Marchers Gather in Washington Days Before Court Hears Marriage Cases

Papal Nuncio, Bishops Support Saturday’s Demonstration

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The third annual March for Marriage will be held Saturday in Washington, D.C., just three days before the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex “marriage.”

Papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, will be among the speakers.

The US bishops have promoted the march and the bishops’ president, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and the chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, will be participating.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who as the chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, has attended the march in the past, said in a statement Wednesday that this year he will not be able to attend. That’s because the San Francisco archbishop is facing his own battle to defend marriage, with controversy over his push to require Catholic school teachers to avoid speaking publicly against Church teaching.

The March for Marriage comes as Pope Francis has been promoting the Church’s teaching on family and sexuality issues.

At last Wednesday’s general audience, he said, “The social devaluation of the stable and generative alliance of man and woman is certainly a loss for all.”

Here is the March 26 statement from bishops’ officials to their brother bishops, encouraging support of the march:

March 26, 2015

Dear Brother Bishops,

As you may be aware, several organizations have come together to sponsor a third March for Marriage which is scheduled to be held on Saturday April 25, 2015 in Washington, D.C. This event is taking place three days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of states’ preserving the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

We are grateful for this opportunity once again to express support for the March for Marriage and to encourage participation in this event. We ask that you consider promoting this event in your diocese and parishes and participating if possible.

The March will be an opportunity to stand for the good of marriage in our nation, to pray for our Supreme Court justices, and to demonstrate our commitment to the well-being of children. It complements well the bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty (www.usccb.org/pray). The anticipated decision of the Supreme Court positions itself to be the most important judicial ruling in our nation since the infamous Roe v. Wade decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion. The March is an important witness to a movement dedicated to building a culture of marriage and the family, and it serves to remind all people that a Supreme Court ruling will not decide the issue of marriage any more than Roe decided the issue of abortion. We are deeply grateful for any support you can offer for this March.

The website promoting this event is available at www.marriagemarch.org. The Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth will be promoting it through the USCCB and Marriage: Unique for a Reason websites and social media.

With profound appreciation for all you do in support of marriage and family life, and with our assurance of prayers as we approach Holy Week, we remain

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Richard J. Malone

Bishop of Buffalo

Chairman, Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone

Archbishop of San Francisco

Chairman, Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage

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