On May 8 voters in North Carolina will have the opportunity to elevate traditional marriage in our state via an amendment to the state constitution. You may have heard some recent discussion about this and are wondering what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage and why it does so.
The Church believes that marriage is a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman, joined as husband and wife in an intimate partnership of life and love.
Marriage exists for two reasons: the mutual love and support of the spouses and for the procreation and education of children. These two purposes, uniting couples and procreating children, are equal and inseparable. The institution of marriage has a very important relationship to the continuation of the human race, to the total development of the human person, and to the dignity, stability, peace and prosperity of the family and of society.
The natural institution of marriage has been blessed and elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. This means that Christian marriage is more than a contract between two persons. Because they are married in the Lord, the spouses acquire a special relationship to each other and to society. Their love becomes a living image of the manner in which the Lord personally loves His people and is united with them. Living a Christian sacramental marriage becomes a fundamental way of attaining salvation.
Because marriage offers benefits, unlike any other, to persons, to society and to the Church, the institution of marriage, as the union of one man and one woman, must be preserved and protected.
No same-sex union can realize the unique and full potential that the traditional marriage relationship expresses.
This position for marriage is not an instance of unjust discrimination or animosity toward homosexual persons. The Catholic Church teaches emphatically that individuals and society must respect the basic human dignity of all persons, including those with a homosexual orientation. Homosexual persons have a right to and deserve our respect, compassion, understanding and defense against prejudice, attacks and abuse.
I therefore urge Catholics and all North Carolinians to commit themselves both to upholding the human dignity of every person and to upholding the distinct and irreplaceable status of traditional marriage.
Bishop Peter J. Jugis leads the Diocese of Charlotte.
- Next >>
Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: Right to a good reputationUnder Church law, no one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses, nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy. This obligation arises from natural law. Calumny, denunciation,...
Father Noah Carter: Love, mercy, justice: Communion for the divorced and remarriedIn every age, the Church deals with issues and pastoral situations so murky that a solution to a member's situation may seem impossible. In the modern age, very few Catholics understand the importance of the Church's precepts. These precepts...
Barbara Case Speers: The look of loveI may be carbon dating myself, but some of you seniors may also remember the song "The Look of Love," written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. This 1967 hit tune was sung by English pop singer Dusty Springfield. One day while I was thinking...
Deacon James H. Toner : What we know that ain't so: Governor, guardian, guideWhat we think is the right road How shall I live? Whose advice shall I heed? Who are my heroes? There are many competing voices out there, and they all want me (or my time and money). But the coolest guides are the most publicized ones, for...
April Parker: SurrenderSurrender. The word seems to be a common theme during the Easter season. To the strong, this word may evoke thoughts of weakness. To the weak, it may be the dread of further humiliation. But to Christians, surrender is grace. The Old and New...
Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: Right to chooseAll the Christian faithful have the right to be free from any kind of coercion in choosing a state of life (Canon 219). The principle is that everyone has the right not to be subjected to pressure in making a choice about their state in life...
Fred Berretta: Rely upon Mary, the mother of God, in striving for the Christian lifeMay is especially reserved for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and honoring her is not just a tradition befitting more pious ages. It is something God intended for us from the beginning. Her role is prefigured in Genesis 3:15, hidden in...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Imitating the virtues of the Blessed MotherIn my work as a Catholic mother, nurse and birth and postpartum doula, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on Mary, our Blessed Mother. Not only is she a supreme model of motherhood,...
Women volunteers are vital to prison ministryI am a prison ministry volunteer at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in Maggie Valley. It was of great interest that I read the prison ministry article in the March 4 edition of Catholic News...
Contraception: A rejection of God's gift of love and communion"Creating the human race in His own image..., God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion" (Catechism of the Catholic...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Roger Arnsparger at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Jason Christian at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Matthew Kauth at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Christopher Riehl's archive from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe. Listen to homily podcasts.
- Fr. Joshua Voitus at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Sylva, including homilies in Spanish
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Gospel reflection videos from St. Matthew Church
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen and watch homilies from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy