The about-face on homosexual “marriage” accomplished by Thomas Suozzi, a Catholic who serves as the executive of Nassau County, New York, has drawn a strong rebuke from Bishop William Murphy. In his statement, the bishop spoke of the real meaning and a purpose of marriage “that homosexual relationships cannot fulfill.”Bishop Murphy goes on, and calls Suozzi and all Catholics to remain faithful to the Church's teachings; read the whole thing.
Bishop William Murphy's response came in reaction to Suozzi’s announcement in The New York Times that he “now supports gay marriage.” The Rockville Centre bishop reiterated Church teaching on the subject and called on all Catholics to adhere to this teaching.
“The logic of Mr. Suozzi’s argument is difficult to discern,” Bishop Murphy said.
“It seems that he has become convinced that because he has met homosexual persons who have suffered discrimination, they now have a 'right' to insist that the state re-define their private sexual relationships and give such the term of marriage.”
Bishop Murphy then addressed the issues of “employment benefits, life and health insurance and inheritance laws,” observing that “none of these require that homosexual relationships between consenting adults need to receive the state’s blessing declaring them marriage.”
Noting Suozzi’s claim that civil unions are not sufficient because they do not provide “equality” for gay couples, Murphy explained that marriage has “a meaning and a purpose that homosexual relationships cannot fulfill.”
“Whatever may be the intensity of a relationship between two persons,” Bishop Murphy reminded, “it cannot become what it is not.”
“Some may find all kinds of positive qualities to such relationships but it cannot be re-defined into marriage. To use an absurd example, no matter how much a man might like so to do, he cannot give birth to a child and if he is blessed to be the father of his child, he cannot claim he is really the mother.”
One of the most positive signs for Catholics in America today is that the long winter of episcopal silence on moral issues seems to be coming to an end. Whether the Scandal made it clear just how far the rot of infidelity to the Church had crept, or whether our current bishops are more willing than the previous generation to stand up for what the Church believes. I find it very heartening that Bishop Murphy has taken this opportunity to call Suozzi to return to the Church's understanding of gay marriage and to remind all Catholics that these teachings are not disposable.