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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Catholic Bishop defends traditional marriage amid scrutiny

Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was appointed nearly three years ago as the head of the Catholic Archdiocese in New York City, has defended traditional marriage vehemently in the Empire State, often amid scrutiny from both the right and the left.  Some issues faced head-on by Dolan are in conformity with the doctrines and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The Mormon Eagle's examination of them, as Dolan puts them forth in the Sunday 30 October 2011 issue of the Deseret News, follows.

Boldly Stated by the Catholics and the Mormons
Archbishop Dolan stated, "We are, as a people of faith, against any attempt by anyone anywhere to diminish the pure definition of marriage.  We're against adultery, we're against a frivolous divorce, we're against cohabitation before marriage" ("A Man of Faith: How the Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage is Defining "America's Pope'", Deseret News, Sunday 30 October 2011, A4).  Stated plainly and simply enough, but to make the point further, I quote from "The Family: A Proclamation to the World", given by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children. . . . We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife. . . . we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. ("The Family: A Proclamation to the World, October 1995 Semiannual General Conference).

Not Anti-Gay, But Pro-Family
Both The Church of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church has received flak for defending traditional marriage so strongly.  Many have stated, at least to the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that Mormons are anti-gay.  This, however, is untrue; the Mormons aren't anti-gay, but rather pro-family.  President Gordon B. Hinckley stated,  

People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church. If they violate the law of chastity and the moral standards of the Church, then they are subject to the discipline of the Church, just as others are (Ensign, Nov. 1998, p. 71).

He stated elsewhere, "We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families" (Ibid., p. 71).

Bishop Dolan stated, "[Gays and lesbians] have our love, they have our acceptance, they deserve our dignity and respect, and so we can't allow this ever to be reduced to an anti-gay question" ("A Man of Faith: How the Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage is Defining "America's Pope'", Deseret News, Sunday 30 October 2011, A4).

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands with our friends of other faiths who support traditional, God-sanctioned marriage.  We will fight alongside you, ever willing to keep the commandments of God.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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