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How Bishop Corrected Error of Sen.Tim Kaine on Marriage

By Bill May

Last Saturday, Vice Presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine told a Human Rights Campaign audience that he thought the Catholic Church would eventually change its position on marriage and support redefining its essential qualifications to recognize marriages between same-sex couples.

“I think it’s going to change because my church also teaches me about a creator who, in the first chapter of Genesis, surveyed the entire world, including mankind, and said, ‘It is very good,'” Kaine said according to Associated Press. The report indicated that he then recalled Pope Francis’ remark that “who am I to judge?”.

“I want to add: Who am I to challenge God for the beautiful diversity of the human family? I think we’re supposed to celebrate it, not challenge it,” Kaine said.

Two days later the Bishop of Richmond, VA, the Most Reverend Francis Xavier DiLorenzo, quickly responded with a very short, non-judgmental clarification of the immutable Church teaching on marriage without even mentioning the Senator’s name. The fact that he did it was wonderful, lest there be any confusion about it, but how he did it was very significant and succinct.

The key clarification included the words,

“Marriage is the only institution uniting one man and one woman with each other and with any child who comes from their union. Redefining marriage furthers no one’s rights, least of all those of children, who should not purposely be deprived of the right to be nurtured and loved by a mother and a father.”

In two sentences, the Bishop expressed the totality of what marriage is without having to get into conjugal acts, complementarity or references to the falsehood of “same-sex marriage,” and he connected the reality of marriage to Church teaching on the fundamental human rights for children to be raised in a family with their mother and father united in marriage. By making these points, he clarified Church teaching by framing it in the context of what we are for and why, rather than by expressing what we are against, as is so often the case.

Like many today, Kaine has accepted the lie that family diversity is something that should be celebrated, when in reality, children in every irregular family have experience the misfortune of being deprived of their relationship with, and love of, their mother or father or both. This is nothing that should be celebrated. Sadly, he is so deceived, that he even described these instances of privation as beautiful and attributed them somehow to God’s plan. But the bishop did not dispute the error, but focused on presenting the Church’s teaching on marriage in a way that provided a kind of reintroduction.

This is a great example of charity by avoiding the temptation so many of us have to personally address someone’s error directly (and sometimes publicly). Instead he subtly changed the context by describing marriage according to what it does and provided a rationale for recognizing it based on the rights of children. This is exactly what members of the Marriage Reality Movement are working to do. Since the Supreme Court redefined marriage, there is no longer any civil institution that specifically unites children with their mother and father. The question that must be asked is whether or not there is a need for such an institution. This will create a whole new dialog that we have never had before, but is badly needed as more and more families are breaking down and the human and societal consequences are growing. It provides a rationale for recognizing God’s plan for creation that has nothing to do with belief in God nor homosexual lifestyles.

Let’s express our gratitude to Bishop DiLorenzo.