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Bishop Murphy challenges Catholic politician on same-sex marriage

Catholic World News - June 22, 2009

Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre has publicly confronted Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi after the latter announced his support of homosexual marriage in a New York Times opinion piece.

Mr. Suozzi “certainly admits that he knows he is contradicting some basic moral teachings of his own faith,” Bishop Murphy writes. “This is not the first time he has done this. He has already placed himself publicly in the category of ‘pro choice’ on abortion. While homosexual orientation is a neutral reality on a moral level, homosexual acts are not morally neutral. They are wrong and they are sinful. Abortion is wrong and it is sinful.”

Bishop Murphy continues:

We bishops, the authentic teachers with the Pope of the Catholic faithful, have made this abundantly clear. Our teaching is unambiguous, faithful to the Lord and binding on all Catholics. No Catholic is free to ignore or disregard this teaching. It is normative in the formation of the conscience of every Catholic who seeks to be faithful to the Lord and qualify as a “practicing Catholic”. In saying this, I am not singling out Mr. Suozzi. I am speaking to all Catholics in our Diocese and beyond, reminding them that what we bishops teach is not “another opinion” among many that Catholics may choose or not choose. Instead, such truths are “non-negotiable”, binding on all of us who claim to be “practicing Catholics”. Otherwise we are not faithful to our Lord, to His Church and to the ultimate truths about the human person which alone can bring us freedom, justice, joy and peace.

Suozzi replied to Bishop Murphy's criticism with a simple statement: "The bishop has a job to do as a leader of the church. I have a job to do as a leader of government."??

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