The heads of New York State's eight Catholic dioceses have said they are "deeply disappointed and troubled" at approval of a bill that will "alter radically and forever humanity's historic understanding of marriage." Unless it is delayed by legal challenges, the law passed by the State Legislature on 24 June will take effect in late July.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the bishops of New York State said in a statement:
"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.
"We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But 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.
"We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.
Our society must 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.”
+Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
+Howard J. Hubbard
Bishop of Albany
Bishop of Brooklyn
Source: Archdiocese of New York
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