The Supreme Court of the United States of America published a decision on June 26, 2015 to redefine marriage in a fundamental way. This decision does not change the truth that is older than states and courts. The Catholic Church, along with other faith traditions, teaches that marriage is a natural institution established by God to be a permanent union between one man and one woman, intended towards the formation of a family in which children are born and nurtured.
The ruling is not surprising in light of the number of states in which courts have recognized same-sex marriage as well as rapidly changing attitudes in American popular culture regarding the nature of marriage. The Catholic community has long recognized values that distinguish its understanding of marriage from the legal definition. Those differences have become more acute.
So where do we go from here?
The Catholic Church will continue to teach and preach the truth that marriage is a union of one man and one woman and encourage all people of good will to embrace the fullness of that truth. We will work to promote and strengthen marriage and families. We will strive to uphold the dignity of every human person, including persons who experience same-sex attraction, welcoming them as our brothers and sisters.
The decision of the Supreme Court is an invitation to Catholics to proclaim the Gospel that sets all people free. I pray the Supreme Court's decision will be an invitation for all people of good will to discuss respectfully what divides us and seek the common good of all, especially of families. I ask that those who disagree with the teachings of our Church may recognize our God-given freedom to live according to our faith and our consciences.