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Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:33

N.Y. Archbishop Bans Same-Sex Marriage at Catholic Facilities

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New York Archbishop Timothy J. Dolan (left) has put an exclamation point on the Catholic Church’s opposition to the state’s legalization of homosexual “marriage,” issuing a decree that no same-sex wedding ceremonies will be permitted at facilities owned by the archdiocese, which comprises three of New York City's five counties/boroughs, as well as seven counties in New York state.

“No Catholic facility or property, including but not limited to parishes, missions, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health, or charitable institutions or benevolent orders, or any place dedicated, consecrated, or used for Catholic worship may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages,” the Archbishop said in the October 18th pronouncement.

In addition, he stated that no priest, deacon, or employee of the diocese “may participate in the civil solemnization or celebration of a same-sex marriage,” emphasizing that “[e]cclesiastical solemnization or celebration of same-sex marriages is expressly forbidden by Canon law.”

Dolan’s action comes in response to the state legislature’s legalization of homosexual “marriage” in late June, following a heated campaign by both pro-family and pro-homosexual forces throughout the state. Dolan was a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage, and as Governor Andrew Cuomo, himself a Catholic of sorts, pulled out all stops to force the legislation though, recalled LifeSite News, the Archbishop "compared the ‘perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth,’ to the actions of totalitarian states and communist governments."

Wrote the Archbishop on the archdiocesan website: “Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America — not in China or North Korea.” He added that in such countries, “government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.”

In his decree the Archbishop noted that for thousands of years “civil authority recognized the true nature of marriage. The marital union between one man and one woman was universally accepted by civil law as a constitutive element of human society, which is vital to the human family and to the continuation of the human race.” He stated that the new law “is irreconcilable with the nature and the definition of marriage as established by Divine law.”

Blogger Zack Ford, writing on the “LGBT” page of ThinkProgress.org, called Dolan’s pronouncement “troubling," noting that the prohibition includes Catholic schools and churches. “This would mean that a bed-ridden patient in a Catholic hospital would not be permitted to marry his partner on the property,” Ford pointed out, adding that the ban “could conceivably extend to any and all recognition of same-sex unions, which would create severe complications for couples who might be accessing healthcare or charitable services that are provided by the Church.”

Ford argued that that Dolan’s decree “continues to show just how out of step Catholic leadership is from the mainstream Catholic population, which overwhelmingly supports marriage equality.”

The Archbishop, however, recognizing his call to shepherd God’s people in a fallen world and in the midst of a corrupted culture, declared in his pronouncement that “Jesus Christ affirmed the privileged place of marriage in human and Christian society by raising this union to the dignity of a sacrament when entered into by two baptized persons. Consequently, the Church has the authority and the serious obligation to affirm the authentic teaching on marriage and to preserve and foster the supremely sacred value of the married state."

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