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Posted on Aug 6, 2016 | 1 comment

Bishops Wag Finger at Biden

Bishops Wag Finger at Biden

Vice President Joe Biden released this photo of himself performing a wedding ceremony for two male White House staffers in his home.

Vice President Joe Biden released this photo of himself performing a wedding ceremony for two male White House staffers in his home.

In a blog post Friday that didn’t mention Vice President Joe Biden by name, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCSB) said that same-sex relationships are not marriages and Catholic politicians need to remember it.

“Pope Francis has been very clear in affirming the truth and constant teaching of the Church that same-sex relationships cannot be considered ‘in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.’ Archbishops Joseph Kurtz and Thomas Wenski, with Birshop Richard Malone, wrote..

“Laws that ‘redefine marriage to deny its essential meaning are among those that Catholics must oppose, including in their application after they are passed.’ Such witness is always for the sake of the common good,” they added, citing a USCCB document about voting one’s informed conscience.

Biden, a proponent of both abortion and the redefinition of marriage, obtained a special license to perform a marriage ceremony for two male White House staffers last week (see our story here). The ceremony took place in his home, and the vice president tweeted a photo of himself performing it on his personal Twitter account.

News stories of the event, nearly all of which mentioned Biden’s Catholicism, were widely reported. A search of “Joe Biden same-sex wedding” Saturday morning brought up  415,000 results.

“Faithful witness can be challenging,” the bishops noted in the post, which appeared on the MediaBlog page of the USCCB website, “and it will only grow more challenging in the years to come.”

The text of the post follows (links are to cited documents):

Faithful Witness to Marriage

By Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop Richard J. Malone and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski

Vice President Joe Biden issued this photo of himself performing a wedding ceremony for White House staffers Brian Mosteller and Joseph Mahshie on his Twitter account Monday, Aug. 1st. According to news reports it is the first marriage ceremony the vice president ever officiated, and he obtained special, temporary certification from the District of Columbia to do so.

Vice President Joe Biden’s tweet from Monday, Aug. 1.

Questions revolving around marriage and human sexuality are deeply felt in our homes and communities. We join with our Holy Father Pope Francis in affirming the inviolable dignity of all people and the Church’s important role in accompanying all those in need. In doing so, we also stand with Pope Francis in preserving the dignity and meaning of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The two strands of the dignity of the person and the dignity of marriage and the family are interwoven. To pull apart one is to unravel the whole fabric.

When a prominent Catholic politician publicly and voluntarily officiates at a ceremony to solemnize the relationship of two people of the same-sex, confusion arises regarding Catholic teaching on marriage and the corresponding moral obligations of Catholics. What we see is a counter witness, instead of a faithful one founded in the truth.

Pope Francis has been very clear in affirming the truth and constant teaching of the Church that same-sex relationships cannot be considered “in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.1 Laws that redefine marriage to deny its essential meaning are among those that Catholics must oppose, including in their application after they are passed.2 Such witness is always for the sake of the common good.

During our Holy Father’s remarkable visit to us last year, he reminded us that all politicians “are called to defend and preserve the dignity of [their] fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.”3 Catholic politicians in particular are called to “a heroic commitment” on behalf of the common good and to “recognize their grave responsibility in society to support laws shaped by these fundamental human values and oppose laws and policies that violate [them].”4

Faithful witness can be challenging—and it will only grow more challenging in the years to come—but it is also the joy and responsibility of all Catholics, especially those who have embraced positions of leadership and public service.

Let us pray for our Catholic leaders in public life, that they may fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to them with grace and courage and offer a faithful witness that will bring much needed light to the world. And may all of us as Catholics help each other be faithful and joyful witnesses wherever we are called.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Isaiah 5
    20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!