage. There would have been lawsuits within states and in federal courts in the states re. how some gay couples were treated differently from native gay couples. We’d eventually have national gay marriage in 10 years. The Chief Justice’s opinion recognized that America is heading in this direction, and that the court short-circuited this process. (That was Justice Ginsburg’s complaint about Roe v. Wade when she was a law professor: the country would have eventually come to some abortion equilibrium on its own, without need of Supreme Court intervention.)

    5. I continue to believe that arguments that priests will be required to perform gay marriages are red herrings that distract from the real issue: that church employees, Catholic schools, Catholic hospitals, Catholic social agencies, etc. will be subject to lawsuits and rulings that they treat gay marriages as regular marriages and face consequences if they don’t.

    Divorced people have never successfully sued the Catholic Church to be married. There is near-complete deference to churches relating to religious practice. (Herpes-infected ultra-Orthodox rabbis in NYC using their mouth to suck blood after a circumcision notwithstanding.) How many protestants have successfully won a lawsuit to receive Holy Communion? How many Mormons have successfully sued to have their third marriage performed in a Catholic church? Priests celebrating mass will not suffer. The sacraments will not suffer. But the Church itself, in the guise of it members, its agencies, as an employer, as a health care provider, etc. will suffer. Sunday morning at 8:30 and 11 and the Saturday afternoon wedding will be fine, but the rest of the week, outside of the church walls, will be a challenge.

    6. America is not, has never been, and never will be a Roman Catholic country. It is, at best, a protestant Christian nation. In the past few years, American institutional Catholicism has had a mainline protestant, particularly an Anglican flavor to it with many bishops and cardinals acting like Lords currying favor with the aristocracy and the political rulers.

    Churches of all denominations remain important for christenings, weddings, funerals, and some holidays. But in those cases, how much is the church an ‘event space’ and how much is the church a place where God lives? I do not doubt that America is a Christian nation. The deaths of the Charleston 9 show this. But America is not a Roman Catholic nation, and I do not think it ever will be. I think orthodox Catholics will be the new Mormons, tolerated as weird eccentrics, considered respectable as long as the church runs homeless shelters, food pantries, educates the poor, etc., but most Catholics will become relatively secular and go to church for the events listed above, like many mainstream protestants.

    (Pardon typos – a long post from my phone.)

  154. drohan says:

    Dennis Martin:

    I will grant you your points. I still think using a little absurdity to illustrate the absurd is a good thing to do as well. Certainly, I know from years of doing penance for my flippant manner that I need to work on that.

    I was never intending to reduce the sodomite rights movement to mere benefits hunting. But I do believe that has a lot to do with it. These are people who want to be catered to. They want us to pay for their benefits when they provide nothing in return to society. Yes they want normalcy. Well, my method in dealing with that is to tell them they aren’t normal, and they never will be. They want us to confirm them in their sins; I simply refuse to do that.

  155. WYMiriam says:

    LOTH mentioned that the word “excommunication” had not yet appeared in these comments when (s)he posted.

    I submit a different word for consideration: impeachment. I’ve read the dissents of Roberts and Scalia (in their entirety), and have part of Thomas’ and all of Alito’s dissents to read. If the majority opinion was written as badly as the dissenters say it was (without, of course, saying so in so many words), then it’s time for impeachment based on utter incompetence.

  156. MWindsor says:

    @WYMiriam – The only way the powers-that-be will allow us little folk to impeach anyone in DC is at the point of a bayonet.

  157. Ben Kenobi says:

    “Church itself, in the guise of it members, its agencies, as an employer, as a health care provider, etc. will suffer. Sunday morning at 8:30 and 11 and the Saturday afternoon wedding will be fine, but the rest of the week, outside of the church walls, will be a challenge.”

    I’m reminded of the phrase, “normalcy bias”. I have had the privilege to see Catholic churches spraypainted for nothing more than harboring what the left considered ‘terrorists’, Catholic prolifers. No, the Church walls themselves will not be safe, because as recounted now, this is about power – the Left believes now that they are strong enough to steamroll everybody and everyone, in Church or no. They believe that they have successfully isolated Christians. Those of us on the fringes who are outspoken have already suffered some. More is coming.

    Are they right? We shall see. Obama’s next goal now will be the next item on the agenda – gun control. Could he push that through with enough shibboleths against racism? Perhaps. Will Boehner/McConnell have enough to override and EO? Doubtful. Might he be able to push a bill through Congress in exchange for nebulous favours from feckless representatives? He’s already passed secret bills. What’s another one?

    Persecution is coming. We are not far.

  158. Ben Kenobi says:


    Perhaps you can start by explaining the necessity of teaching kindergartners about gay marriage.

  159. WYM:

    Impeaching anyone is extraordinarily hard. I’m not saying that lot doesn’t deserve it, but it’s not going to happen.

    I think the most important thing we can do, regarding the courts, is to insist on getting people in Congress, especially the Senate, who don’t just say the right things, but demonstrate they will fight — especially when facing the leadership of their own party. If the nomination comes from a Democratic President, the best we can hope for is to leave the seat vacant; and if it’s a replacement for someone like Ginsberg or Breyer, it won’t really matter anyway. But if the nomination comes from a Republican, then it will take Senators with spines of steel to stand up to the leader of their own party. When Reagan appoint O’Connor, how many Republicans opposed him? Same with Kennedy; same with Bush naming Souter, and Bush (II) naming Roberts. They did stand up over Harriet Meirs, and that’s how we got Alito.

    We can spin our wheels on impeachment or constitutional amendments, and get nowhere. Or we can focus on getting the best we can get in primaries, people who will fight. And what they must insist on, the next time a GOP President names a justice or a judge, is this: “Mr. President, talk is cheap. Your assurances that s/he’s with us are meaningless. Show us the record of how this nominee has voted. That’s all we care about. Roberts, Souter and Kennedy were all “trust us” nominees, whose records were “clean.” That’s what most GOP Presidents will want. We must make that unacceptable.

  160. MWindsor says:

    Fr. Fox, with respect, we did speak at the voting booth last time, when the GOP got a big boost in both houses. What did that get us? Obamatrade.

  161. jflare says:

    I wish I could say I was shocked and horrified by this, but I’m not. At least, not to the extent that I should be. I recall being in college when the first law passed in Massachusetts(?) allowing for gay “marriage”; a friend of mine who eventually earned a law degree commented then that gay marriage had become legal in the US. When I pressed him for why he thought so, he informed me about the 14th Amendment implications. Mind you, he didn’t agree with the idea, but followed the logical path, more or less the same way as the Justices have done. How sad to see his logical confirmed.

    I can’t honestly decide how this will impact America, or the Catholic faithful IN America, for sure. For my experience, we’ve long since been forced to endure social ills. No-fault divorce became legal before I was born; easily-acquired contraception has been around since before I was born; abortion became the effective law of the land one year before I was born; prayer involving teachers or organizations in public schools has been effectively illegal since about 1954.
    As I recall, I felt that the secular university I graduated from had already become quite hostile to the idea of faith-based moral principles. Shoot! I remember reading about a coming-out party in the student union the night that Ellen DeGeneres came out on her comedy show! ..And, of course, the military wasn’t precisely eager for religious precepts to be important either.

    This may not be so terribly different.

    That’s not to say that there won’t be dire consequences, there will be. It may mean that, where debate had been difficult before, it’ll now be nigh on impossible. It may be that, in spite of the efforts of human resources departments, that having an honest discussion of almost any issue will be almost impossible, precisely because most people will simply refuse to subject themselves to persecution based on opposition to a PC-driven agenda. I think by now most people understand that “diversity training” has little to do with actual diversity. It has mostly to do with indoctrination. We’ve survived THAT to no small extent.

    Another possible consequence may be that within 15 years or so, we could a further rise in violent incidents, not so different from the shooting in South Carolina not long ago. Not in the form of someone shooting participants at a “wedding”–though I wouldn’t rule it out!–but in the form of young people trying to overturn the madness of society. We can’t expect that young people who grow up with same sex marriage will not feel the consequences of having two fathers or two mothers instead of a mother and a father. Most of those kids will likely not be able to hear actual moral truths; the public schools–and some faith-based ones–have seen to that, but they’ll know by God’s grace that something has gone terribly wrong. Sooner or later, some of them will likely act out against that.

    Fr Fox, I find I both agree and disagree with your appraisal: I think priests will suffer quite a little, because the next logical steps will mean that each State will try to compel priests to perform “weddings” for gay couples. Because gay rights advocates have already made plain that they consider refusal of the gay agenda to be “hate”, I think they’ll certainly demand that States should ultimately require that clergy who refuse should be jailed.
    That’ll most immediately impact clergy, but ultimately will affect lay people as well. If too many priests would be jailed for “hate crimes” for refusing to bend to advocacy, the faithful will ultimately have that much more trouble finding a priest to offer Mass at all, amongst other difficulties.

    I have a feeling we’re going to learn in the next 15-20 years that the phrase, “May you live in interesting times”, has almost as much the nature of a curse as an encouragement.

  162. LOTH says:

    To Fr. Martin Fox:

    Father, thank you for your insights. I do think that Catholic officials need to view the law (or legislate and execute them) in the light of being Catholic. I used to take a “reason compels me to do” approach. However, when I re-examined my life in the light of Catholic moral and doctrinal teaching, I then began to think “my faith requires me” to do or not do certain things. It further guides me to speak out when formerly I used to think “Let it slide.”

    I do believe that Catholics don’t have to march in lock step. Each person has to make his own moral judgments the best he can in any particular situation. However, government officials, especially Catholic ones, have to be aware of the moral impact of their rulings and the laws they enact. For too long in the US Catholics have had to prove they were Americans first, Catholics second. Why should our values count any less in the public square than those of the secularists or venal corporations? I can say this about people of other faiths: for too long they have acted in greater faith to the “civil religion,” one that results from some sort of moral blender. It’s falsely homogenized.

    Civil religions can and do change with the times. This is what makes them so dangerous. What is a liberty, right, or moral good one day can be abolished the next or–more likely–is attenuated by the death of a thousand cuts. We rarely see the reverse in moral matters; however, things are looking much better in the heinous case of abortion, so we can take hope.

    But back to point. The justices can rule whichever way their consciences dictate but need to be aware of when their judgments begin to go obstinately against church teachings. They can act otherwise to the peril of their souls and those of others who take comfort in their misguided or erroneous rulings.

    I feel the bishops have the right to also make similar moral judgments and to act publicly. If a Catholic politician strays too far publicly, then I feel each particular bishop (or even parish priest) has the right (and duty) to deny them communion until the politician makes a good confession and then makes a public penance, unless in the judgment of the confessor the requirements of mercy dictate otherwise. I don’t mean to be heartless or insensible. But sometimes the yardstick should be used for correction instead of measurement. Here I’m thinking “If a just man reproves me, it is a kindness.”

    I can also see a reasonable delay between receiving absolution and then making a public statement. One who has done wrong often needs considerable time to reflect on his errors and then begin to ameliorate matters, and in the case of public officials devising words of healing can take time to form and publicize. Clarity doesn’t always come all at once. I can also see that one can confess and be absolved by ones’ parish priest before a bishop can then make a public statement warmly welcoming the public official back into the goodness of grace that is the Church. This would be a remarkable teaching moment, one that would (or should) call for emulation.

    We often desire what we see others doing. If a public official sees another reconciling himself to the Church, then perhaps he will be inspired by this action. Conversely, he can also take to heart a “teaching moment” by a bishop or other pastor and avoid the kind of thinking or acting that got the first public official in trouble. I like to believe that courage engenders courage, whether it’s a bishop or one in charge of our laws who amends his life.

    I know I cannot cover all the bases here but hope I’ve written with justice and felicity.

  163. LOTH says:

    To WYMiriam:

    Impeachment is an option but is unlikely. What I do feel is that the Church needs to get its house in order first. Discipline begins at home. This has to be done shelf by shelf, room by room. Church laws are, of course, only binding on Catholics but Catholic political figures would act better if it were demonstrated to them that these laws (or disciplines) _are_ binding—at least _within_ the household.

  164. The Masked Chicken says:

    We need more Pattons in the pulpit. We are the Third Army (okay, the Church militant, but it is the third state of the laity in the Church, after the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering) and we could use a good shaping-up.

    The Chicken

  165. MWindsor says:

    Chicken, I don’t know about your area, but we don’t have any Patton’s around here. Marshal Petain, yes, we have scores of them. Heck, I’d even settle for Field Marshal Mannerheim. He might not have fought with Patton’s style, but he kept his people in the fight and ultimately one.

  166. VeritasVereVincet says:

    Veni, veni, O Deus mox nobis, et libera nos ab his tormentis.

  167. WYMiriam says:

    Fr. Fox, LOTH, MWindsor:

    Thank you for your thoughts on impeachment. I know that it would be difficult, even if it were to be attempted (which I agree is unlikely, given the spinelessness of our representatives and senators in D.C.). It is not, however, impossible.

    I also agree that the Church needs to clean her own house first, before trying to clean any nation’s political house (hm — I’m reminded of “take the beam out of your own eye first before trying to remove the mote in your brother’s eye” — does that apply to institutions as well as individuals?). And I think that the best way I can help the Church clean house is by taking Fr. Z’s advice, and GO TO CONFESSION.

    Having said that, a Supreme Court ruling is NOT the end of the system of checks-and-balances that our founding fathers left us. Impeachment is one of the tools in the box, even if it’s mighty rusty. Another tool is the ballot box, where we can vote out all the elected rascals and replace them with men* of integrity. And that means that men of integrity need to step up to the plate and file for office and run to win, even if they haven’t got a snowball’s chance.

    * N.B. I use the term in the generic sense

  168. robtbrown says:

    Bosco says,
    You said:

    "He (Christ) had nothing to say about gay people, so the fact that this outrages Christians more than civil divorce laws puzzles me."

    In fact, I was quoting Quaeror, after which I refuted him. I don’t understand you could have missed that.

  169. Bosco says:


    You said: “I don’t understand you could have missed that.” My deepest apologies for my comment to reply through erroneous imputation of an earlier remark to you.

    As for ‘how’ I may have made an error, perhaps you might hold the question in abeyance until you’re in your mid-60s, diabetic, and your eyesight aint so good no mo. If you can still remember your question then I’ll answer it.

    While perhaps like the great Horace your reaction is akin to ” Indignor quandoque bonus dormitat Homerus”, it is kinder to recall that even Homer nods. – Horace- ‘Ars Poetica’


  170. robtbrown says:

    Quaeror says:

    There’s something faintly ironic about painting an entire cast of people as “venal and nasty” and then implying that people who support monogomous unions between two loving adults are “perverts” pushing for the “legalization of Pedophilia” who “want the kids” and are “animals” and “degenerates.”

    Venal and nasty indeed.

    Why did you stop at monogAmous? What is your objection polygamy? Or marriage between brother and sister?

  171. robtbrown says:

    PostCatholic says:

    I’ve found this post and each and every of the 72 comments preceding this one to be a good way learning what the Catholic church and its ardent adherents think of the new settled law of the land, and why. Thank you.

    Of course, slavery was also once the settled law of the land.

    I came to read the range of reaction from traditionalist Catholics. I found it instructive. I don’t wish to enter the debate.

    Not everyone here (incl yours truly) is a traditionalist Catholic.

  172. Dennis Martin says:

    To hold out the ballot box as a way of addressing this travesty is, I’m afraid, a largely hollow hope.

    Ever since the borking of Robert Bork, even presidents expressly elected to appoint better justices to the Supreme Court have started out with a narrowed pool.

    That’s how we got Roberts, for instance. The Democrats politicized Supreme Court appointments overtly when they destroyed Robert Bork’s candidacy in 1987. Republican presidents since then have simply not put forward candidates with a clear record because they (rightly, most probably) were convinced that a candiidate has to have a record silent on key issues in order successfully to run the confirmation gauntlet.

    From this narrowed pool, to be sure, we did get Sam Alito. Clarence Thomas narrowly made it through post-Bork but before the true significance of the borking revolution was clear. Scalia was a pre-Bork appointment (1986). Anthony Kennedy was Reagan’s rebound appointment after Bork.

    Roberts was a cipher and has proved untrustworthy. It may indeed be because he wants to roll back judicial activism that he has now twice believed it to be his duty to “save” a law passed by Congress (Obamacare). At least some have so argued. But in his Obamacare decision, his desire to avoid judicial activism went so far as to become absurd in it’s construal of language. So even though Roberts refused to insert a ludicrous “right” into the 14th Amendment in Obergefell, his willingness to distort language in King v Burwell means that he cannot really be trusted.

    If a veto-proof Senate conservative majority were elected (but some REpublicans are in no sense whatsoever with us on the present issues) along with a conservative President, perhaps non-borking confirmation proceedings could happen.

    However that sort of electoral landslide is impossible given that vast swathes of the populace no longer think clearly at all about sexuality and marriage. Electing an overpowering “hateful” conservative majority that would appoint justices that would undo Obergefell is simply, humanly speaking, not possible.

    There is no electoral way out of this. Wholesale conversion of the populace to Truth is a prerequisite to any electoral solution. And conversion of the populace will begin when martyrs to Truth stand firm in their witness. What the timetable would be for such a conversion is mpossible to know. It took a century or two in most cultures converted by Christianity in the past.

    There is now no bypassing of the martyr witness. What I wrote above presumed a functioning, constitutional electoral system. But that two has been “borked” in a variety of ways. Fair and free elections will cease to exist in the coming decades. Fair and free elections require and informed electorate and we have a drugged and mindless electorate. That’s what sexual libertinism does to people. Those afflicted with same sect attraction are only a minor part of the impact of the sexual revolution. Pornography and divorce have rendered the majority of the populace simply unable to think straight about these issues.

    In the end, Nature and Nature’s Truth will reassert herself. But not any time soon. And not if those who still know the Truth do not bear Witness to the Truth.

  173. Imrahil says:

    Dear Giuseppe, good points.

    I don’t think there’s much chance, though, that

    orthodox Catholics will be the new Mormons, tolerated as weird eccentrics,

    etc. That would not be too bad, but the Church is much too serious for that.

    It will retain a sort of (veiled) respect which, mysteriously enough, the true faith always held among the religiously ignorant and indifferent, plus in addition the respect most people have for someone who really is serious about what he stand for, and means business. (I don’t think the first is entirely explained by the second.) It may, perhaps, have the enemy’s respect for being a valiant enemy, though I have my doubts whether the level of the enemies of today and tomorrow is high enough for that.

    And it will have the fierce opposition of the fierce opposers, which (all looks like it) will at least to some degree shape the general tone of public opinion.

    Never yet have there been many people who precisely tolerated the Church, and I don’t think this will change. The Church is, her claims are, too serious for that. [Note that I do not mean that by “seriousness” the exclusion of jokes, humor and levity. ;-) ]

    That said,

    I don’t think “compelling priests to perform gay marriages” is anywhere on the agenda. (If the enemy is smart, it won’t be. They don’t gain anything by making the Church make a vigorous stand, refusing it.)

    [And if it were, then of course choosing not to license the marriages civilly would help precisely nothing. Why not? Because if it were unjust discrimination to not civilly marry homosexuals, then it would be unjust discrimination too to not marry anyone because of the homosexuals.]

    The battles will come over the actions of the Church as employer, over the content of the sermons, and perhaps even over admission to the Sacraments.

  174. robtbrown says:


    My sympathy for your diabetes. I’m not diabetic, but I cannot see the Big E on the eye chart with my left eye. I wonder how you were able to see that I omitted “how” but weren’t able to see that I didn’t write what you had assumed I wrote.

    BTW, I’ll be 68 on the 4th.

  175. robtbrown says:


    I don’t recall asking a question.

  176. Bosco says:

    “BTW, I’ll be 68 on the 4th.” And still sharp as a whip. The quality of mercy is not strained, my friend.

  177. Supertradmum says:

    robtbrown. Wow and I thought I was the oldest commentator here at 66 and a half.

    Thanks for sharing.

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