With the Defense of Marriage Act ruled unconstitutional yesterday, several Catholic leaders have pleaded to Catholic practitioners to disregard the nation’s highest court. According to Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, he urged them to listen to a higher court as the new definition of marriage by the Supreme Court “hurt us all.”
“The well-being of our society, our nation, and our families is intimately linked to the institution of marriage,” Vigneron said in a press statement.
“These decisions by the United States Supreme Court will make significantly more difficult our work of upholding the truth that marriage is a lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. Such decisions, made by any civic authority, do not serve the common good.”
According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, they will continue to fight against any future marriage equality legislation.
“Catholics and millions of our fellow citizens will continue to make the case, respectfully yet vigorously, that marriage cannot be redefined, and that attempts to do so hurt us all,” Vigneron said.
Not a fan of marriage equality, Vigernon does not see gay marriages coexisting with the Church and further banned marriage equality supporters from receiving the Eucharist. He argued that it “logically brings shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”
“Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to ‘Catholic law’ [and]should not approach for holy communion,” Vatican Legal Adviser Edward Peters wrote on his blog in agreement with Vigernon. “They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them… being rebuked and/or being sanctioned.”
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi agreed with Vigernon, but furthered the discussion by saying the growth of LGBT rights is a “serious concern.”
“The truth is that marriage is between a man and a woman. Court decisions may change, but the truth does not,” Rodi said in an email.
A few human rights groups within the church are criticizing Rodi and Vigernon.
Fortunate Families, a group of Catholic protesters with LGBT children, organized a demonstration against Vigernon for his anti-gay statements.
“There have been many instances in the history of the church where they have made statements [that they withdrew],” organizer Tom Nelson told the Huffington Post; he has a gay son, but maintains his faith. “But guess what? They changed. They will change on this too, but it will take a long time.”
According to a 2013 poll from the Washington Post, 59 percent of Catholics support marriage equality—a higher number than the overall American population in support of marriage equality, 58 percent.