Bishops comment on Supreme Court marriage decision – June 2015

The US Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage saddens us. To make something legal does not mean that it is true or good. Take, for example, the ruling that legalized abortion.

Notwithstanding this ruling, we will continue to lead people to live under the Gospel, which requires us to be humble and loving to all others, regardless.

The Gospel also compels us to defend and share with others Jesus’ teaching on marriage, which re-asserted the original plan of creation, and which no one can rend asunder:

One man and one woman who freely give themselves to each other in a permanent and exclusive partnership, to be helpmates for each other, and to be open to conceiving and bringing up children.

We believe that this understanding of marriage does no harm; on the contrary, it serves the common good of society, as well as the good of family life, and of children.

We still expect that true religious liberty, enshrined in our Constitution, and won at such a dear price, will be honored, allowing us to be guided by a faith-formed conscience in our teaching and practice.

Most Rev. Michael Jackels, Archbishop of Dubuque

Most Rev. Martin Amos, Bishop of Davenport

Most Rev. Richard Pates, Bishop of Des Moines

Most Rev. R. Walker Nickless, Bishop of Sioux City

Pope Francis releases encyclical letter on ecology

Pope Francis has released his encyclical letter “Laudato Si” (Praise Be to You). Addressing his letter to all the people living on the planet, the pope asks us to consider what kind of world we want to leave to those who come after us.

The chair of the Iowa Catholic Conference board, Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, said, “‘Praise be to you’ as an encyclical is not a political document, nor a scientific document, but a religious document which our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has developed to guide us in our moral life in order that we might be faithful to the scriptures and teaching of the Church in our times.”

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has welcomed the release of Pope Francis’ encyclical as well.

“In Laudato Si’, the Holy Father invites us to reflect deeply on all points of human activity, whether we consider care for creation at the level of our individual choices or in the public square,” Archbishop Kurtz said. “The need for urgent action is clear and he appeals to us to become ‘painfully aware’ of what is happening to the world and ‘to grow in solidarity, responsibility and compassionate care.’”

Additional resources on the encyclical are available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/environment/.