Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Most Rev. John C. Wester:
Today the Supreme Court of the United States decided state marriage bans are
unconstitutional, meaning all states will perform and recognize same-sex marriage.
This decision, though significant, does not conclude debate over the definition
of marriage; we would like to affirm the following pastoral response.
As Catholics, we seek to uphold our traditional belief in marriage as a sacrament,
a well established and divinely revealed covenant between one man and one
woman, a permanent and exclusive bond meant to provide a nurturing
environment for children and the fundamental building block to a just society.
At the same time, we respect the dignity of all persons, not wishing to undermine
their pursuit of happiness but only to preserve and defend the gift of marriage as
divinely revealed in scripture and in natural law. Although we respectfully
disagree with those who would define marriage otherwise, we firmly hold that all
persons are loved by our compassionate God and deserve the respect and
dignity that is inherently theirs as human beings.
We acknowledge the right of our nation’s highest court to provide for a well
ordered society by establishing laws that protect the common good and safeguard
the civil and contractual rights and privileges of its citizens. At the same time, we
urge our lawmakers and judges to respect those institutions that are beyond state
and federal jurisdiction, institutions such as sacramental marriage that transcend
civil law and whose origins precede the existence of the state and go beyond its