BOSTON, December 17, 2003 ( – In the first meeting of all priests in the Boston Archdiocese in at least 25 years, Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley pleaded with them to defend the traditional definition of marriage.  “It is crucial that we encourage our people to call on elected officials to defend the institution of marriage,” he told the 600 priests gathered.

Last month the Massachusetts legislature was given an ultimatum by the courts to rewrite the marriage laws to include homosexual “marriage” rights within 180 days.

“If the redefinition of marriage is enshrined in the law of the Commonwealth, it will be a tragedy for the entire country,” O’Malley said. “And if it happens because of our cowardice or inertia, we shall have to answer before God.”“In no way should this be seen as promoting homophobia or cruel prejudices against members of our community,” he told his priests. “But we must call on all Catholics to be Catholic and do the right thing to defend the institution of marriage.”  Read Associated Press Coverage at:

Read prior LifeSiteNews coverage of the Massachusetts court decision at: