+Schnurr Asks Catholics to Pray for Religious Liberty
Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr has written a letter to all priests and deacons in the Archdiocese, asking them to pray that the Supreme Court will uphold religious liberty.
The Archbishop cited a question from Justice Samuel Alito regarding religious institutions during last week’s Obergefell v. Hodges arguments before the Supreme Court (see our story here). The case combines several cases regarding same-sex “marriage” from Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Michigan, and is named for Cincinnatian Jim Obergefell, who sued to be listed as “husband” on the death certificate of his long-time partner, Paul Arthur, after the two flew to Maryland for a brief wedding ceremony. Arthur was in the advanced stages of ALS, and later died.
Many lawyers, judges, and religious leaders (see Southern Baptist Albert Mohler’s take here) consider attorney Donald Verrili’s answer alarming for churches and church-sponsored institutions.
Archbishop Schnurr’s letter follows:
Dear Fathers and Deacons,
Over the past several years, we have heard and been a part of discussions regarding those aspects of the Affordable Care Act which threaten religious liberty by forcing religious institutions to cooperate with contraception and abortion. More recently, in arguing before the Supreme Court, the lawyer for the Obama Administration stated that constitutionalizing same-sex marriage could threaten the tax-exempt status of all religious institutions. His exact words were, “It’s certainly going to be an issue. I don’t deny that. I don’t deny that, Justice Alito. It is, it is going to be an issue.”
That is to say, if the Court rules in favor of the Administration’s position, churches that do not perform same-sex marriages will most likely lose tax-exempt status. This is one of many reasons why the Supreme Court should leave the definition of marriage where it has always been – with the states. Even if a state allows same-sex marriage, it can provide religious exemption in the same law. Constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, on the other hand, does not come with religious exemptions.
This information needs to get out. Please ask your people to pray that the Supreme Court will uphold religious liberty.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Dennis M. Schnurr
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati
For more on religious freedom issues:
Click here for our story on the new interfaith Pledge in Defense of Marriage.
Click here for our Religious Liberty resources page. Click here to see all our previous stories and guest posts on religious liberty issues.
Click here for the USCCB’s resource page on the Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty .
Click here to see all our current stories.
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