By Archbishop Michael Jackels
What the Irish recently did by popular vote could happen here by a Supreme Court ruling.
By the end of this month the Court is expected to declare on two marriage-related cases. A “yes” ruling would legalize same-sex marriage in the whole country.
At this point there is not much else that can be done except to pray that the Justices will be guided by respect for human dignity and for the common good.
We can also inform ourselves about the issue of marriage, so as to be able to talk about it with others, addressing their concerns.
One concern is equality. Proponents of same-sex marriage unfairly suggest that opponents are guilty of discrimination.
We must honor the dignity of persons with a same-sex attraction. But that does not require that marriage be redefined and the nature of family be changed.
Other concerns are related to childbearing and parenting. For every child of a same-sex marriage who says “look how well I turned out,” there is another who will argue that this is not good for children.
If marriage is redefined by the Supreme Court, we hope that true religious liberty, enshrined in our Constitution, and won at such a dear price, will be honored and we can be guided by a faith-formed conscience.
Regardless of the Irish vote or the Supreme Court ruling, we will live under the Gospel, and offer, not impose, the marriage alternative proposed by Jesus:
One man and one woman freely give themselves to each other in a permanent and exclusive partnership, to be helpmates for each other, and to be open to conceiving and bringing up children.
In teaching this Jesus departed from the Law of Moses, to restore the Creator’s plan for marriage. How ironic would it be for Christians to depart from Jesus’ departure?