Put Out into the Deep

Statement of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio regarding passage of Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have deconstructed the single most important institution in human history. Republicans and Democrats alike succumbed to powerful political elites and have passed legislation that will undermine our families and as a consequence, our society.

With this vote, Governor Cuomo has opened a new front in the culture wars that are tearing at the fabric of our nation. At a time when so many New Yorkers are struggling to stay in their homes and find jobs, we should be working together to solve these problems. However, the politicians have curried favor with wealthy donors who are proponents of a divisive agenda in order to advance their own careers and futures.

What is needed in our state is leadership and not political gamesmanship.

In light of these disturbing developments and in protest for this decision, I have asked all Catholic schools to refuse any distinction or honors bestowed upon them this year by the governor or any member of the legislature who voted to support this legislation. Furthermore, I have asked all pastors and principals to not invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration. The above request is intended as a protest of the corrupt political process in New York State. More than half of all New Yorkers oppose this legislation. Yet, the governor and the state legislature have demonized people of faith, whether they be Muslims, Jews, or Christians, and identified them as bigots and prejudiced, and voted in favor of same-sex “marriage.” It is mystifying that this bill would be passed on the last day of an extended session under the cover of darkness.

This issue has been framed as upholding marriage equality. This is not the case since one of the principal purposes of marriage is to bring new life into the world. This cannot happen in same-sex marriage. It is not a civil rights issue, but rather a human rights issue upholding the age-old understanding of marriage. Our political leaders do not believe their own rhetoric. If they did, how in good conscience could they carve out any exemption for institutions that would be proponents of bigotry and prejudice?

Republicans and Democrats equally share responsibility for this ruinous legislation and we as Catholics should hold all accountable for their actions.

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35 thoughts on “Statement of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio regarding passage of Same-Sex Marriage Legislation

    1. Don’t be fooled by polls, a lot of times it’s a matter of how you ask a question. In addition, I read the Daily News every day and the paper openly promotes Same Sex Marriage to the nth degree. For instance, they have one of their sports columnist, Mike Lupica, promoting SSM on a daily basis. If the issue was presented fairly, I’m sure there would be different results.

  1. What a shame! On the feast day of one of the Church’s greatest saints and defenders of marriage, this abominable law was passed.

    St. John the Baptist (June 24) had no problem speaking out and correcting the adulterous and bigamous marriage of Herod and Herodias. I am sure he did not tone it down and call it an “irregular” marriage. He was not worried about losing friends, or status, or hurting people’s feelings, or not being pastoral enough. The Truth will always hurt someone! He was the greatest martyr for the faith and the strongest defender of truth and marriage. How many in the Church today are willing to defend marriage to the point of martyrdom for fear of some other loss?

    Pray to St. John the Baptist for the courage to speak the Truth in all things. Pray for our priests and pastors to do the same no matter the cost. And pray for those arrogant enough to believe they have a right to change the definition of marriage. God help us all!

    1. St. John the Baptist, like Jesus, was silent on the issue of homosexuality, a reality that no doubt existed in his day. Interesting.

    1. Yes. The citizens of Sodom and Gamorra were inhospitable and rejecting of those who were different from them. God wasn’t too happy about that.

  2. Why is the Catholic hierarchy the most vocal in their blatant bigotry on this issue? Because of their overwhelming fear of losing POWER over their congregation! How about this group – CatholicsforMarriageEquality.net – that none of you ever even acknowledge – obviously more than you think of your “flock” are repulsed by your sanctimoniousness in the name of “God”! So are you going to excommunicate all the straight couples who don’t, and never wanted, children? What deeply flawed logic, even in the “don’t confuse me with the facts” world that you and Dolan and the rest of you gasbag clergy live in.

    1. Mukcj…. Gay marriages has nothing to do with Fear of losing any power over a congregation. It has to do with a marriage between a man and woman,keeping it sacred not demeaning the value of a marriage. But what would you know about marriages when you yourself is filled with hate and anger, and resentment and unforgiveness in your own life, so to you a meaning of marriage means nothing based upon your heart!

  3. Polls, schmolls! The bottom line is that politicians caved into a strong lobbying effort to legalize gay marriage under the guise of “equality”. Marriage is between a man and a woman. This new “law” violates thousands of years of the Judeo-Christian ethic. It will put rabbis and pastors, many of whom are hired by the congregation, in a bind if the congregation demands that they perform gay marraiges against their own personal beliefs. There will be lawsuits galore because of this new law. I predict that many pastors who support traditional marriage will lose their jobs when they refuse to perform gay weddings. That this happened while the GOP has control of the State Senate shows that they are unworthy of leadership. The polticians who caved – and that includes Democrats such as Joe Addabbo – must be voted out. And shame on Mike Gianaris who is Greek Orthodox. He should know better.

    1. have you ever heard of anyone forcing a priest, or any pastor, to marry anyone? congregations that choose their pastor do so based on the belief system of the majority of the congregation. are you equally concerned for pastors who favor same sex marriage in congregations where the majority of parishoners do not? nothing has changed.

  4. Dear Bishop DiMarzio – I am deeply grateful for your strong stance and proposed actions in protest of this travesty.

    The fact that this Bill passed does not mean our opposition will fade; it will grow stronger, especially with Church Leaders such as yourself.

    Sincerely –

    R.Delia Mannix
    2-17 149 Place
    Whitestone, NY 11357

    To all who voted to pass this: Actions have consequences, as will become crystal clear when you run for re-election.

  5. Nowhere does the Bishop call for the excommunication of these politicians , namely Governor Cuomo. Another case of lots of talk and no action by the church hierarchy!

  6. Berrigan, there were similar polls published in California & other States that claimed that the majority of the population favored same sex marriage, but on election day, the people voted AGAINST redefining the nature of marriage. If same sex marriage proponents were so confident that the people of the State of New York wanted this, then why didn’t Albany allow the people to vote on it? Why was the decision left to a few?

    1. because unlike most other states, the constitution of the state of new york allows public referenda for only a limited set of circumstances. those who oppose same sex marriage know this. the only way to get around it is to first pass a constitutional amendment to change the referendum process and then hold an election. it’s a virtual impossibility.

  7. The GOP was bought off by wealth donors and by Andrew Cuomo who said that he run only token opposition against them in the next election. Talk about sellouts! Please excommunicate Andrew Cuomo.

    1. and then you can excommunicate all of our Catholic leaders who support the war in Iraq and capital punishment and oppose a preferential option for the poor.

  8. There are valid concerns on both sides of this controversial issue. Perhaps the only reasonable solution is to get government out of the business of deciding who could and who couldn’t participate in the legal benefits of marriage. If the government only offered “civil unions” — a legal status that clarified issues of property, shared benefits, rights over children and property — to any two adults, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and left the issue of “marriage” to the churches, all citizens would have access to the legal protections that are the state’s responsibility while churches, temples and synogogues would have the right to determine who could participate in a ceremony sanctifying marital union in light of that religion’s beliefs. Under this compromise no citizen would be denied legal rights and no church would be forced to recognize a marriage that didn’t conform to its interpretaion of Scripture.

  9. “legislation that will undermine our families and as a consequence, our society.”

    That’s a pretty hefty charge, Bishop. How, exactly, will families and society be undermined? And what proof do you have? What deteriment has Massachusetts suffered since legalizing same sex marriages seven years ago? Or the Netherlands and Belgium 10 years ago? Or Canada, Spain, Portugal, Argentina and South Africa, among others?

    Civil divorces have been common place in all states for over 60 years now. Why aren’t you trying to outlaw (and not just speak out against when asked about)divorce? And, yes, procreation might be “one of” the principle purposes of marriage. But isn’t love an even more fundamental principle? You don’t seem to have a problem with infertile couples or post-menopausal women marrying. How is it any different for gay couples? What’s more, since about one out of four gay couples currently have children, isn’t denying marriage equality undermining those families?

    I’m glad you don’t seem to be worried any more about people wanting to marry their pets (an analogy you used in 2004). Perhaps, if you spend some time in reflection, you will come to realize other supposed arguments against marriage equality are equally absurd.

    1. John,

      Since homosexual marriage became “legal” the rates of HIV / AIDS have gone up considerably in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health helped produce The Little Black Book, Queer in the 21st Century, a hideous work of obscene pornography which was given to kids at Brookline High School on April 30, 2005.

      Not to mention the negative effects on children reared in homosexual households (see Regnerus study, and Growing Up With Two Moms: The Untold Children’s View by Robert Lopez).

      This is about child rights – the right to a mother and dad. Common sense tells you marriage was designed to insure this right. Don’t you think children have a right to a mother and father?

  10. Bishop ,why don’t you allow the people to decide? The people ARE the church it is not the Bishop’s church. 58% of Catholic New Yorkers approve of sanme sex marriage. Just think if the church was all welcoming there would be:
    more church attendees, more priests (if women were ordained) less church &school closings and happier Catholics

  11. Under the banner of “Social Justice” it is now OK for gays
    to wed and Marxism to flourish and America to spend itself
    bankrupt. Hey bishop, can you give us clearer teaching?

  12. The Church is hidebound by Vatican II “Religious Liberty Declaration” and precisely why it was heavily debated and opposed by a sizeable percentage of foresightful bishops at Vatican II.

    There is nothing in traditional Catholic teaching about granting civil rights to objectively immoral acts based on the dignity of the human person, that elevates State toleration of immorality to a civil right, especially by basing it upon human nature and dignity.

    As a bishop who participated in the Vatican II sessions observed: “Ecumenism has paralyzed the Church’s apostolic activity.”

    The Church’s job is to teach the truth, not to be on good terms at all costs with its enemies.

  13. While Joe Addabbo is getting most of the bad press, the Brooklyn Diocese has at least two (2) Catholic State Senators who endorsed Same Sex Marriage. The other one was Tony Avella. Without both of their votes, it would have been 31-31. I understand that Bishop DiMarzio issued a statement in which he “asks” all pastors and principals not to invite any state legislators to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration. While this is a good start, I believe it doesn’t go far enough. As I noted to the Tablet previously, both Addabbo and Governor Cuomo both attended Archbishop Molloy High School and in fact both are members of its Hall of Fame. My son attends Molloy and I am appalled that both are honored given their positions and records on Same Sex Marriage and abortion (many people concur with my position). I wrote a letter to the Principal of Molloy requesting that both be removed from the Hall of Fame. I know that Molloy is not under the Diocese Control, however I am requesting that the Bishop support my request.

  14. The church has lost the moral authority to tell anyone how to live while it suffers from systemic homosexual pedophilia.

  15. I would like to applaud Bishop DiMarzio’s on the passage of the same sex-marriage act. He said,” I believe the passage of the same sex-marriage act to be another nail in the coffin of marriage.” He further intends according to the Daily News to ban politicians who supported act from Catholic church and parochial school events in the diocese of Brooklyn-Queens. Now I am the newly elected Grand Knight of St, Anastasia Knights of Columbus council #5911 and intend to ask my memebership to do the same. To Bishop DiMarzio let me say,” God Bless you for standing up for the sancitiy of marriage when others did not care.

  16. First: Alexandra B. – it seems that YOU are the one with the nasty vengeful bug up your ass – just like the honorable Bishop here, who would be blinded by his own personal hissy fit to deprive kids of getting whatever honors, awards or accolades come their way – and that’s supposed to be an example of upholding “Christian” family values…don’t make me laugh!!!

    Lord, protect me from your followers…

  17. Oh – one last thing – if that statement the Bishop made about denying the kids awards and honors isn’t about him lording his POWER – then I don’t know what is!

    1. To MuckCJ, The Bishop’s statement is “Not to invite any state legislator to speak or be present at any parish or school celebration”, not as you claim in denying kids awards. I’m sure that if a student earns a state award, the award will be given to the principal who will present it to him or her.

  18. Many years ago, my young brother in law tried to commit suicide. Why? He was gay, and he knew his parents, Irish Catholic, daily Communicants, would never accept that. By the grace of God, he didn’t crash the car he was driving, but he disappeared to another part of the country for almost a year.

    Now, as squeamish heterosexuals, we can tyrannize the minority, overlook the content of their character, and choose to see only sexual acts that are different from ours as their defining traits. However, the defining characteristic that we all share, gay and straight, is that we love. And love, brothers and sisters, is what we’re all about.

    There are gay partnerships of love and devotion that put our straight marriages of short duration to shame. God didn’t give us heterosexuals a free pass to demonize and bully our gay brothers and sisters.

    Let’s go back and reread Acts 10: “I see now that God shows no partiality . . .”

    Peace