US Bishops’ October Marriage Newsletter

Marriage: Unique for a Reason

Love and Responsibility

The MUR blog has been running a series on Karol Wojtyla’s (St. John Paul II) book Love and Responsibility. This book is still tremendously relevant to anyone who seeks to understand love (all of us!). St. John Paul II, “The Pope of the Family,” teaches us what it means for man and woman to love one another in truth.

One of these posts was shared by the Catholic Match Institute as well.

MUR for Teachers

The MUR blog ran a series of short videos about various aspects of the implications of marriage redefinition.

These are great resources for the classroom. They are short, digestible, and lend themselves to discussion. If you’re a high school teacher, we’d love to hear how you used them in class!

Also, keep in mind that MUR videos are also available on the platform.

First Freedom Podcast

Check out the new Religious Liberty podcast!

Current episodes feature the work of USCCB Government Relations, the wisdom of Archbishop Lori of Baltimore, Montse Alvarado from Becket, and more! Click here to listen to all the episodes!

Also, stay tuned for news about MUR’s very own podcast: Made for Love, debuting in November 2017!


Legal Updates

U.S. Supreme Court
The USCCB filed an amicus brief in the case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in support of the religious freedom of Jack Phillips, who declined an order for a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in accordance with his beliefs about marriage.

Fourth Circuit
On September 12, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit heard oral argument, again, in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. This case had been remanded to the circuit court by the U.S. Supreme Court after the Trump Administration rescinded the “Dear Colleague Letter” (DCL) of March 2016. The DCL had been used by the appeals court in their April 2016 ruling in favor of the “transgender boy” (biological girl) who sought access to the high school boys’ facilities. In April of 2017, the Fourth Circuit vacated the district court’s preliminary injunction and noted that the case will not be decided before G.G. graduates. The student is suing on the basis of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex) and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

On September 19, 2017, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Children’s Services Agency over the state law allowing child welfare providers to maintain their practice of placing children for adoption in man-woman households. The suit asks the state to bar taxpayer funding to faith-based organizations or others that exclude same-sex couples from their foster care or adoption programs.

In September 2017, the ACLU of Iowa filed a lawsuit against the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, arguing that Medicaid must cover “transition-related” services for “transgender” people.


Legislation in the 115th Congress

The USCCB continues to support the First Amendment Defense Act and the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act in Congress.

Healthy Relationships Act of 2017
In September, Archbishop Chaput, Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee for Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, sent a letter of support to Representative Randy Hultgren for the Healthy Relationships Act of 2017. The act would authorize the federal government to award grants on a competitive basis to public and private entities providing education in sexual risk avoidance (voluntarily refraining from nonmarital sexual activity).

Take Action Now! by visiting this link and urge your representatives to support and co-sponsor this vital legislation.

Talking Point

Get back to the basics:

Where did marriage come from?

From the beginning– creation! Marriage is not something thought up by human society or by any religion – rather, it springs from who we are. We are male and female, called to unite and procreate. This truth is one we know by experience. The truth of marriage is accessible to everyone, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. We can all see that our bodies are designed with the other sex in mind, and that the only way a child is conceived is through the union of man and woman.

Catechesis Corner 

“One is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator. Just as man does not have unlimited dominion over his body in general, so also, and with more particular reason, he has no such dominion over his specifically sexual faculties, for these are concerned by their very nature with the generation of life, of which God is the source.”

–Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae, no. 13.