Pastor's Corner

2015 07-12 Marriage and Family – We Are Challenged to Be Faithful Witnesses to the Truth

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From our pastor, Father Neil Herlihy
Our Church leaders often speak about marriage and family. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis addressed these topics two years ago in his very first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (The Light of Faith). He stated, “The first setting in which faith enlightens the human city is the family. I think first and foremost of the stable union of men and women in marriage. The union is born of their love, as a sign and presence of God’s love, and of the acknowledgement and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh (cf Gen 2:24) and are enabled to give birth to a new life, a manifestation of the creative goodness, wisdom and loving plan.” Pope Francis will certainly focus again on these topics when he visits the United States in September.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also spoke about marriage and family. The bishops stated that “marriage is a natural institution that predates government. Every human society has acknowledged that the sexual union of man and woman matters because it creates the next generation.”

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, as the Archbishop of Washington, D.C., has a good understanding of the political and spiritual environment that exists in Washington. He recently spoke about marriage and family in light of the June 26th ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the definition of marriage. He stated, “The revealed Word of God is still what it was before the Supreme Court decision. Marriage is the life-long union of a man and a woman given for the purpose of their mutual good and for the procreation and education of children. Sacred Scripture confirms the meaning of marriage and Jesus raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament.” He also stated, “Marriage is unique in God’s plan for the bodily union of husband and wife. The total gift of married love is unique in the sexual difference that a man and woman bring to their union, each complementing the other and making them capable of and open to new life in the gift of children.”

He then asked and answered the following question, “What then is our responsibility in the face of all the changes in man-made civil law? We are followers of Jesus Christ, so our message must be what he proclaimed. All Christians have the responsibility to learn and grow in their faith in order to share it with others. We should be able to explain what we believe and why we hold it. That means taking up the challenge to be better informed on Church teaching and why such belief is part of the vision rooted in Gospel values.”

As we reflect on these sentiments, our bishops also challenge us to be faithful witnesses to the truth and pray for our Church and our nation as we strive to answer our call to discipleship.

2015 07-19 Once Again, Pope Francis Decries the Persecution of Christians
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