USCCB on SCOTUS Obergefell v. Hodges – “tragic error”

From the USCCB:

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decision, June 26, interpreting the U.S. Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage” “is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The full statement follows:

Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.

The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home.

Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.

I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions.

Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.

People today can barely get to 2+2=4.  They will recognize the beauty of millennial teaching in the age of Modern Family, dumbed-down education, multiple screens … panem et circenses?

Yes, I’m upset.

Here’s a phrase that ought to be brought back and applied to more than just this generation of the ordained in these USA: trahison des clercs.

I, for one, would like to know for whom the Catholic clergy of these USA voted for in the last two presidential election cycles.

And, once again, thanks a million to you Catholics who opted to stay home rather than to vote.

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  1. Charles E Flynn says:

    The United States flag at my parish was at half-staff this afternoon, but that may have been in honor of the nine Christians killed in Charleston, S.C.

  2. Woody79 says:

    No one gets to vote for a federal jurist, Father. You know that. [Don’t be obtuse.] And how many so called “conservative” jurists have been placed on the bench only to turn out to be more liberal? Federal jurists should be elected into office just like in the states. The fact that Kennedy was put in place by a “conservative” president indicates that it doesn’t matter who you vote for in elections. Republican or Democrat, we get screwed.

  3. Bea says:

    This decision is to cry for.
    It will soon be to die for.
    God will not be mocked.
    He has blessed America in such a special way
    And now we have slapped Him in the face.

    Woe to our Country.
    Woe to our World.
    Sodom and Gomorrah was concentrated in just one place,
    Not so, now. We follow in the path of others
    We will be punished world-wide and rightly so.

    We must especially pray for our Loyal Priests and Bishops.
    They are in the front lines and who knows what challenges will be presented to them when gays seek “marriage”.
    Here is where the men will be separated from the boys, and Catholics from the heretics.
    My eyes are dry but my broken heart weeps profusely.
    God’s Will be done in the days to come,as always. We get what we deserve.

  4. chcrix says:

    The reason their excellencies have lost their ability to convincingly pronounce moral judgment is not because of who they voted for, but rather because of the policies they pursue.

    They cannot get into bed with Leviathan on certain issues, then come crying when he double crosses them later. Didn’t any of these churchmen read “Lord of the Rings”?

    Those who use the democratic process to ask for activist government, deserve to get what they asked for “good ‘n hard” as H. L. Mencken observed.

  5. Servus Tuus says:

    The battle for marriage was lost at the 1930 Lambeth Conference in Resolution 15. We were warned. What started as a small embrace of sin in a dark corner of an ecclesial community quickly spread. First the Catholic Clergy was weakened, and that lead to generations of Catholics that have no idea what the Faith really is. Our Lord promised to pray for Peter, and it is truly a miracle that the Church even exists at all. But how has it turned around? It is now the Church that remains in a dark corner.

  6. Legisperitus says:

    My eyes are definitely not dry.
    But it’s not for me.
    My innocent children will be persecuted and possibly killed.
    And that’s if things go well.

  7. Lin says:

    Our country has lost its way. And it has been my experience that most Catholics under 60 are not catechized. We must stay strong in our faith and pray. LORD have mercy on us!

  8. Kensington says:

    I know more “Catholics” who voted for Barack Obama twice than Catholics who opted to stay home.

  9. Back pew sitter says:

    Catholics who voted for Obama should rightly hang their heads in shame.

    But Catholics who – rightly – recognized that the alternative Republic candidate would not uphold the moral law (even if he was ‘less bad’ than Obama) owe nobody an apology for not voting.

  10. iamlucky13 says:

    “The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female.”

    This is a helpfully concise, and refreshingly clear statement from the US bishops.

    I’m glad that they aren’t dodging or watering down the duty to re-affirm that this is wrong. I pray for priests, religious, and Catholic educators and media to do similarly.

  11. ckdexterhaven says:

    The US Cathlilic bishops issued a statement….that .0001 percent of American Catholics will read/skim/hear about. (50% of Catholics will click on a pro gay marriage article on BuzzFeed).

    Sometime in the 60’s or 70’s, American Catholic bishops decided to let pop culture catechize the faithful. Even the most clueless layperson saw 25 years ago saw where gay marriage was headed. Our shepherds had years to teach the faithful about the sin of homosexuality or the sin of gay marriage. If bishops would have spoken out, maybe more priests would have informed and catechized their congregation. I really wonder why there was such deafening silence. Or maybe I don’t wonder.

  12. sciencemom says:

    I think it’s time to share my favorite Tolkien quote:
    “I sometimes feel appalled at the thought of the sum total of human misery. … If anguish were visible, almost the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped in a dense dark vapour. … But … evil labours with vast power and perpetual success — in vain: preparing always only the soil for unexpected good to sprout in.”
    — J.R.R. Tolkien, Letters, no. 64, p. 76

    Let us keep praying, for our children especially. And I am asking the Lord to show me what I am to do, and doing it. And asking for more trust that He will bring good out of evil, as He always can.

    Today, I went to the funeral of a Catholic wife and mom, and we were uplifted by Durufle’s Requiem as well as the example of this faithful woman’s life. May she rest in peace!

  13. kiwiinamerica says:

    The attack on marriage in the West is sustained, intense and virulent and we get an encyclical on air conditioning.

  14. Lin says:

    The White House was lit up in rainbow colors tonight! This is beyond comprehension!

  15. Jeremy says:

    I am appaplectic.
    I was so hopeful that the Catholic judges would see through to reflect some iota of their faith.
    Roberts is shielding himself in rationalism and empty headed logic from the others is nauseating. Truly
    I can only find comfort in the idea that the entire world is in flux with this new fad. The comfort is that this is some kind of trial I can only hope there will be some intellectual and familial success from. Maybe a learning curve of success at the end.
    But then again- the curve on Protestantism brought little success as well as Mohammedanism, rationalism, etc.
    Aww bag it. I’m going to drink a Stout (not Guiness. It hurts to know the Irish are lost as well as that company in regards to faith) and thank God I was chosen to be Catholic and have a love for Truth.
    A week at morning Mass may help too.

  16. RJHighland says:

    We are now officially in Sodom, this does not end well. On this issue four Catholic Jurists will not have to worry about their actions, the two other Catholics and four other jurists will have a very unpleasent experience in their final appearance in the Highest Court. This puts a damper on any 4th of July celebration for me, not at all proud to be an American today. I wasn’t old enough to experience the Roe vs. Wade verdict but now I regretably realize President Obama was correct, this is no longer a Christian nation, we morally have sunk to the moral equivalancy of the Roman Empire and Sodom and Gomorrah. May God help us and our children.

  17. Gratias says:

    Where were were the U.S. bishops and parish pastors before this Evil was incorporated into the Constitution? Nice words, but you ignored the problem. God, Country, Property and moral Propriety should have been preached. Homosexuals caused enormous damage to our Church. Just in my Archdocese Cardinal Mahoney had to pay 640,000,000 Dollars for the sexual preferences of Gay priests. I have never once heard in a sermon that sodomy was a sin. Never. And now Pope Francis having completed his Encyclical on Global Warming, Governance, and Taxation turned the conversation straight to the blessing of the special gifts Gays bring to the Church. Gay wedding blessings is the underlying motif of the Synod on the family, make no mistake. The Democrat Progressives are already turning the conversation of Gay marriage to the tax exemption for Churches; like the Pope they waste no time and press on.

    I am very saddened by this new Roe versus Wade and feel just like the posting by Bea above.

  18. No More Tambourines says:

    If a baker can be fined and put out of business for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, what’s to stop Catholic parishes from being fined and put out of business for not performing gay weddings?

    Which brings up another question: How many parishes will actually refuse to perform gay marriage? There are already many “gay-friendly” parishes in the U.S. Yes, you can bring your boyfriend to Mass. Of course we know you are living chaste lives, wink wink.

    This issue, gay marriage, is going to split the church like nothing since the Reformation.

  19. Pingback: Obergefell vs Hodges: USCCB’s Crocodile’s Tears | Mundabor's Blog

  20. arbogene says:

    Regrettably direct affronts to the Truth–e.g., legalization of direct abortion and same-sex “marriage”–have carried no real, earthly consequences for the Catholic politicians or jurists who vote for or impose such “tragic errors” on their subjects. I suppose at some point in Church history (20th century?) the bishops generally decided that publicly pronouncing an anathema on those who vote for and implement such tragic errors into our laws was not considered prudent or in the spirit of “dialogue” which the new ecumenism requires. Maybe to avoid a de jure schism? Now we have a generation of not only the uncatechized, but a generation that does not even realize or understand the scandal that pro-abortion and pro-same-sex “marriage” Catholic politicians and jurists have perpetrated on them. And the insidious de facto schism grows. Teaching the Truth without canonical consequences is no teaching of the Truth at all.

  21. AGA says:

    Majorities of Catholics voted for Obama twice, Gore once, Clinton twice, and so on..

    We bash around the Republican Party for not being truly committed to the Prolife cause.


    Physician (Church) heal thyself.

    The GOP is remarkably committed to profile causes given they only receive a minority of the Catholic vote!

  22. Ben Kenobi says:

    I was unaware Santorum won the Republican nomination. Romney brought gay marriage to Massachusetts and continues to support it. As does McCain.

    What choice did Americans have last election on this election?

  23. PA mom says:

    I find the response to be clear, but lacking a key point.

    This travesty has come to pass due to the votes of two Catholics, with the majority opinion even written by one of them.

    Catholics have brought this upon the country. They voted by a slim majority for Obama. He packed the court with virulent progressives who refuse words their meaning and deny reasoning any power.

    Then CATHOLIC Keneedy wrote the sloppy emoticons equivalent opinion which is the pinnacle of the error. No respect for natural law, no respect for Catholic law, no respect for logic, no special concern for the purity of the children who will be affected.


  24. gatormom says:

    It would give me so much comfort to believe that if we Catholics did not allow these evil Democrats into office and went out en masse voting for Republicans that all would have been different. Maybe we could get them out of office and change these horrible errors. But I don’t believe that for a moment. These evil Democrats were publicly opposed to gay marriage just a few years ago. If any Republican says he opposes it now it is because he is lying. Do you know how I know that he is lying? Because if I hear him speak than he is a successful politician and I don’t think that there is a man alive allowed into the political arena that can’t produce the documents showing the sale of his immortal soul to the devil. These Republicans are in the same club as the Democrats and that club is powerful and secret and they will always run THIS world. We do know who the prince of this world is. What does this ruling really mean anyway, when it was already legal to tear tiny babies into bitty pieces from his mother’s womb? I do think you are correct Father that we should go to Confession while we still have a priest to confess to. We just can not be of this world, we have to be quite horrified pilgrims and not get comfortable here.

  25. GypsyMom says:

    Can this evil world continue on its present trajectory? We here can all see that we hurl ourselves toward self-destruction. It cannot, and therefore, it will not. This present world must be torn down in order for it to be rebuilt as it should be. The enormity of its crash only presages the glory of its resurrection. Take heart–we live to see these word fulfilled: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

  26. Johanna says:

    I wish the local bishop would publicly excommunicate these “Catholic” supreme court justices.

  27. Peter Stuart says:

    Gee, thanks, bishops. We know how busy you are, getting ready to jabber on global warming with your buddy O who lit up the White House in rainbow colors last night.

    Meantime, in the diocese that contains that building, good luck finding pastoral care (like Courage) if you’re a Catholic dealing with SSA issues.

  28. djc says:


    I agree with your posy but I do think there is a small contingent of both D’s and R’s who are truly pro-life and pro-family——not many but some.

    I do agree with you that its useless to vote R—-what has it got us? A slower death….


  29. It’s one thing to say that no conscientious Catholic could vote for Obama. I have to work pretty hard to see how someone could vote for him in good conscience.

    It’s quite another thing to say that Catholics were obliged in conscience to vote for his opponents, either Romney or McCain. To say that someone was obliged to vote for someone is a remarkably strong assertion; you may not realize just what you’re saying. You’re saying it was a sin not to pull the lever for Romney, for example. I do not believe that argument can be supported; because, after all, a conscientious voter would have had many things about Romney — not to pick on the man — that were seriously objectionable. The Church would never, I believe, ever command — under pain of sin — anyone to endorse or cooperate with evil, even in the interest of avoiding a greater one.

    What the Church has said, is that it’s permissible, when both candidates are objectionable, to vote for the less-objectionable one. But note that’s permissive, not mandatory language.

    No one had an obligation to vote for Mr. Romney or Mr. McCain, or anyone else, for that matter.

    We can speculate that we’d be better off had Romney or McCain won. However, note well which President’s appointed Mr. Roberts and Mr. Kennedy. And, before them, Mr. Souter and Mrs. O’Connor, who all cast votes contrary to God’s law.

  30. Kathleen10 says:

    I can only recall one homily in the last twenty years or so that referred to pro-life or pro-traditional family issues. One. That priest was born in…..Africa, where else. I thanked him afterward, and he seemed wholly surprised by the gratitude. Other than that, no priest or bishop that I have heard, through the years, has even mentioned these critical matters, so it is absolutely no wonder at all that so many people are now Catholic in Name Only (CINO). But why not? There is hardly a flicker of opposition to the cultural tsunami of pro-homosexuality, and even in the church they are not likely to hear a peep about it except more pronouncements of tolerance and mercy, egads, those words, overused and almost devoid of meaning at this point. Will we nevermore hear those words our clergy have repeated again and again and again…the ones that comprised so many homilies of days gone by? I hope this ruling fills the bill and honestly, those words can be retired once and for all. They did their work and so let them rest. At least let us have that.

  31. acardnal says:

    It’s time for the USCCB to bring back obligatory abstinence on ALL Fridays as a penitential observance for our sins.

  32. CPT TOM says:

    I am unimpressed with the USCCB’s statement. Just like here in NY when the Gay Marriage bill came up in the Legislator, all but one (the Bishop of Rockaway) were silent, until AFTER the bill passed, with the final votes that helpped it over the finish line was cast by a Kight of Columbus. Was that legislator excommunicated. no. When I see Cardinal Wherl of Washington PUBLICLY excommunicates Justices Sotomayor, and Kennedy, as well as other notorious Catholic Politicians (Pelosi comes to mind and I’m sure there are others). Then I’ll take them seriously.

  33. Pnkn says:

    If it were true that we get what we deserve, then there would not have been the Incarnation…

  34. frjim4321 says:

    Hmmm, probably not the best statement. I think the prelate of Atlanta had the best that I’ve seen so far. To me it’s pretty much an issue of equal protection.

  35. frjim4321 says:

    “Catholics who voted for Obama should rightly hang their heads in shame.” Back Pew Sitter

    Shaming language is abusive language. [No. It isn’t.]

    I voted for The President twice and I am proud that I did. I only wish that I could do so once more.

    While perhaps not as great a President as Clinton, he will have certainly left his mark. [Dear readers… don’t rise to the bait.]

  36. frjim4321 says:

    And lets not even get into the 15 – 20 million the knights misdirected.

  37. acardnal says:

    frjim wrote, “Shaming language is abusive language.”
    Not always. Please read “Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool” by Prof. Jennifer Jacquet.

  38. SKAY says:

    PA mon–I agree with your entire comment.

    ” no respect for logic, no special concern for the purity of the children who will be affected.”
    This has been my main concern all along.
    NAMBLA has been working on this for years. Their next move will be to lower the age of consent.

    “Whoever causes one of these little ones* who believe in me to sin, it would be better for
    him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the
    I believe we have been warned.
    I think we are responsible for the world we leave our children and must relentlessly continue to fight the destruction of our faith and culture for their sake.

    I understand your frustration right now.
    Politicians react to “votes” and money. If a majority of Catholics consistently voted against pro abortion politicians –a message would be sent and their concerns would be taken seriously . As PA mom said, a majority of Catholics voted for this President who has always said that he is pro abortion and supported Planned Parenthood openly. Of course there are many Catholics who are Democrats and most vote that way no matter how pro abortion the candidate is. I think that is a problem for the Church. Is it OK to say you are Catholic and then go against everything it teaches? Is it OK to hide behind the “social justice” meme claiming that is more important?
    Obama was always for ssm but he had to wait until after his second election to actually admit it.
    This is a faithful voting block for the Democrats after all.

    Because of this vote, we now know there are two Pelosi “catholics” on the Supreme Court.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee is very important when someone is nominated by a
    President to the Supreme Court. What party is in the majority in the Senate is very important at that time because that party has the majority in the committee. That committee decides what
    nominee is presented to the entire Senate for conformation. The Democrats were in the majority of the Senate during the time that Reagan nominated Kennedy. The Democrats had just turned down Robert Bork who was a strict constructionist . As I remember it, he basically did not believe that the Constitution was a “living” document (can’t find things in the Constitution that are not there). He would not have been an activist judge and they were afraid of how he would vote if anything might come up against Roe v Wade. Reagan could have nominated an outspoken pro life Catholic but he/she would not have even been considered by that committee and that would still hold true for Republican nominations today if the Senate is majority Democrat. Reagan,at that time, probably had some idea about what being Catholic is supposed to mean. After the Bork rejection it became clear how vile the Democrats could and would be in order to protect Roe v Wade from repeal. Two prominent Democrat catholics were responsible for making sure Bork was rejected. Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden who headed up the judiciary committee.

    Sadly I had no doubt how Sotomayor would vote.
    Her ideology comes first.

  39. Thank you, Father Fox– you said it better than I could have.

  40. Mojoron says:

    My ex-parish’s Deacon, a lawyer, voted twice for Obama and I asked him why would he vote for someone who is obviously against Church Teachings? His comment is that he is “for the poor.” While I can’t seem to make him understand that the government is actually doing harm to the poor by it’s onerous regulations and pressure on religious groups to go against their teachings, he would not budge on his vote and remains unapologetic. I would not be surprised to learn that over 50% of clerics voted for a pro-abortion candidate and would do so again.

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