Friday, July 18th, 2003 – “Same sex” Marriage
Transcribed by the National Catholic Broadcasting Council
My friends, you would have to be asleep or dead not to know that in the
past few weeks the whole situation regarding marriage in our country has
completely and absolutely changed. We are all aware of the fact that the
Ontario Supreme Court, along with some other supreme courts in other provinces
has struck down the law of the land and declared that homosexuals can
be able to enter into marriage and that marriage is to be extended to
all people regardless of whether you are a man or a woman or of any combination
That’s the reality of the situation and the reality has been compounded
further, as you probably have heard in the news or read in the paper,
because the new law that the Government is proposing has just come out.
It’s a very brief law. It says, in effect, that no longer is marriage
to be reserved to an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman,
but rather an exclusive relationship between two persons, as they say,
to the exclusion of all others.
In the worst of hypocrisy that I’ve heard in many, many years the minister
responsible, Minister Cauchon says, this law changes nothing. It holds
fast to that which has always been known, that two people will make a
commitment to each other, and then he went on with the rest of his hypocritical
The reality is, as we all know, here and at home, that it changes everything.
Marriage has always been seen throughout history, in every culture and
everyplace, as that which is been between a man and woman, preferably
for life. And the reason we have had marriage is to be able to bring forth
children and to protect those children and to stabilize our society in
the face of all of its problems and difficulties.
The reality of this situation is that Canada stands not quite alone,
but very close to alone in the world in proclaiming that we no longer
need to be able to declare that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The reality of this situation has come about not because of the will
of the Canadian people but it has come about because of the will of 9
people of the various supreme courts of our land. That’s not a reality
with which we should be very happy.
As you probably are aware, the Bishops across Canada have asked for their
believers, their followers, to be able to contact their Members of Parliament
and to be able to express what I am sure all of us believe and that is,
that marriage should be reserved to a man and a woman.
Why is that important? Many people in our society would say, well, lets
be tolerant. It doesn’t affect me anyway. You know, as Elsie Wayne the
MP from Saint John N.B. says: “Well, do whatever you want but be quiet
about it.” But the reality of the situation is this is far different.
The reality of the situation is that this is changing the very bedrock
of our society. For whom among us is so naïve not to think that a married
and stable life is truly the bedrock of a stable society?
Is there a person in this Cathedral or a person at home who hasn’t felt
the effects of broken marriages in their life and in their families if
so you must be very, very much a unique person? The reality of the situation
is that we ourselves have to be able to make our own voices heard, and
how can that be done.
A lot of people are reluctant to be able to phone their member of parliament
Because they say, gee, I belief this, but maybe I shouldn’t intrude in
public affairs. That is not only wrong, but is a Sin. People who pull
back from doing what they should do in public affairs are committing the
sin because you are not exercising your proper role in society. Society
is composed of people like ourselves, society is composed of believers
Don’t fall for the idea that we live in a secular society. We do not
live in a secular society. We live in a pluralistic society. Now there
are many people that would like to make believers just beyond the fringe
of our society, we are not beyond the fringes of society.
Catholics have always believed that we belong right in the centre of
our society, right in the centre of the work that is necessary to build
up the world that we are called to be able to build. It means that we
are to be able to lift up our voices with the many others, of many other
denominations and faiths. To be able to say that this is a reality that
must be able to be respected and I don’t care whether it is hot in this
Cathedral, or whether you are at the cottage, or whether you are at home
with a fan (I am only envious!)
But, if you are able to see this you are able to be picking up a phone
and to phone your Member of Parliament, and I don’t care if he or she
is on vacation. Let me tell you that if the tens of thousands of people
that supposedly hear this broadcast every day are able to do this, then
that is the voice that can be able to be heard.
It is true what Edmund Burke said is right. All that is necessary for
evil to triumph in this world is for enough good people to do nothing.
But it is exactly true and the reality of the situation is that we too
have to lift up our voice. I don’t care if your accent isn’t the proper
accent. No one cares about your educational background or what kind of
degree is on your wall, or lack of it. Nobody cares about how old you
are. We are people who are, in our own way, building up our society and
unless we do build up a society, then don’t be surprised if other voices
will instead be heard.
Why are we saying this? We are saying this because marriage in and of
itself is not an institution which is so strong that it does not need
to be protected. As I said earlier, we have all seen how marriage has
been under siege in our society. Everyone here has been affected because
of that siege. We know as well that once we leave aside that central block
of what marriage should be. That it should be between a man and a woman
for life, to be able to protect life and bring forth life and to be able
to nourish that which is theirs. We know that then the door is entirely
open to any other interpretation of marriage.
I tell you here and I tell you now, that logically there is no reason
in the world why we should not have polygamy where that instance that
three, four, five, or whatever number of people should be able to be married.
There is no logical reason from this point on that we should not have
it. There is no logical reason that married people in Canada should be
able to have any other life to be able to follow through with their vocation
if we allow this decision and there is no logical reason that the Parliament
of Canada or the Supreme Court should not interfere within our Church
as they have interfered now.
Don’t think that a few lines in this proposed law is going to be able
to defend our right as Catholics to be able to hold fast to what we know
is the truth and a sacrament. Scripture has told us what marriage is,
tradition has confirmed it, and common sense also tells us.
I say to you that we should follow along with our Bishops to be able
to contact our members of Parliament and our member of the Provincial
Parliament, the Legislator, the Assemblies. To be able to tell people
what we know and believe because this is our call and this is our responsibility
Not later but now.
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