The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and our own Archbishop Jerome Listecki spoke out forcefully against yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling which declared that, under the Fourteenth Amendment, marriage must be applied to gay couples. (As Ben Shapirio points out in his excellent legal analysis, this reasoning is somewhat curious since the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted in 1868, when all states had anti-sodomy laws on the books.) I strongly recommend reading the dissenting opinions of each of the four justices. They are brilliantly written. Justice Scalia’s dissent in particular is at once edifying and entertaining. Just a sample: “The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.”

Back to the bishops… While not as florid and fun to read, you still get the substance. Here’s an excerpt from a powerful statement by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage. …

Emphasis added.

Here in Milwaukee, Archbishop Jerome Listecki had this to say:

Today is a sad day for the sacrament of marriage, when the United States Supreme Court redefines marriage to be something other than what God created.

Marriage is between one man and one woman. This decision doesn’t change the Catholic Church’s teaching about the sanctity of this sacrament and the natural bond of marriage that is the very foundation of society. …

Read the rest here.

As the old saying goes, “Talk is cheap.” It will be interesting to see what the bishops will actually do in this new era, in terms of resisting the cultural tide and engaging a renewed catechesis of their own flock. Business as usual no longer. People have been conditioned to employ “fortune cookie” reasoning on the serious questions nowadays. The ball is in our court.

“Where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights of marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty.” ~Pope John Paul II, 2003