The US bishops’ leader on promoting and defending marriage says it’s “disgraceful” that lawmakers have misused quotes from Pope Francis to support a legal recognition of same-sex “marriage.”
The governor of Illinois on Wednesday signed legislation to make his state the 16th to approve same-sex “marriages.”
“The decision by the Illinois legislature and the governor to redefine marriage in law does not alter the natural reality that marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage. “Furthermore, marriage redefinition is a serious injustice. The law exists to safeguard the common good and protect authentic rights, especially the right of children to have a married mother and father.”
The archbishop also responded to lawmakers who actually cited Pope Francis in their defense of same-sex “marriage.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that House Speaker Michael Madigan, himself Catholic, quoted Francis’ July interview en route to Rome after World Youth Day.
He said to the House: “And the quote that I offer is a quote from Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic church, who is quoted as saying, ‘If someone is gay, and he searches for the Lord, and he has good will, who am I to judge?’”
“Pope Francis has spoken, and he has articulated the basis of my thinking on this issue,” said Madigan.
And the Chicago Tribune noted words from another Catholic lawmaker, Linda Chapa, who said, “As a Catholic follower of Jesus and the pope, Pope Francis, I am clear that our Catholic religious doctrine has at its core love, compassion and justice for all people.”
The governor of Illinois is also Catholic.
Archbishop Cordileone emphasized that such a use of Pope Francis’ statement is simply manipulation.
“When referring to the family, Pope Francis said very clearly in his first papal encyclical: ‘I think first and foremost of the stable union of man and woman in marriage,'” the archbishop noted. “And very recently, the Pope offered these words: ‘Let us therefore propose to all people, with respect and courage, the beauty of marriage and the family illuminated by the Gospel!’
“Pope Francis has forcefully reminded us that we are to show love and respect to all people and to seek their greatest good, and he therefore continues to clearly promote and defend marriage and family, recognizing that this is in everyone’s best interest as members of a common society.
Archbishop Cordileone concluded, “The courageous efforts of those, including religious leaders and legislators, who helped defend marriage in Illinois is to be commended. The defense of truth and goodness is never in vain.” (K.N.)