Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, will be installed tomorrow as the ninth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield. A Western Massachusetts news site posted a curiously-written article about the new bishop, a vocal marriage supporter.
The article wasted no time in criticizing the sex abuse scandals of the 1990s and then went on to imply that Pope Francis somehow holds a different view on marriage than the official position of the Catholic Church:
Last September, Francis, in an interview, said abortion, contraception and gay marriage had become an "obsessed" focus in the Church. Last July, he also said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge."
However, Church teaching that married love is between a man and a woman, for the purpose of reproduction, as ordered by nature, that itself was ordered by God, is not likely to be modified, no matter the pastoral approach to it.
Notice how the article implies that Pope Francis's comments signify a break in Church teaching.
In reality, Pope Francis's "who am I to judge" comment was a continuation of what the Catholic Church has always taught--that those who are attracted to the same sex are called to chastity and should not be subjected to unjust discrimination. Also notice how the article omitted the portion of the pope's quote denouncing the formation of a "gay lobby." To include that would be an admission that Pope Francis isn't the radical doctrine reformer many want him to be (so would including anything about Pope Francis's opposition to redefining marriage when he was Cardinal Bergoglio).
The article did, however, include very wonderful comments from Bishop Rozanski on the importance of family - although it was evident that the author of the piece did not take kindly to these observations:
What we offer as Catholics is to strengthen the family as the basis of society. When there is a solid family life, there is less likelihood of crime, there is less likelihood of drug use. The children grow up with a solid foundation. And that is a foundation they can take all through their lives. And, as a Church, what we are saying is that God made us male and female, and that the institution of marriage is so crucial. It is a sacrament of the Church, if the sacrament is well lived, then the children and future generations will benefit.
Bishop Rozanski is absolutely correct. When children grow up with a married mother and father, they are much less likely to experience poverty, juvenile delinquency, or drop out of school.
The bishop's defense of marriage is rooted in love for all members of the human family and concern for the welfare of children and society as a whole. His charitable, truthful comments about the family as the basis of society should inspire Catholics and non-Catholics alike, even if they do upset liberals in the media and those who wish to turn Church against itself by unfairly twisting the words of the Pope and other leaders.