Action Alert!

Archbishop Myers Statement on a Proposed Course on Same-Sex Marriage

by Archbishop John Joseph Myers

Descriptive Title

Statement on a Proposed Course on Same-Sex Marriage At Seton Hall University


This statement issued by Newark Archbishop John J. Myers on April 30, 2010, warned Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., that a planned class about gay marriage was contrary to Catholic teaching. According to university officials, the course, scheduled to begin next fall, is meant to explore the issue of gay marriage from both sides.

Publisher & Date

Archdiocese of Newark, April 30, 2010

As the shepherd of the Archdiocese of Newark, I am responsible for maintaining the Catholic identity of all Church institutions and organizations within the Archdiocese, and for ensuring authentic and orthodox Catholic teaching in all educational institutions and parishes. That responsibility extends to our Catholic elementary and high schools, to our parish religious education programs for both adults and children, and to the Catholic colleges and university operating within my jurisdiction.

Recent news that a course on same-sex marriage is proposed for the fall schedule at Seton Hall University troubles me greatly.

The Church teaches – and has continued to teach for two millennia – that marriage is a union of man and woman, reflecting the complementarity of the sexes. That teaching precedes any societal connotation of marriage, and is based on natural law.

This proposed course seeks to promote as legitimate a train of thought that is contrary to what the Church teaches. As a result, the course is not in sync with Catholic teaching.

Consequently, the Board of Trustees of Seton Hall have asked the Board of Regents to investigate the matter of this proposed course, and to take whatever action is required under the law to protect the Catholicity of this university.

When he met with Catholic educators two years ago during his visit to the United States, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, spoke of the need for authenticity and adherence to Catholic identity. "Teachers and administrators," he said, "whether in universities or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church's Magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution's life, both inside and outside the classroom."

© 2010 Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark

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