News Release: Michigan's Catholic Bishops Respond to U.S. Supreme Court Redefining Marriage

June 26, 2015

(Lansing, Mich.) — Michigan's Catholic bishops today released a joint statement through the Michigan Catholic Conference responding to the United States Supreme Court decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that redefines the institution of marriage in this country.

Statement from Michigan's Catholic Bishops

Today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to redefine marriage represents a profound legal turning point in the contemporary and cultural understanding of spouses and family. We continue to teach that every human person deserves respect and compassion. The experience of same-sex attraction is a reality that calls for attention, sensitivity and pastoral care. While every person is called to love and deserves to be loved, today’s momentous decision will not change the truth of the Church’s teaching on marriage.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman. This union brings two persons together and, because of their natural biological composition, each bring qualities to the marriage that differ from one another. Man and woman complement each other; they then become united as one in marriage and together are unique in their ability to create new life based on sexual and reproductive differences.

Every child has a mother and a father and even though each child deserves to be loved and raised by them together, we are conscious of and loving toward those who find themselves in circumstances in which this arrangement of a married mother and father in the home is not reality. Married couples unable to conceive children or family structures that differ — single parents, widowed parents, adopted children and those being raised by grandparents or other family members — merit compassion and support for their life situations, which at times can be difficult and challenging. The Church and her ministries must remain conscious of and respectful toward these differing dynamics, especially when support, counsel and love is sought.

Going forward, the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage will have a significant ripple effect upon the first amendment right to religious liberty. It sets the Church’s teaching about marriage in opposition to the law and will create inestimable conflicts between the state and religious persons and institutions. As the impact of the decision plays out over the coming weeks and months the Catholic Church will continue to preach the truth about marriage and will promote, in the public square, this truth as what is good for society and our world.

  • Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron
    Archbishop of Detroit
  • Most Reverend Earl A Boyea
    Bishop of Lansing
  • Most Reverend Paul J. Bradley
    Bishop of Kalamazoo
  • Most Reverend Joseph R. Cistone
    Bishop of Saginaw
  • Most Reverend John F. Doerfler
    Bishop of Marquette
  • Most Reverend Steven J. Raica
    Bishop of Gaylord
  • Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak
    Bishop of Grand Rapids
  • Most Reverend Michael J. Byrnes
    Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit
  • Most Reverend Arturo Cepeda
    Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit
  • Most Reverend Donald F. Hanchon
    Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit
  • Most Reverend Francis R. Reiss
    Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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