Kansas Bishops Issue Statement on the Supreme Court Marriage Decisions

June 27, 2013

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, Bishop John Brungardt of Dodge City, Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Salina, and Monsignor Robert Hemberger, Diocesan Administrator of Wichita, issued the following statement today in response to the United States Supreme Court decisions in United States v. Windsorand Hollingsworth v. Perry:

In one of two significant rulings today the United States Supreme Court struck down the section of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as between one man and one woman for purposes of federal law and federal benefits. There had been a concern that the justices would strike down all state laws and constitutional amendments defining marriage as between one man and one woman but fortunately this did not come to pass.  A great many of the States in our Nation define marriage as between one man and one woman.  That state legislation, including our own in Kansas, is undisturbed.

In addressing this issue we must begin by recalling that when asked about marriage, Jesus said: “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’?” (Matthew 19: 4)  Scripture, biology, and the Natural Law reveal that it is God’s design that the two sexes are complementary.  While Americans have a laudable desire to treat all people with equality, equality does not mean interchangeability.  The well-intentioned desire to accept any and all circumstances is misplaced when it applies to an eternal institution such as marriage.

We would further note that God’s plan for marriage is for the wellbeing of men and women.  However it is also, and especially, for children.  In our hearts we all know that every child wants to know who his or her mother and father is, wants to be with them, and wants to be loved by them.  In our hearts, we know that every child deserves a mother and father.  While this is not always possible, and single persons have oftentimes served as exemplary parents, still it should be society’s aspiration that all children know a mother and a father.

Despite this setback, we do not lose hope.  All Catholics should continue to pray for our Nation, especially during this Fortnight for Freedom.  We are committed to being prophetic in speaking the truth about life, religious freedom, and the sanctity of marriage.  We are likewise committed to working toward the restoration of a culture that respects marriage, nurtures children, and recognizes the family as the core social unit of our society.