US Bishops Join Petition for Constitutional Change to Block Same-Sex Marriage

By Gudrun Schultz

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2006 ( – A significant number of prominent leaders in the Roman Catholic Church have thrown their weight behind a petition supporting a constitutional amendment that would block same-sex marriage.

The coalition of Catholic officials that includes seven cardinals, about six archbishops and sixteen bishops has come together with influential evangelical Protestants, rabbis and other religious leaders to encourage public support for protecting traditional marriage.

The Catholic leadership participation is a new and welcome development, said organizers of the petition. Although the Catholic Church opposes homosexual activity and same-sex unions as being gravely disordered and immoral, and has spoken out clearly in defence of traditional families, previous efforts to bring in a constitutional amendment in the U.S. have been largely driven by the Protestant community.

“The personal involvement of bishops and cardinals is significantly greater this time than in 2004,” Patrick Korten, spokesman for the lay Catholic organization the Knights of Columbus, told the Associated Press.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement in March endorsing a constitutional amendment that would ban homosexual unions.

Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, who signed the petition, said, “We think the American people are on our side on this, and we want the Senate to know it.”

The bishops and many of the religious leaders involved have agreed to promote a postcard campaign calling for senators to support the amendment. The Knights of Columbus is distributing 10 million postcards to Catholic churches.

Senate Republican leaders have scheduled a June vote for the proposed amendment.
  Matt Daniels, who founded the Alliance for Marriage that supports the amendment, said the 50 religious leaders who signed the petition represent “huge numbers” of people.

Princeton University professor Robert P. George, who has been a vocal defender of life and family issues, was involved in organizing the petition. Mr. George is a Catholic with close ties to the evangelical Protestant community.

Among the religious authorities that signed the petition were Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb of the Orthodox Union, Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson, the president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, officials of the Orthodox Church in America, Episcopal bishops, and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention.

See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

USCCB Reaffirms Support for Federal Marriage Amendment

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