New York Bishops: Marriage Can't Change

NEW YORK, JUNE 27, 2011 ( The bishops of New York say they realize their beliefs on marriage will continue to be ridiculed, but that a legislature cannot change what marriage is.

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A statement from the bishops Friday responded to a last-minute 33-29 vote that made New York the sixth U.S. state to approve same-sex «marriage.»

«The passage by the legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled,» the bishops wrote in a statement signed by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and seven other bishops.

They affirmed the Church’s teaching «that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love.»

«But,» they said, «we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths.»

The bishops called on society to «regain what it appears to have lost — a true understanding of the meaning and the place of marriage, as revealed by God, grounded in nature, and respected by America’s foundational principles.»

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