Online Resources for the Study of a Catholic Perspective on

THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE

 

marriage:  the lifelong partnership of mutual and exclusive fidelity between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children

(USCCB.  Marriage Unique for a Reason.  Frequently Asked Questions.) 

 

 

CONTENTS

Get Started

Straightforward Tools for Stating the Case for Marriage

Church Teachings

Magisterial Teachings

USCCB

Catholic Bishops/Dioceses

Comprehensive Pro-Marriage Websites

Catholic/Christian Perspective

Secular (Non-Religious) Perspective

Keeping the Discussion Civil
Loss of Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech

Science

More Sources

Background: Catholic perspective on marriage and sexuality

 

*** Indicates highly recommended resources.

 

SOME GREAT RESOURCES TO GET STARTED

Start here.  The resources in this section are sufficient for an overview of the issues.

 

***Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis .  One Man, One Woman: Marriage and the Common Good.  VIDEO.  Diocese sent 400,000 DVD's to diocesan Catholics.  (15 minute VIDEO)  Clear and accessible.  Includes brief appearances from several of the key advocates for marriage.

 

***Fr. Michael Schmitz.  "Called to Love", homily of 10/07/12. (25 min. AUDIO)  See  homilies page; scroll down to 10/7/12.  Clear, accessible, compassionate talk!  Great starting point for all, especially young people.

This homily was given prior to the 2012 elections in which there was a Miinnesota ballot initiative about the definition of marriage. 

Marriage: a specific union of hearts and wills, culminating in biological unity oriented towards the creation of life.

 

***USCCB  Frequently Asked Questions.  Marriage Unique for a Reason website. Succinct replies to questions on the meaning of marriage, sexual difference, children, common good, and religious liberty.

 

*** What You Need to Know About Marriage. (Succinct E-Book)  Heritage Foundation.

 

***Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson . The Wisdom of Upholding Tradition with Respect to Marriage  A brief article and a one hour video.  Scholarly and coherent. Catholic Education Resource Center reprint from The Wall Street Journal (November 20, 2012)  Includes Heritage Foundation one hour VIDEO.

 

*** Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson.  "What is Marriage: Man and Woman – A Defense".  Catholic Information Center panel presentation. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. (VIDEO) 12/19/12.

 

Fr. Robert Barron.  Gay Marriage and the Breakdown of Moral Argument  (VIDEO)

 

 

 

 

STRAIGHTFORWARD TOOLS FOR STATING THE CASE FOR MARRIAGE AND RESPONDING TO COMMON QUESTIONS AND ARGUMENTS:

If you are involved in discussion with proponents of same-sex unions being equated with marriage this section offers succinct answers to all the common questions and arguments.

 

Catholic Answers.  Gay Marriage.  Catholic Answers document.  Web.  2004.

 

Catholic Civil Rights League. Prepare yourself for the 'Marriage Debate'  Key arguments, responding to counter arguments, responding to divisionary arguments.

 

National Organization for Marriage. Talking Points.

 

USCCB Frequently Asked Questions About the Defense of Marriage "Promotion and Defense of Marriage" section of USCCB website.

 

***USCCB  Frequently Asked Questions.  Marriage Unique for a Reason website. Questions on the meaning of marriage, sexual difference, children, common good, and religious liberty.

 

Mary Jo Anderson.  How to Make the Case for Marriage  (Using Non-religious Language) This Rock magazine, Feb. 2008.

 

Brandon Vogt.  Rebuttals to Arguments for Same Sex Marriage  Our Sunday Visitor Weekly.  1/13/2013.  Web. Examining the most common arguments for redefining marital unions ...and understanding why they are flawed

 

Katherine Young and Paul Nathanson.  Answering Advocates of Same-Sex Marriage.   Addresses 20 claims of proponents of same-sex "marriage"

 

J. Budziszewski. "So-Called Gay Marriage: A Dialogue.  Boundless Webzine

 

Minnesota for Marriage.  Myths and Facts. 

 

Msgr. Charles Pope on William May.  Getting the Marriage Conversation Right  Archdiocese of Washington.

 

***Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis .  One Man, One Woman: Marriage and the Common Good.  (VIDEO)

 

Iona Institute.  Video Explains the Case for Man/Woman Marriage  (VIDEO)  (Simple and non-threatening with a great Irish brogue!!!)

 

Iona Institute.  The Argument for Preserving Marriage in a Nutshell   (IMAGE) (Simple one page PDF)

 

 

CHURCH TEACHINGS

Church Teachings and Statements About Marriage  A comprehensive listing of magisterial, USCCB, International and State teachings and statements

 

 

MAGISTERIAL TEACHINGS

Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)  Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons (2003)

 

Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)  Some Considerations Concerning the Response to Legislative Proposals on the Non-Discrimination of Homosexual Persons.  (1992)

 

Back to Contents

 

USCCB

***USCCB.  Marriage: Unique for a Reason   A well-developed and attractive website packed with resources including video, short articles.

o        Terrific Q & A's. Addresses the common questions raised in the redefinition of marriage debate.

o        Made for Each Other  (video) (PDF study guide) Sexual difference is essential to marriage. FAQ's

o        Made for Life  (video) (PDF study guide)  Marriage welcomes the supreme gift of the child. On the gift of children and the indispensable role of fathers and mothers in society.   FAQ's

o        Made for Freedom  Marriage and religious liberty stand or fall together. FAQ's

 

USCCB.  Marriage and the Family in the United States: Resources for Society.

 A review of research on the benefits generated from families rooted in marriage. 2012.

 

USCCB.  Love and Life in the Divine Plan:  A Pastoral Letter of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops .  Talks about the nature of marriage, male-female complementarity.  (2009)

 

USCCB. Promotion and Defense of Marriage.  A website with multiple resources.

o       Frequently Asked Questions About the Defense of Marriage.  Excellent compendium of clear answers citing dozens of magisterial documents.

o       Between Man And Woman: Questions And Answers About Marriage And Same-Sex Unions

o       Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Protection and Defense of Marriage (VIDEO)

o       Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.  Report to Bishops on Promotion and Defense of Marriage (November 2012)

 

Rev, J. Brian Bransfield, S.T.D. The Difference in the Difference. Sexual Difference and the Defense of Marriage. USCCB Secretariat of Prolife Activities.  An accessible brochure that explains why understanding sexual difference is crucial to the defense of marriage.

 

Religious Leaders Join Together in Support of Marriage, Religious Liberty.  Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods that Rise or Fall Together 1/12/12

 

 

 

CATHOLIC BISHOPS/DIOCESES

 

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis . 

o        An Important Message from Archbishop John C. Nienstedt

o        ***One Man, One Woman: Marriage and the Common Good.  VIDEO.  Diocese sent 400,000 DVD's to diocesan Catholics.

 

Catholic Bishops of Minnesota.  A Brief Catechesis on Marriage

 

Catholic Conference of Illinois Marriage Toolkit Understanding and Promoting the Catholic Church's Teaching on Marriage.   Offers help to clergy, staff, and laity :  1) answering common questions 2) best resources  3) guides for homilies and teaching 4) ministering to those with same-sex attraction 5)  getting involved in the public debate.

 

Arizona Catholic Bishops Conference.   Why is Marriage Important to the Catholic Church? A Pastoral Statement.

 

Bishop Richard J. Malone, Th.D., S.T.L., Bishop of Portland. Marriage: Yesterday, Today, and Always. A Pastoral Letter.

 

Francis Cardinal George, Archdiocese of Chicago.  "Legislation creating "same-sex" marriage: What's at stake?"  Catholic New World. 1/6/13 – 1/9/13.

 

Archbishop Thomas Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, IL.  Bishop Paprocki Issues Letter on Same Sex Marriage  (1/13/13)  (Video and text of letter)

 

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Archdiocese of Pittsburgh.  Tools for Knowing the Nature of Marriage and the Source of Human Thriving  National Catholic Register.  4/1/13

 

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Chairman USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage Archbishop Cordileone states case against gay marriage

 

Bishop Richard Lennon, Diocese of Cleveland. "Threats to marriage and religious freedom"

 

More Bishops and Dioceses (Statements and Videos under "Helpful Links)

 

 

Back to Contents

 

COMPREHENSIVE  PRO-MARRIAGE WEBSITES

 

USCCB. Promotion and Defense of Marriage..

 

USCCB.  Marriage: Unique for a Reason  

marriage:  the lifelong partnership of mutual and exclusive fidelity between a man and a woman ordered by its very nature to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children

 

Stand with the Children.  Website.

 

Marriage Matters to Kids.  A website with multiple video interviews of key authorities on the matter of same-sex marriage.

 

National Organization for Marriage.  Website.

National Organization for Marriage. Talking Points.  Webpage.

National Organization for Marriage.  Why marriage matters?   Why not gay marriage?

 

 

The  Ruth Institute:  One Man, One Woman for Life

 

 

Institute for Marriage and Public Policy.   Website.   Numerous articles, research briefs,  Marriage Law Digest,  fact sheets, etc.  Addresses marriage issues including divorce, adoption, and same-sex marriage.   Founded by Maggie Gallagher.

 

 

The Iona Institute for Religion and Society. (Ireland)

Video Explains the Case for Man/Woman Marriage  (Simple and non-threatening with a great Irish brogue!!!)

The Argument for Preserving Marriage in a Nutshell (Simple one page pdf)

 

 

 

CATHOLIC/CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE  (See also Magisterial, USCCB, and Bishops sections),

 

Fr. Mike Schmitz.  Director, Newman Catholic Center.  University of Minnesota, Duluth.

***Fr. Michael Schmitz.  "Called to Love", homily of 10/07/12.  See  homilies page; scroll down to 10/7/12. 

This homily was given prior to the 2012 elections in which there was a Miinnesota ballot initiative about the definition of marriage. 

Marriage: a specific union of hearts and wills, culminating in biological unity oriented towards the creation of life.

Fr. Michael Schmitz "Why Don't Same-Sex Couples Have a Right to Marry?" The Northern Cross. Diocese of Duluth.

Fr. Michael Schmitz.  "What does same sex marriage have to do with you? Why the big fuss?" The Northern Cross. Diocese of Duluth.

 

Edward Peters, JD, JCD, Ref. Sig. Ap. A primer on Church teaching regarding 'same-sex marriage'  In the Light of the Law A Canon Lawyer's Blog 3/27/13

 

Dale O'Leary. One Man One Woman: A Catholic's Guide  (BOOK)

 

Mary Jo Anderson & Robin Bernhoft, M.D.  Male And Female He Made Them: Questions And Answers About Marriage And Same-Sex Unions  (BOOK)

 

Regina Griggs and Peter Sprigg. How Can I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage When Someone I Love Is Gay?  (PFOX)  Christian Post opinion 11/5/12

 

Carson Holloway.  Same-Sex Marriage and the Abyss of Nihilism (Public Discourse, 3/18/13)

 

Dr. Janet Smith.  "Same-Sex Marriage and Its Relation With Contraception"

 

Our Sunday Visitor.  What the Church Teaches: Same-Sex Marriage.  Webpage with several resources. To view pamphlet, click the bold blue link , "What the Church Teaches: Same-Sex Marriage", then go to the bottom of the page that opens and click the word "here" in the sentence "For a non-reproducible PDF of this pamphlet, click here"

 

Fr. Robert Barron.  Gay Marriage and the Breakdown of Moral Argument  (VIDEO)

 

 

Back to Contents

 

SECULAR (NON-RELIGIOUS) PERSPECTIVE (Many from Catholic sources, but with non-religious arguments)

 

See "Straightforward tools" at top of page

 

Robert P George (Princeton University - Department of Politics), Ryan T. Anderson (University of Notre Dame, Department of Political Science), Sherif Girgis (Princeton University, Department of Politics)  Perhaps THE preeminent team defending marriage as the union of one man and one woman.   Help defenders of marriage to reframe the discussion. . Recommended by Archbishop Charles Chaput. and Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

 

Marriage: "Marriage unites a man and woman holistically — emotionally and bodily, in acts of conjugal love and in the children such love brings forth — for the whole of life." (The Wisdom of Upholding Tradition with Respect to Marriage )

 

*** What You Need to Know About Marriage. (Succinct E-Book)  Heritage Foundation.

 

***Robert P. George interviewed by Brandon P. Vogt. Understanding the definition of marriage Professor co-authors book on what the implications of redefining marriage could be on families, society.  Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly. 1/13/13/  (An accessible brief summary of the thesis of George, Anderson, and Girgis)

 

*** Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson What is Marriage?  Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 245-287, Winter 2010.  A scholarly paper.  (May also read at  Catholic Education Resource Center. )  Perhaps THE preeminent scholarly work in the debate.

 

***Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson . The Wisdom of Upholding Tradition with Respect to Marriage  A brief article and a one hour video. Catholic Education Resource Center reprinted from The Wall Street Journal (November 20, 2012)  Includes Heritage Foundation one hour video.

 

*** Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson.  "What is Marriage: Man and Woman – A Defense".  Catholic Information Center panel presentation. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. (VIDEO) 12/19/12.

 

*** Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis and Ryan T. Anderson.  What is Marriage?: Man and Woman – A Defense  (BOOK)  Encounter Books, 2012.  (Read portions on Google Books)  Recommended by Archbishop Charles Chaput. and Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

 

Robert George interviewed by Colleen Carroll Campbell. Why Marriage Matters. Faith and Culture TV series episode 19.  EWTN.   (AUDIO) Download.  Listen online.

 

Ryan Anderson.   Ryan Anderson Testifies Before the Indiana House Judiciary Committee  (VIDEO) Answers the question “What is marriage” and “What are the consequences of redefining marriage?” 

 

 

More articles by the authors.   Interviews and podcasts.  Lectures.

 

 

Tim Staples.  Same-sex "marriage"  Catholic Answers Live radio show.   VIDEO.

 

Damon Owens. True vs. Gay Marriage. Catholic Answers Live radio show.   AUDIO. 6/8/09

 

Maggie Gallagher.  The Gay Marriage Debate. .  Faith and Culture TV series episode 19.  EWTN.  (AUDIO).  Download.  Listen online.

 

Peter Kreeft. "Do Squares Have Three Sides Because We Say So?"  "Opponents are not loveless cads, idiots or liars...There is a reasonableness to both sides...but they contradict each other, and therefore one side must be wrong and one side right...Neither side can compromise, not because these two groups of people intolerantly exclude each other but because their ideas do."   Helpful list of links at the bottom of page.

 

Trent Horn.  Same Sex Marriage and the Infertility Objection Catholic Answers.  March 28, 2013. Web blog. 

 

Trent Horn.  Same Sex Marriage:  Our Agreements Solve Our Disagreements.  Catholic Answers. February 22, 2013. Web blog.

 

Lerory Huizenga.  "Opposing Gay Marriage is Rational, Not Religious"  First Things: On the Square, Aug. 9, 2012.

 

William B. May. (Founder, Catholics for the Common Good)

Getting the Marriage Conversation Right: A Guide for Effective Dialogue   Print: book.   (Click "Look inside" on Amazon. Can read several pages to understand the gist of his argument which is this:  

Marriage: The only institution that unites children with their mothers and fathers. Same-sex marriage intentionally deprives them of at least either mother or father. 

 

Stand with the Children.  Website.

Why the confusion about marriage?  What is it?

 

Getting the marriage conversation right.   Short video promo of Getting the Marriage Conversation Right.

 

Defending Marriage the Right Way  Catholic Answers Live.  Web Audio. 1/11/13

 

Msgr. Charles Pope on William May.  Getting the Marriage Conversation Right  Archdiocese of Washington.

 

Doug Mainwaring

I'm Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage. Public Discourse. Witherspoon Institute 3/8/13.

Same-Sex Marriage: We're Playing Chess, Not Checkers Public Discourse. Witherspoon Institute. 3/20/13.

 

 

 

 

Back to Contents

 

 

KEEPING THE DISCUSSION CIVIL

 

John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher.  "Can We Talk Instead of Shout About Gay Marriage?"  (Video)  An extraordinary and  exceptionally civil discussion based on their book Debating Same Sex Marriage (Read in Google Books) in which an advocate of same-sex "marriage" has a dialogue with an advocate of traditional marriage. The debate was actually favorably reviewed by those on both side of the debate.  A most laudable feature of this discussion was the requirement of each side to do their best to present the other's perspective.

 

Sheila Liaugminas We should be able to talk about marriage Sheila Reports: Culture and Politics, Faith and Reason.  MercatorNet. 3/31/13

"Whatever our views on marriage, I strongly believe we should be able to discuss, debate, exchange and have a proper argument in the classic intellectual tradition of both stating a case and listening to the opposing argument and engaging. And in the end, respectfully agree to disagree, but with knowledge of why the intellectual opponent believes the way they do. Civil discourse. It need not be antiquated to the times of Thomas Aquinas or G.K. Chesterton."

 

 

 

LOSS OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH

 

 

Bradley Miller.  Same-Sex Marriage Ten Years On: Lessons from Canada. Public Discourse. Witherspoon Institute. 11/5/12.

 

Michelle Bauman.  Why the Catholic Church and 'gay marriage' cannot coexist Catholic News Agency  4/4/13

 

Bryce Christensen.  The New Outlaws: Same-Sex Marriage Suffocates Freedom   (The Family in America:  A Journal of Public Policy. Spring 2011)

 

Religious Leaders Join Together in Support of Marriage, Religious Liberty.  Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods that Rise or Fall Together 1/12/12

 

Simon Hundehutte. Agree to Disagree?  Not Anymore . American Thinker. 3/29/13. Web.

 

 

 

SCIENCE

 

Family Research Council.  Comparing the Lifestyles of Homosexual Couples to Married Couples

 

The shaky science behind same-sex marriageThe case rests squarely on sociology and psychology. How reliable can this be, ask two distinguished scholars

 

 

 

MORE SOURCES FOR MULTIPLE RESOURCES

 

Catholic Answers.  A search for  "same-sex marriage" yields more than 100 results, including radio shows, video, articles, and more.

 

Catholic Education Resource Center. Browse the "Marriage and Family" articles and the "Sexuality" articles or do a search for "same-sex marriage". 

 

Conjugality.  A MercatorNet blog on the future of marriage.  On marriage issues.

 

Family Research Council.  Homosexuality articles and studies.

 

Public Discourse. The Witherspoon Institute.  Marriage category.

 

 

Back to Contents

 

 

 

BACKGROUND: CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE ON MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY

A full understanding of the Church's teaching on the meaning of our bodies and our sexual nature serves a valuable foundation in the discussion about the meaning of marriage.

Online Resources  for a Catholic Perspective on Sexuality

Online Resources for a Catholic Perspective on the Regulation of Birth

Online Resources for a Catholic Perspective on Same-Sex Attractions

Raising Pure Children: Catholic Chastity Resources  for Parents

 

 

 

 

Corrections and suggestions welcome via e-mail.

Last updated 8/20/2013