In an op-ed piece penned for The Virginia-Pilot, the heads of the Diocese of Richmond and Arlington, Bishops Francis DiLorenzo and Paul Loverde, issue a joint call to action, writing that they "call upon the attorney general to honor the oath he took, as [they] call upon all Virginians to defend marriage."
The hard-hitting and powerful piece is worth reading in full; here is just a snippet:
While declining to defend the state constitution without even appointing outside counsel is unusual enough for the state's top attorney, his decision to actively challenge the state's definition of marriage - a definition he voted for when serving as a state senator - is shocking and reckless.
Much has been written already about the responsibility attorneys general have to defend state laws, whether they agree with those laws or not. We join many others in calling on Herring to do the job he was elected to perform.
But what is at stake here far surpasses the issue of the attorney general's role and integrity. Most fundamentally, what is at stake is the preservation of the family, the fundamental and foundational unit of society.
Though long-recognized in church and civil law, marriage did not originate in church or state but in nature. Long before nations or organized religions, the institution of marriage existed as the union of one man and one woman.
Marriage has been shown throughout history to be civilization's irreplaceable building block, benefitting children and society at large. No religion, government or individual has the right or legitimate authority to alter the original design of marriage. Likewise, neither the attorney general nor the courts have the authority to impose a new definition of marriage on society.
We applaud these heroic Bishops for standing up in defense of marriage in Virginia!