Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Archbishop Nienstedt urges marriage amendment to Minnesota constitution :: EWTN News

Archbishop Nienstedt urges marriage amendment to Minnesota constitution :: EWTN News

Saying marriage is not “simply a union of consenting parties,” Archbishop John Nienstedt has advocated a state constitutional amendment to protect marriage from legal decisions that would create same-sex “marriage.” These unions confuse the “core meaning of marriage” and would have unintended consequences if legally recognized, he warned. The Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis in a Wednesday commentary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune said that marriage matters because it is “the natural way we bring together men and women to conceive and raise the next generation.”

But the reality of marriage as a lifelong, life-giving union between a man and a woman is “severely challenged” by factors like high rates of fatherlessness and family fragmentation that impoverishes women and children.

To these problems, legal redefinitions creating same-sex “marriage” would add “a whole new level of challenge and uncertainty.”

“Defining marriage as simply a union of consenting parties will change the core meaning of marriage in the public square for every Minnesotan.”

Archbishop Nienstedt noted that a previous change in marriage, no-fault divorce, promised to liberate women from bad marriages without affecting anyone else. However, it resulted in “unintended consequences” that few predicted.

“Same-sex marriage represents an even greater challenge,” he claimed.

The civil purpose of marriage is to provide communal support for uniting mothers and fathers to care for their children, but same-sex unions cannot serve this public purpose.

“What will happen to children growing up in a world where the law teaches them that moms and dads are interchangeable and therefore unnecessary, and that marriage has nothing intrinsically to do with the bearing and raising of children?” the archbishop asked. “Do we really want first-graders to be taught that gay marriage is OK, or that the influence of a mother and a father on the development of a child somehow doesn't matter?”

Acknowledging that not all children live in “the ideal situation,” he said same-sex “marriage” would be a government declaration that “we have officially abandoned the ideal that children need both a mom and a dad.”

Therefore, he said, a “simple definition of marriage” should be added to the Minnesota constitution. While politicians previously said it was unnecessary because there was no realistic threat, the archbishop pointed to court decisions in Iowa and other states which have imposed same-sex “marriage.”

“Thirty-one states have passed marriage amendments, from Oregon to Wisconsin, from Michigan to California. There is nothing radical about the ideal of making sure marriage is defined as a union of one man and one woman,” he wrote in the Star Tribune.

“A marriage amendment is the only just and respectful resolution.”

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