Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July, 2005
Archbishop Thomas Collins addresses same-sex marriage
A short time ago, some Canadian judges and legislators bought into a concept of marriage previously unknown to humankind. They reduced marriage to a mechanism for legitimating close relationships. It is no wonder that so literally lifeless a concept had to be forced through Parliament, with the consciences of many members suppressed. It was too risky to take some time to think it through. It will not bear careful thought.
Cast aside is the vibrant concept of marriage rooted in the life giving complementarity of male and female - marriage as the fundamental social institution, more fundamental than the state, the stable context for bringing new persons into this world, and for raising up those children to adulthood.
In our country real marriage, as lived and understood by humans of all religions and cultures throughout history, is now reduced to being only one variety of marriage, and those who affirm its unique significance are branded as bigots, who do not care for justice.
This is a sad day for all citizens of our diminished country. Our judges and legislators have failed in their duty to serve the common good, and our society will suffer in the years that lie ahead.
We need to respond, and here are a few ways to do so.
First, we need to pray for the strengthening of family life in our society, and to do all that we can to support marriage and the family. One function of the law is to educate in the values that give life to a society. We now live in a country in which the law is a hindrance, not a help, to marriage and the family, which already face so many other challenges.
Secondly, we need to act together with all citizens of whatever faith, or of no faith, who recognize the shape of the culture of life and resist the culture of death in whatever form that takes.
Thirdly, as a faith community we need to give true support to those who personally experience same sex attraction. For them, as for everyone, for that matter, chastity is the way to inner peace and true freedom.
Fourthly, we need to prepare for the effects of this misguided legislation. They will not be long in coming. Forget about religious officials. It is lay people who will suffer for the sake of conscience.
Finally, we need to become engaged actively in the world of popular culture, presently in the grip of fuzzy thinking and unwholesome values.
"Lead, kindly light."
Archbishop of Edmonton
June 29, 2005
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