SEATTLE, June 16, 2011 ( – The U.S. bishops are stepping up their efforts in defense of marriage by making what was an ad hoc committee ‘’for the Defense of Marriage” into a new permanent subcommittee within the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. 

That United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) subcommittee has released the second of five videos for the promotion and protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Entitled “Made for Life,’ the newly released video features real married couples reflecting on topics related to the gift of children, the indispensible place of fathers and mothers, and sexual difference.

“Our culture is one that often forgets the sacred gift of the child, and in so doing it also fails to recognize the vital importance of a mother and a father together for the life and upbringing of that child,” said Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, California, chairman of the committee.

“The video also addresses a real gap today in public awareness, namely, the close connection between a culture of life and a culture that promotes and protects marriage. The two cannot be separated,” he said.

Bishop Cordelione spoke to bishops and cardinals from all over the country gathered at the June General Assembly meeting in Seattle.

‘“Marriage is a life-giving vocation,” said the Oakland bishop, “a unique adventure and responsibility that only one man and one woman can embark upon together.”

He described the new films and upcoming website to promote the project as resources that “find their basis in the simple but often neglected truth that sexual difference is essential for marriage – essential for the two-in-one-flesh communion of persons and for marriage’s being destined for life, for fruitfulness.”

Bishop Cordelione noted the threat to DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) coming from the Obama Administration.  Although the legislation was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority in Congress and signed into law by President Clinton, supporters of DOMA are now seen as “discriminatory,” he said. “This charge implicates millions of people in this country who believe the simple and obvious fact that marriage is and can only be the union of a man and a woman.”

The “phenomenon” of “civil unions” and “domestic partnerships,” he said, are an “erosion of marriage.” “Most ‘civil unions’ or ‘domestic partnerships’ are essentially everything but ‘marriage’. Church teaching is clear on the unacceptability of any arrangement that pretends to be analogous or equivalent to marriage in any way.”

Materials are online here and are available for purchase through