Statement of Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon, Bishop of the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois, Regarding the Redefinition of Civil Marriage in Illinois

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November 6, 2013

Statement of Most Reverend R. Daniel Conlon,
Bishop of the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois,
Regarding the Redefinition of Civil Marriage in Illinois

JOLIET, IL—Today, I stand in unison with my fellow Catholic Bishops and other clergy expressing my disappointment in the redefinition of civil marriage in Illinois. The Catholic Church deeply values and cherishes marriage, as a union between a man and a woman. When Pope Francis addressed a similar situation as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in June, 2010, he wrote “The Argentine people must face, in the next few weeks, a situation whose result may gravely harm the family. It is the bill on matrimony of persons of the same sex. The identity of the family, and its survival, are in jeopardy here: father, mother, and children. The life of so many children who will be discriminated beforehand due to the lack of human maturity that God willed them to have a father and a mother is in jeopardy. A clear rejection of the law of God, engraved in our hearts, is in jeopardy…Let us not be naïve: it is not a simple political struggle; it is an intention [which is] destructive of the plan of God. It is not a mere legislative project (this is a mere instrument), but rather a ‘move’ of the father of lies who wishes to confuse and deceive the children of God.” (“Father of lies” refers to the devil, as mentioned by Jesus in the Gospel of John.)

While this new law redefines marriage for the state, it does nothing to change what is revealed to us by God for the good of human society.

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Is Pat Quinn Illinois’ first openly homosexual governor?

Although the legislation says it would not force any religious denomination or minister to “solemnize any marriage,” Gilligan warned of “promises” made “two years ago when civil unions were passed, and now Catholic Charities has been kicked out of its mission of serving children in foster care.”

Even though the Church received assurances its social services would not be affected, within six months of the passage of civil unions in the state, Catholic Charities adoption services was barred from working with the state.

While Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has already pledged to sign the bill should it arrive on his desk, its fate in the House is unsure. Even though it too is controlled by Democrats who support the bill, it is expected to face tougher opposition in that chamber.

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