US Bishops Highlight Marriage in New Video Series

Explains Why Same-Sex Unions Aren’t the Same

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By Genevieve Pollock

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Among the summer box office hits, a new video was released today by the U.S. bishops’ conference to highlight the beauty and possibility of marriage as God intended it.

Andrew Lichtenwalner, who coordinated the project, explained to ZENIT that “this first of five videos, titled ‘Made for Each Other,’ offers an inviting introduction to the topic of sexual difference and the complementarity of man and woman as husband and wife.”

Weaving together music, video clips of a potter and nature scenes, Scripture passages, and the testimony of a young husband and wife who speak about what marriage is really like, the film portrays spousal love in an attractive and reachable way.

A companion viewer’s guide and resource booklet equips individuals, educators, ministers and clergy with the tools for a more in-depth reflection on issues such as: the meaning of marriage, sexual difference and equality, same-sex unions, parenting, procreation, and spousal friendship.

Lichtenwalner, program specialist for the bishops’ conference Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage, explained that the video’s purpose “is not to present an ideal of marriage attainable only by a few, but rather to offer a renewed vision that breaks free of the fatalism of our culture.”

He affirmed that “the daily and beautiful reality of married love is possible and reachable for those who let go of the popular societal script that things are more important than people.”

Lichtenwalner noted that the “Marriage: Unique for a Reason” initiative particularly “offers a renewed catechesis in light of the contemporary proposal to redefine marriage to include two persons of the same sex.”

This effort to promote and protect marriage as the exclusive and permanent union between a man and a woman is one of five conference priority goals laid out for 2009-2011.

Thus, it is linked with release of the pastoral letter, “Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan,” published last year by the conference, and the creation of a Web site called “For Your Marriage.”

True meaning

The ad hoc committee responsible for the creation of this video series hopes that it will “assist priests, deacons, catechists, and teachers in their important work of proclaiming and teaching the true meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” Lichtenwalner said.

Another objective, he noted, is to “invite Catholic young adults to a renewed consideration of God’s plan for marriage and to an understanding of why it is essentially impossible to ‘redefine’ marriage to include two persons of the same sex.”

Lichtenwalner reported that “focus groups in various parts of the country have repeatedly demonstrated a very superficial understanding or even a complete lack of consideration of sexual difference.”

“This video and companion guide and booklet help provide a foundation for understanding why marriage is unique to a man and a woman,” he said.

“This work of renewed catechesis and education relies first of all on the Holy Spirit, and calls us to patient perseverance especially in the face of often hostile pushback from certain sectors against those who promote and protect the unique meaning of marriage,” Lichtenwalner said.

He noted: “Our young people today are bombarded not only with conflicting and false messages about the human person and marriage but also with the experience and deeply felt pain of broken marriages and families.

“Nevertheless, there is a real hunger for truth and happiness. The Made for Each Other resources offer a compass for hope because they contain truths that need to be heard today.”

“This video is meant to show that young adults, no matter what pain exists in their life, can still reach for a robust vision of marriage,” Lichtenwalner said.

Restored vision

He observed that “T.V. shows, movies, and other media continue to push upon us the lie that marriage is either an impossible reality or open to multiple interpretations” and “the very meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is radically questioned by some.”

The project coordinator continued: “Jesus was confronted with the same false logic when asked about divorce. Instead of falling into the world’s line of reasoning, Jesus pointed back to the beginning, ‘male and female he created them.’

“Only from a restored vision of truth in love can hope spring. These resources can hopefully contribute to a restored vision of the truth of marriage.”

Lichtenwalner told ZENIT that this video specifically addresses the issue of sexual difference and complementarity, but four more will soon be released to feature other aspects of marriage.

The next video will highlight the good of children — the child as a gift and the indispensable place of mothers and fathers — and is scheduled for release at the end of the summer.

The third and fourth videos will feature “the good of society and countering the false claim of discrimination — marriage at the service of the inviolable dignity of the human person and the common good; and the impact of legalizing same-sex unions on religious liberty.”

The final video will be in Spanish and will underline topics particular to the Hispanic community.

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On the Net:

Marriage: Unique for a Reason: www.marriageuniqueforareason.org

For Your Marriage Web site: www.ForYourMarriage.org

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