Statement of Patrick R. Brannigan,
Executive Director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference
NJ Bishops Call on Catholic Faithful to Support Marriage
During the weekend of February 10-11, Catholics and other faith groups throughout the world will mark the 14th annual observance of World Marriage Day. This year, the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey are calling on the more than 3 million faithful in the state to celebrate the Sacrament of Marriage at all liturgies and to work actively to reinforce and strengthen the traditional and historic definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The Bishops have also designated Sunday, February 25 as a Day of Special Prayer for the Preservation of Marriage.
In a letter to the faithful to be read at all Masses in New Jersey this weekend, the Bishops expressed their grave concerns that the recently enacted Civil Union Act may undermine the institution of marriage, which "has its roots not only in human tradition and history, but also in natural law, which transcends all man-made law."
They also emphasized that "marriage is distinct in essence from every other arrangement." Citing Church teaching and Scripture and emphasizing their roles as teachers of the Faith, the Bishops expressed that this understanding of marriage reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. In a cover letter to pastors that accompanies the letter to parishioners, the bishops stated: "No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely as the union of a man and a women."
Finally, in addition to prayer, the Bishops urge in their letter that all Catholics "reach out to their neighbors, legislators and the Governor with the simple message: ‘preserve the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman."
Click Here for Bishops' Letter