March 29-30, 2014

The debate over the nature and meaning of marriage has begun a new chapter in Michigan with the recent overturning of the state's marriage amendment which defines marriage in terms that the Catholic Church has always taught. The newspapers have been covering the issue closely. The Michigan Catholic Conference will continue to provide information and statements about the position of the Catholic Church.

A recent email from the Archdiocese gives a good overview of the issues and the beliefs of the Catholic Church, under three headings. Please read this quotation from this message:

1) Upholding the distinction/definition of marriage and respect for the dignity of all persons are not opposed. These two values are compatible and promote the common good. Unconditional love and acceptance of all is at the very heart of our Catholic faith. So too is our witness to the truth that marriage is between one man and one woman, which is the foundation for the flourishing of society.

2) Children are at the very heart of marriage. The "supreme gift" of marriage, a child, comes precisely through the mutual, loving self-gift exchanged between husband and wife. It is only because of their sexual difference that spouses are able to cooperate with God in the awesome adventure of welcoming a child into the world. Marriage is a pro-child institution. Notwithstanding difficult situations or well-meaning intentions or social research that might suggest otherwise, the dignity of the child and right of every child to a mother and a father should not be ignored.

3) Judge Friedman's ruling, overturning 2004's voter-approved marriage amendment, does not force ministers and clergy in Michigan to marry same-sex couples if they are morally opposed. It has no impact on churches making their own "rules" and their freedom to exercise their religious beliefs.