WHEELING - Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, called Wednesday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court a "tragic day for marriage and our nation."
The Most Rev. Michael Bransfield, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, said the court's decision was "indicative of how secular American culture and our government have become."
"While on retreat this week, I will continue to pray for married couples and families in our Diocese," Bransfield said.
According to the statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. ... The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.
"Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father. ... Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the court's decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified."