Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio
Passage of gay nuptials in New York State is another 'nail in the coffin' of marriage
The children of our state deserve the best. We put in place public policies to ensure that children have the proper nutrition, the best education available and are safe from harms way.
There is no question that our society genuinely values the young. Yet, despite these efforts, the number of young people suffering from emotional disorders is disconcerting and our teen suicide rate is alarming.
Sociologists and psychologists agree that stable families where a mother and father live together in a loving union are a key predicator of a child's future health, well-being and success.
In other words, this is the best or ideal circumstances for our children for which we should all strive. This arrangement just seems to be built into our DNA.
Tragically, we no longer understand the primary purpose of marriage as the institution by which a man and woman bring new life into the world and teach the child to become a productive citizen.
In striving for that end, the man and woman discover their own mutual consolation. Tragically, we somehow have come to view marriage as legitimizing our individual need for love and affection.
As a consequence we have all witnessed the surge in numbers of divorce, single parenthood and cohabitation outside of marriage. Not even thirty years ago this would have been almost unthinkable and certainly scandalous.
I believe the passage of same sex marriage is another "nail in the coffin" of marriage.
It is destructive because we fail to view marriage in the context of a vocation: a calling to participate in the great enterprise of forming the next generation.
Marriage is reduced to an empty honor.
We who opposes Same-sex Marriage are not callous to the very real human longings for friendship, affection and belonging that proponents of this legislation espouse as the rational "Marriage Equality".
Indeed, we like other New Yorker discuss these issues with our friends, family, co-workers and loved ones who have same-sex attractions. We have in part failed as the proponents of the historical understanding of marriage as that between a man and a woman precisely because we have sought to be sensitive to those who have same-sex attractions. Perhaps we must now speak more forcefully and clearly.
As the chief shepherd of the Catholics in our City's two most populous boroughs, Brooklyn and Queens, the decision of our Catholic Governor and State Legislature to overturn the common understanding of marriage that, despite many developments over thousands of years, has always been understood between a man and woman. That there was virtually no public debate on the issue and that the entire matter was concluded in just over thirty-minutes late on a Friday evening is disgraceful.
As a protest, I have asked my collaborators not to bestow or accept honors, nor to extend a platform of any kind to any state elected official, in all our parishes and churches for the foreseeable future.
Our children in NY State deserve the best and unfortunately there seem to be very few if any "Profiles in Courage."