Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bishop Larry Silva Addresses the Catholic Faithful on HB444

From the Diocese of Honolulu

January 12, 2010

Dear Faithful of the Diocese of Honolulu:

“In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

I urge all the faithful of the Diocese of Honolulu to write your State Senators and Representatives to urge them to defeat HB-444, which would grant legal recognition to civil unions between same-sex couples. Many of the supporters of this bill may feel offended, but it is not our intention to offend them, simply to assure that we all live in the light of the truth. The truth is that God made complementary sexes, that he gave the power of procreation to be used responsibly by a man and woman, and he wants both father and mother, when possible, to contribute to the healthy nurturing of children. This special role of man and woman has been recognized for millennia by societies as marriage, the stable, committed relationship of man and woman giving themselves to each other totally and bearing the fruit of that love in the procreation and education of children. This is a truth that goes beyond religions, because it is built into the very nature of our human being. It is a reality that has been safeguarded by the laws of societies in virtually all cultures of the world.

In many places throughout our country and the world, and now here in Hawaii, some are attempting to distort this natural relationship by claiming the right of persons of the same sex to marry. They point out that it is discriminatory to allow opposite-sex couples to marry but to disallow the same for same-sex couples. And they are correct! It is discriminatory, making distinctions between one and another. But not all discrimination is unjust. Some is quite justified because it is based on reality and truth. While every person, no matter his or her sexual orientation, is worthy of dignity and respect and has certain inalienable rights given by the Creator, there is no right for people of the same sex to call their unions marriage. (“Civil unions” is simply a euphemism for same-sex marriage.)

In these days in which we lament decisions we made regarding our environment and are paying the price for those decisions, let us not make decisions now that ignore our social environment or experiment with its well-being. Love and friendship are realities that all people can share, regardless of sexual orientation. Marriage, however, is a sacred bond between a man and a woman, and we need to do all in our power to preserve, strengthen, and nurture it.

In addition, I urge all to attend the iVote Rally on Sunday, January 17, at 2:00 p.m. at the State Capitol. We hope that tens of thousands of Hawaii residents will attend to encourage voter registration and participation, so that issues of great moral importance can be addressed more readily in our public policies.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Most Reverend Larry Silva

Bishop of Honolulu

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