NEW YORK, November 8, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Following the legalization of same-sex “marriage” in New York in June, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan has issued an official statement banning the use of Roman Catholic churches, facilities or properties for homosexual “marriage” ceremonies.
“No Catholic facility or property, including but not limited to parishes, missions, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health, or charitable institutions or benevolent orders, or any place dedicated, consecrated, or used for Catholic worship may be used for the solemnization or consecration of same-sex marriages,” the decree states.
The decree also states: “No items dedicated, consecrated, or used for the celebration of Catholic liturgy or sacred worship, including but not limited to sacred vessels, vestments, liturgical books or other items may be used for the solemnization or celebration of a same-sex marriage.”
The archbishop has further decreed that “canonical sanctions” may be imposed on any Church personnel that participate in such ceremonies.
“No member of the clergy (priest or deacon) incardinated or assisting in the Archdiocese of New York, or any person while acting as an employee of the Church, may participate in the civil solemnization or celebration of a same-sex marriage, which includes but is not limited to providing services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods or privilege for such event. Ecclesiastical solemnization or celebration of same-sex marriages is expressly forbidden by Canon law.
“Failure to adhere to this policy may result in the imposition of canonical sanctions.”
Archbishop Dolan called New York State’s same-sex “marriage” bill “irreconcilable with the nature and the definition of marriage as established by Divine law.”
Archbishop Dolan has been highly vocal in his opposition to homosexual “marriage” in New York. Just prior to the passage of the legislation in June, the archbishop compared the “perilous presumption of the state to re-invent the very definition of an undeniable truth,” to the actions of totalitarian states and communist governments.
“Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America – not in China or North Korea,” wrote Archbishop Dolan in an article posted to the archdiocesan blog.
“In those countries (communist countries), government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values, and natural law,” he continued. “There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.”
In his statement banning the use of Catholic facilities for same-sex ceremonies, the Archbishop reaffirmed, “The intimate partnership of life and love that constitutes the married state was established by God and endowed by Him with its own proper nature and laws.
“Consequently, the Church has the authority and the serious obligation to affirm the authentic teaching on marriage, and to preserve and foster the supremely sacred value of the married state.”
The complete text of the decree is available here.