Statement from Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, on the Supreme Court Decision Legalizing Same Sex Marriage

            For millennia, society has recognized the unique benefits of marriage to the common good of society. Hence, society has protected legally the foundational union of man and woman as the irreplaceable basis of family life. In the American experience, the states have protected this union as the way civilization flourishes through the gift of new human life. The Supreme Court’s decision requiring that all states license and recognize marriage between two people of the same sex is tragic because it will undermine the public morality of society.
            Lifelong companionship and legal rights are noble goals, often cited by those seeking to redefine sexual difference out of the unique, natural definition of marriage. Marriage, however, is far more than a contract between two adults coming together for their mutual benefit.
            As Archbishop Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently wrote, “Government has codified marriage for the protection of the child. In doing so, government remains neutral as to the question of two consenting adults choosing to spend their life together outside of life’s natural potential. Every person has an inherent dignity worthy of protection against unjust discrimination, but we must do so in ways that do not redefine the unique status of marriage and discriminate against what human nature itself tells us marriage is.”
            Marriage between one man and one woman is the building block of a stable society and cannot be understood as the product of judges and legislators. This is, as Pope Francis has said, “an anthropological fact. . .  that can’t be qualified based on ideological notions or concepts important only at one time in history.” With profound respect for all people, the Catholic Church will continue to exercise its religious liberty to teach clearly and charitably these truths and celebrate them joyfully in the Sacrament of Marriage.