Video Highlights Man-Woman Complementarity

Bishops Target Youth in Marriage Campaign

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BALTIMORE, Maryland, NOV. 18, 2009 ( The U.S. bishops are releasing a new video that highlights the gift of sexual complementarity, as part of a campaign to uphold marriage.

The bishops previewed the video today at their conference’s annual fall general assembly, which began Monday in Baltimore and will run through Thursday.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Defense of Marriage, presented the video that his task force has been working on.

He spoke about the Nov. 3 vote in Maine in which 53% of voters rejected a state law that would have allowed for same-sex «marriage.»

«Marriage won in Maine,» the bishop said, and «to say that marriage won is to say that every person won.»

He continued: «The unique beauty of spousal love won. The common good won. Justice won.»

Some do not share our sentiments, the prelate acknowledged. «Some fail to see the link between marriage, the unique dignity of the human person, and the common good.»

He noted, nonetheless, that «when the truth of marriage wins, no one loses.»

Gift of life

Marriage not only has the capacity to bring forth human life, but to welcome life as a gift, Bishop Kurtz stated, and thus «it is the fundamental institution of life.»

He affirmed his committee’s objective to strengthen the understanding of marriage as communion between a man and woman ordered to life-giving love.

The prelate reminded the conference of the important task of «renewed catechesis» as a requirement of the «new evangelization» to bring Christ’s truth to «our people» today.

He presented a video, which will be released to the public at the beginning of 2010, aimed at educating youth on the importance of sexual differences and complementarity.

In the video, scriptural quotes are combined with music and nature scenes as the backdrop of a young married couple who tell their story with openness and frankness.

«Josh and Kerry» tell about how they met, and how they  have discovered their complementarity in marriage.

It’s like hydrogen and oxygen, says Josh: two distinct elements complete in themselves, that come together to make something new, water. Kerry gives another perspective, of how they are like two instruments in a symphony, playing the same song and making each other sound even better.

The video closes with the message that marriage is a unique for a reason. Archbishop Kurtz explained that understanding sexual difference is the foundational to knowing why marriage is unique.

Tug of war

He affirmed that the target audience is primarily young adults in their 20s, many of whom he said are receptive but lacking in the deep understanding of the differences between men and women, and the significance of this complementarity.

Bishop Richard Malone of Portland, Maine, stood up in the assembly to affirm the need of this video initiative as well as the pastoral letter on marriage that the conference released Tuesday.

After Maine rejected same-sex «marriage,» he said, there was a demonstration in Portland by supporters who protested the decision.

At that time, the same-sex union advocates said that they will win next time, because they are going to focus on influencing the young people, the prelate reported.

This is «just what we need to be doing right now,» he said as he thanked the other bishops for their support and solidarity in the effort to educate youth in the Catholic teaching.

Archbishop Kurtz urged the conference to «take young adults seriously where they are» and to promote this video as well as a series of four others the committee is producing, including one on the issue of religious liberty.

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington took the microphone to highlight the need to respond on the front of religious liberty as well.

«We hope to be able to see a legislation change» in the District of Columbia, he said, but «we have been told that we cannot have a ballot initiative.»

Thus, the prelate said, we have to address this not only on a level of marriage, but also in the area of religious liberty, which affects our ability to carry out our responsibility in the Church.

He concluded by affirming the need to catechize the young people: It is a «new message» to many of our youth, and hopefully we can «touch as many hearts as possible.»

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