News release from USCCB

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court decision May 31 to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act is a matter of “grave injustice,” said Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

He voiced his disappointment following the May 31 decision of the federal appeals court in Boston to strike down a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is the cornerstone of society,” Bishop Cordileone said. “It is also the foundation of a just society, as it protects the most vulnerable segment of the population, children. Every child longs for and deserves a mother and a father, and marriage is the only institution that insures that children grow up knowing and being known by their mother and father. The public good demands that this truth of marriage be respected in law and society, not rejected.”

On May 31, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Boston, upheld an earlier U.S. District Court decision claiming section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional. Section 3 defines marriage for purposes of federal law as the union of one man and one woman.

Bishop Cordileone noted, “The federal appeals court in Boston did a grave injustice yesterday by striking down that part of the Defense of Marriage Act that reasonably recognizes the reality that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. DOMA is part of our nation’s long-established body of law rooted in the true meaning of marriage. Hopefully, this unjust ruling will be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, for the benefit of our nation’s children, and our nation as a whole.”

DOMA was approved by a broad, bi-partisan majority of Congress in 1996, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. DOMA recognizes for purposes of federal law that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and it also protects the rights of states to uphold this definition of marriage in the face of laws from other states that might be adverse to such definition



Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 12:57 AM By Gratias
Thank you Bishop Cordileone for your service to the Church.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 6:52 AM By ANNE
Massachusetts Courts are as bad as CA Courts. I hope ALL Bishops will start to understand and teach that when we VOTE, we vote for good or evil. Evil politicians appoint evil Judges.- It is all connected. (When there are two bad candidates, vote for the lessor of the evils, and remember that bad encumbents usually do more damage because they understand how the “system” works to manipulate it for their own goals.)

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 6:58 AM By peter
It is unfortunate that Bishop Cordileone is so misinformed and misguided.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 7:24 AM By Dan
“It is unfortunate that Bishop Cordileone is so misinformed and misguided. ” Peter, might you enlighten the rest of us and kindly spell out in what ways Bishop Cordileone is 1. misinformed 2. misguided.? Thanks in advance, Dan

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 7:28 AM By MD
The US government is clearly trying to stifle the Church and her teachings not only through the HHS mandate, but by destroying marriage the foundation of our country. Every Catholic should understand the meaning of marriage and should take the time to learn why marriage is the hallmark of our society. A good article all Catholics should read is available on the Catholic Answers website called How to Make the Case for Marriage by Mary Jo Anderson. Those who are truly misguided and misinformed are those who do not know the meaning behind being created male and female and try to distort human sexuality to a physical gratification or life-denying relationship by denying the nuptial meaning of the body. Lets pray for our government to wake up. God Love You.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 7:29 AM By PETE
peter, the Bishop is correct. Marriage between one man and one woman makes for a stable society. Marriage of “anything goes’ is bad for society, and is destablizing. Relationships of Sodomy merely send Souls to Hell if they do not repent. God bless our Good Bishops.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 7:39 AM By JLS
Why is this Bishop allocating the responsibility to the SCOTUS, when he should tell the voters to throw out the bums, ie the Democrats? Why is he handing over his episcopal authority to the govt? And to think people have piled some sort of Catholic reputation on him!

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 7:40 AM By ed
An unnatural act can never be valid

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 7:59 AM By Jack Hockel
What a great bishop we have. Thank you, Bishop Cordileone, for speaking out against this ruthless regimes’s attack on the family. We pray for your continued safety and leadership in the defense of the most important issues of our day.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 8:09 AM By Mary
Thank you, Bishop Cordileone, for your courage in standing up for the truth. God has truly appointed the best Shepherd we could have during these difficult times.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 8:09 AM By scubby
Cardinal Mahoney is dancing in the street. Teddy Kennedy is cheering from the grave. These legacy of these ‘good’ Catholics is coming to fruition.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 8:30 AM By Maryanne Leonard
It is unfortunate that “peter” is so misinformed and misguided. He believes he is more informed and better guided than the admirable Bishop Cordileone and has the temerity to so state in a Catholic forum, proving once again that he is not Catholic and that he is posting here as a troll. I hate reading anything written by a man who predictably makes anti-Catholic statements and uses a vulgar street term for the male organ as his online moniker – on a Catholic website!

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:34 AM By btj
talk about misinformed and misguided…its great to hear the bishop refer to that great defender of the sanctity of marriage… Bill Clinton!!!!!

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:35 AM By Eileen
And Peter where do you get your information and guidance? It does not seem to be from the Catholic Church.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:35 AM By Catholic Joe
Just like the aftermath of an earthquake, some buildings are damaged and over time, blocks begin tumbling to the ground. So has our society. How badly will the already damaged building will crumble is yet to be seen. Get ready, it’s going to be expensive, too. The DOMA ruling is just an outward sign of the “fall of Rome” to come.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 2:54 PM By Georgia
JLS: 7:39AM ,6-5-12: The Bishop is not allocating his responsibility the SCOTUS. The discussion is about a Federal Law that has been submitted to the court system. Bishop Cordeleone was disappointed that the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of a District Court that the Federal law recognizing Marriage as between one man and one woman. The expressed his opinion that the SCOTUS should overturn the lower court decision, and uphold the law. The Bishops’ episcopal authority does not give him the power to overturn civil law. Likewise the SCOTUS does not have the power or authority to overturn Church Law.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 5:42 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
AM By scubby, It is highly doubtful that Ted Kennedy is cheering from any where, there is no happiness where he probably went. A funeral Mass by a dissenting Cardinal does not guarantee Purgatory, let alone Heaven. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 5:59 PM By Delilah
This just in, Prop 8 is on its way to the Supreme Court. The California Supreme Court just called the majority of Californians bigot.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 7:10 PM By johnsiple
So glad to have nearby a Man of God who is not fearful of teaching, speaking, preaching the Truth

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 8:53 PM By JLS
Exactly, Georgia, Bishop Cordileone, just as you describe him, is giving all his marbles to SCOTUS, instead of exercising his episcopal domain by means of Canon 915.

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012 8:58 PM By JLS
Georgia, God’s law is always greater than civil law. Bishops have all been appointed by God to overturn bad secular law … If you are Catholic, then why have you never heard of St Paul who overturned the secular law in all of Europe? Why have you never heard of the Great Commission? What kind of a Catholic do you call yourself? Let me guess: a Government Catholic? Yeah, that would be it, right?

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 4:43 AM By AL
JLS, please tell us where you get your info that St. Paul overturned European Civil Law. State the exact reference so we can check it out. For one thing, much of Europe did not exist during his life-time, and neither did the civil laws of European States. Also please give us your exact reference that Bishops have all been appointed by God to overturn bad Secular Law.

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 11:51 AM By jon
JLS is again wrong. Bishops are NOT appointed “by God to overturn bad secular law.” WRONG. Bishops are anointed to lead, teach, and govern the Church—most of whom are the LAITY! It is the faithful secular laity that is commissioned to re-fashion society into the image of Christ, part of which is to, yes, overturn unjust secular laws. The bishops and priests are there to minister to the laity so that the laity may be informed of what the Gospel principles are and that they may be empowered in their task to bring the principles of the Gospel to all aspects of the secular world. Let the laity not be misguided into thinking that they are just there to sit, pray, and obey while leaving the task of converting the world to bishops and priests. No, the important task of converting the secular world belongs properly to the laity!

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:00 PM By John F. Maguire
JLS: You argue extravagantly and equivocally that St. Paul “overturned” the secular law of all Europe, quite as if the term secular were pejorative; quite as if, moreover, the event you postulate can warrantably be said to have happened. REPLY: Positive human law, which you are in the habit of disparaging as secular, is, in all actuality and first of all, a participation in the natural law, which law is a participation in God’s eternal law. Whence the teaching that just human laws — just secular laws — are binding in conscience even as a law that deflects from the natural law is, in truth, “no longer a law but a perversion of law” (Thomas Aquinas). As Martin Luther King, Jr. has observed, “An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law” (Martin Luther King, Jr., _Letter from a Birmingham Jail_ (April 16, 1963)). The large body of positive human law (positive secular law) is not unjust. See Thomas Aquinas, _Treatise on Law: The Complete Text_, edited and translated by Alfred J. Fredosso (St. Augustine’s Press, 2009).

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:20 PM By JLS
jon, when are you going to study Catholicism instead of making it up? Great Commission equals changing governments from bad to good, “good” being the way God wants it. Or do you believe that God wants division? Your theology is not Catholic, jon.

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 2:23 PM By JLS
AL, apparently you did not know that St Paul evangelized Europe and oversaw its conversion to Catholicism … “oversaw”, AL, because the Church teaches that those in Heaven help those on earth.

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 3:11 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Jon, 11:51 AM, You are RIGHT! However, bishops properly enforcing Canon Law, especially Canon 915, can aid in a very powerful way the laity who have taken on the task of working to restore all things in God! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 5:42 PM By jon
JLS is wrong yet again! And he is even digging a deeper pit for himself. JLS if ever you decide to truly know what Catholicism is all about you will find this in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium which proves my point: “But the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God…They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven” (31). JLS you are very wrong. Again! It is not the task of the bishops to overthrow unjust secular laws!

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 5:53 PM By jon
Oh, and JLS, please review your Biblical Church history. Don’t make it up. St. Paul NEVER overturned secular law in Europe. How ludicrous! Rather, he was executed by the law of the state. This glittering display of colossal ignorance is appalling and shocking.

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 5:57 PM By JLS
Look at it this way: Someone evangelized Europe. It took many centuries to do this; St Paul began the effort. Now, ask yourselves: Did St Paul wind up in Heaven or did he simply cease to exist? Then ask yourselves: If St Paul went to Heaven, does he remain in communion with God and the Church? If so, then how can it not be said that he stopped all his evangelizing work? Remember that before he started, he was taken up into Heaven and educated; later saints were educated from Heaven also, but typically Heaven came to them instead of them visiting Heaven. What jon has to do is consider that there is a spiritual dimension to Catholicism.

Posted Wednesday, June 06, 2012 7:30 PM By Bob One
Mr. Fisher, you are a leader in the effort of the laity to restore all things in God! Don’t stop trying. You are, however, knowingly I’m sure, swiming in a storming sea. The current culture in the U.S. does not, for the most part, support the views of the Church on this or many other issues. When I grew up in the 40-60s nearly 50% of people went to church on Sunday, and nearly 100% of Catholics. Today that is down to less than 15% in some parts of California. We have a whole new generation that does not know about God or want to know about God. They, therefore, don’t want us telling them how to live. Nearly 95%+ of catholics believe that contraception is ok, so they don’t understand why it should not be part of the insurance package. More than a majority of the people of California now – according to the polls – believe that gay marriage is ok. The belief is higher among catholics in some polls. The notion of a family that includes a mother and father is not alien to us, but among younger people it is unusual. Divorce causes many single parent families. Grandmothers raising their grand-children is not unusual, unmarried mothers is the norm for people under 25 years of age, etc. You are fighting a massive cultural shift that has taken place in the last ten years or so. The failure of the Bishops to hadle the child molestation issues lost them all of their moral standing for the next two generations. You are fighting an uphill battle. Good luck.

Posted Friday, June 08, 2012 10:55 AM By JLS
“Rather he (St Paul) was executed by the state”. So was Jesus, yet Jesus converted countless governments to end their ungodly laws and make godly laws.

Posted Saturday, June 09, 2012 1:14 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Gee, all this time I was under the impression that Rome was in Italy, and Italy was a part of Europe. If my impression is correct, than St. Paul did in fact have a great deal to do with the conversion of Europe. Isn’t there a Church or even Basilica called “St. Paul Outside the Walls”? As a matter of fact I distinctly remember visiting there several times. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Sunday, June 10, 2012 7:00 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Bob One, The greater the battle (Cross) the greater the reward! When I start feeling sorry for myself, I meditate on what Our Lord and His Mother went through, and now I invoke young Blessed Jose De La Rivera as well. Viva Cristo Rey! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Sunday, June 10, 2012 10:41 PM By Abeca Christian
jon who made you the correctional officer, and what church do you belong too? saying that JLS is wrong again….that is hogwash!