New Archbishop of Philadelphia: Marriage is "The Issue Of Our Time"


Today Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver was appointed to become the new Archbishop of Philadelphia. In a wide-ranging interview with the journalist John Allen, he is asked about his views on gay marriage:

This is the issue of our time. The church understands marriage as a unique relationship, with a unique definition, which is the faithful love of a man and a woman for each other, permanent, and for the sake of children. As children, if we don't know that our parents love one another, our lives are very unstable. That's why I think every child deserves a family where the father loves the mother, and the mother loves the father. For us to redefine marriage as anything else undermines that notion. I think it's very important that the church keep insisting on this.

It's also important to say that we're not against gay people. What we're doing here is promoting marriage and the meaning of marriage, not condemning others. The church does believe that human sexuality has a meaning in itself, that it's about love and procreation. Any other sexual relationship is contrary to the Gospel, and so a relationship between two people of the same sex is not in line with the teachings of the church and the teachings of the Gospel, and is therefore wrong. That said, we should always respect people who do things contrary to the Gospel. We live in a society where different ways of life are accepted by the general community, and it's important for us to live in a way that's not hostile to people.

We have a duty as Catholics, however, to speak clearly about God's plan for human happiness. Part of that plan is traditional, faithful, Catholic/Christian marriage.