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Letter to Parishioners From Bishop Raica Regarding Supreme Court Decision
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to redefine marriage has created a dramatic outcome that is both surprising and yet not surprising. It is surprising in the sense that the definition of marriage can somehow be determined by legislative, administrative or judicial fiat, reducing the magnificent institution of marriage to subjective criteria of individuals and the powers that be. It is not surprising in the sense that a consensus has been slowly and deliberately building in society to deconstruct the very elements and foundations of marriage.
Marriage, at its very heart, has some concrete factors determined by nature and acknowledged historically as a foundation for the building up of the individual and becoming a cornerstone of society. It is based on the diversity of one man and one woman who make a covenant or pact for the whole of life for the purpose of generating and educating offspring. It began to unravel with the advent of “no-fault” divorce and thereby deconstructing a relationship for the whole of life. It further unraveled with the prevalence of contraceptives and the legal availability of abortion so that generating offspring would be detached from the marriage relationship. Now, through a vote of the Supreme Court Justices of the United States, the requirement of one man and one woman has been modified. The whole definition of marriage, as we have understood it, has been effectively undone. In the civic sphere, it will now be left to the forces that be to define and redefine it according to prevailing trends.
Our Christian and Catholic faith, rooted in Jesus Christ, has affirmed the original and unchanging foundation of the definition of marriage rooted in the truth of nature (cf. Mt 19:4-6; Mk 10:6-9). No person is competent to change or alter that definition without disrupting the quintessential beauty of an institution that has withstood the test of time and, I might add, goes beyond the establishment of our nation or even our Church. It was established at the time of creation as part of the design of God.
Another purpose of marriage is that children who are born into the stability of a relationship can know their mothers and fathers – from whence they came – as a fruit of conjugal love.
I ask and urge the faithful of the Diocese of Gaylord to study, understand and promote the value of marriage as intended by the Creator, in all of its radiant splendor, regardless of laws, trends or civil pressures.
Our conversation about this very central institution of society will continue on all levels so that the sanctity of marriage, as understood in our faith tradition, can shine forth for the good of children and all.
The Diocese of Gaylord, through our programs and teachings, will continue to foster the truth of marriage as grounded in our faith.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Steven J Raica
Bishop of Gaylord