Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of August 28, 2006
CWL urged to help reverse 'terrible mistake' on marriage
By DEBORAH GYAPONG
Canadian Catholic News
A "terrible mistake was made" when Parliament redefined marriage last year, says Pembroke, Ont., Bishop Richard Smith.
Speaking to the national convention of the Catholic Women's League Aug. 15, Smith told more than 800 delegates that a promised vote this fall gives a "rare second chance" to revisit the issue.
As the CWL's national spiritual advisor, Smith urged members of the nonpartisan group to get in touch with their members of Parliament. With 99,000 members, the CWL is the largest women's organization in Canada.
The most effective method is to get on the phone, or "knock on the door," he said. He also urged members to address the marriage issue on the parish level. He encouraged them to write personal letters, pointing out petitions are not as effective.
Smith told the gathering he believed he was speaking for all the bishops in Canada when it came to the "incredibly important issue" of upholding marriage as the lifelong bond between a man and a women that best guarantees children will know and be raised by their biological parents.
Smith also urged league members to find a way to bring the resolutions passed at the national level back to the parish for grassroots action.
While the CWL has consistently stood for life from conception to natural death and for marriage and the family, it also adopts resolutions each year on subjects ranging from social justice to the environment.
Smith said the league's spiritual advisors, mostly priests, noted the importance of the resolutions but asked how it might be more effective in making them "real to every level of the league."
Most of the attention, he said, is focused on moving resolutions up the ladder from the parish level to the national level.
He suggested more effort be focused on moving the resolutions passed at the national level back down to the local parish level for action.