Roman Catholic Archbishop quotes discredited anti-gay parenting “study” of Mark Regnerus as proof gays should not be allowed to marry or raise children.
John Myers, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey, has written a 16-page fear-mongering letter, called a “pastoral statement,” that compares gay marriage to incest, and suggests to his one million followers that marriage equality could lead to laws outlawing religious free speech or even imprisoning priests for preaching “God’s natural laws.” Myers also quotes the discredited anti-gay parenting “study” by Mark Regnerus as so-called proof “that the best possible environment for the healthy development of children is the presence and participation of the two biological parents in an intact family.”
Myers’ full letter is available below.
“Newark Archbishop John J. Myers said the statement on gay marriage was not timed to coincide with the November election, now little more than a month away, and that he was not calling on Catholics to vote for a particular candidate,” The Record/North Jersey.com reports. “But he said they should examine the ‘full spectrum’ of each candidate, including how they stand on abortion and ‘a proper backing of marriage’.”
Most Churches are subject to IRS regulations prohibiting them from endorsing or otherwise supporting — or opposing any political candidate, or risk their tax-exempt status, a benefit that costs the American taxpayers $71 billion annually.
“Myers said he had been thinking about issuing a statement on the subject for about a year,” The Record continues. “He acknowledged that portions would be considered controversial and said he expected a ‘heated discussion’ about the statement, which will be published online today. Parishioners in churches across the archdiocese, which covers Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Union counties, will be handed letters at church this weekend telling them about the statement and directing them to where it can be read.”
Coincidentially, one week from this Sunday, on October 7, is the Alliance Defense Fund’s annual “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” which radical right wing “pro-family” and religious groups flout the regulations by endorsing or opposing political candidates from the pulpit, and dare the IRS to investigate them or try to revoke their tax-eempt status.
“Myers acknowledged that a large number of Catholics seem to be at odds with church teaching, and that he wanted to reach out to them with his statement,” The Record adds:
“No one has said things clearly to them for years,” he said.
Myers, 71, said modern culture and the media have led to the social acceptance of same-sex marriage. Homosexual acts are a sin, he said, but homosexuality is not. He wrote that it is possible for gay people to be married to members of the opposite sex and live “good, faithful and even joyous married lives. It is a lie to say that they are living, or have lived, a lie.”
An erosion of the traditional family, caused by the prevalence of divorce and contraception, is to blame for the social acceptance of same-sex marriage, Myers said. Procreation is an essential part of marriage, he said, but he said that men and women who cannot have children are not the same as gay couples because they are “not intentionally excluding children.”
The statement appeared to compare gay marriage to incest. “Even those who propose radically altering the definition of marriage would not advocate allowing two brothers or sisters or an uncle and his nephew to marry (say, for the tax benefits, or for hospital visiting privileges),” he wrote.
“Marriage is as old as humankind,” Archbishop Myers, who is 71, begins, in his letter, the full copy you can read below. (Of course, that’s totally false.)
Marriage “provides the ideal context for children—citizens of the state and of the Kingdom—to be formed, nurtured and educated. It is therefore the fundamental building block of every society and of the Church, a matter of vital concern to both,” the Archbishop notes, which, logically, therefore, would lead one to want to extend marriage to same-sex couples, especially those raising what are often biologically their own children. The only reason, logically, for not wanting to extend marriage to same-sex couples, therefore, is hate and bigotry and ignorance. Period.
“Only a man and a woman can establish a genuine one-flesh union through their commitment to each other and their bodily complementarity,” Myers writes:
Here is another way of putting the point. There are many bodily activities that people do together: enjoy meals, play sports, do manual labor, etc. Friends, teammates, colleagues, and others engage in all of these and many other activities. But everyone recognizes that marriage involves a sexual component, which these other physical experiences lack. A brother and sister or an uncle and his niece are prohibited everywhere from marrying because of the relationship of marriage to sexual activity and the laws of consanguinity. Even those who propose radically altering the definition of marriage would not advocate allowing two brothers or sisters or an uncle and his nephew to marry (say, for the tax benefits, or for hospital visiting privileges). What, then, explains this connection—acknowledged even by those who would redefine marriage—between marriage and sexual activity?
Myers also claims gay marriage will lead to the imprisonment of priests for anti-gay “religious” speech:
If our society enshrines in law a “civil” right to “marry” someone of one’s own sex, then any persons or groups that believe otherwise will be seriously disadvantaged in law and in fact. Already we hear public officials and news organizations refer to those of us who hold the conjugal view of marriage as “bigots.” States such as Illinois and Massachusetts have made it impossible for Catholic Charities to provide adoption services. Hotel managers, photographers, owners of reception halls, etc. who hold to the view of marriage as a conjugal partnership have had legal or civil actions taken against them. How long would the state permit churches, schools or parents to teach their children that homosexual activity is contrary to the natural law if homosexual marriage were a civil right? Already in Canada and other democratic nations “hate speech” laws have been used to harass or even arrest clerics who preach the Biblical message about marriage.
Editor’s Note: Archbishop Myers’ anti-gay pastoral statement is unacceptable. Stay tuned as we will continue to provide coverage on this event.
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