Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

When cardinals fail to defend marriage

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Nov 27, 2017

The headline in Chicago Sun-Times said it all: “Archbishop not backing gay marriage—yet.” In a column published in May 2015, Neil Steinberg—who admitted at the outset that some readers thought he is obsessed with the issue of same-sex marriage—reported on an hour-long conversation with then-Archbishop (now Cardinal) Blase Cupich, and concluded: “To me, everything the archbishop said, except for his conclusions, is an argument for gay marriage.”

But don’t take Steinberg’s word for it; he acknowledged his own bias. Read the column, and judge for yourself. Cardinal Cupich said that when the issue of same-sex marriage was on the ballot in Washington, during his term as Bishop of Spokane, “my position was very clear.” And he goes on to explain his position. But it isn’t very clear.

Here’s the closest approach to a clear statement: “I objected to it because I think there’s something unique about the marriage between a man and a woman.” Okay, and what is unique?

Flash forward to this weekend, when England Prince Harry announces his engagement to Meghan Markle. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, England’s leading Catholic prelate, quickly tweets: “I offer my congratulations to Harry and Meghan on the news of their engagement. We pray for their happiness as they prepare to make their life-long commitment to marriage.” Which would be a nice sentiment, except that Meghan Markle, who was raised as a Catholic, has already made a commitment to a previous marriage.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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