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Virginia bishop responds to Kaine's support for same-sex marriage, affirms Church teaching

September 13, 2016

Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond, Virginia, has issued a statement reaffirming the Catholic teaching on marriage—apparently in response to a public prediction by vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine that the Church will eventually endorse same-sex marriage.

Bishop DiLorenzo does not refer to Kaine in his own public statement. But the bishop seems clearly responding to the statement by Kaine—a member of his diocese—when he insists that "the Catholic Church's 2000-year-old teaching to the truth about what constitutes marriage remains unchanged and resolute." 

"Our understanding of marriage," the bishop says, "is a matter of justice and fidelity to our Creator's original design." Here, too Bishop DiLorenzo appears to be answering Kaine, who had cited the diversity of Creation as a reason to accept same-sex unions.

Bishop DiLorenzo stated:

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. We call on Catholics and all those concerned for preserving this sacred union to unite in prayer, to live and speak out with compassion and charity about the true nature of marriage-- the heart of family life.


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  • Posted by: bill129 - Sep. 14, 2016 6:49 PM ET USA

    Most significantly, in two sentences, the Bishop expressed the totality of what marriage is (the institution that unites children with their mother and father) 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. Very succinct. By making these points he expressed what we are for rather than what we are against and supported the objectives of the Marriage Reality Movement.

  • Posted by: unum - Sep. 14, 2016 9:25 AM ET USA

    I differ with Phineas. Bishop DiLorenzo's statement presents Church teaching to counter any confusion that the faithful may have after being exposed to the erroneous remarks of Senator Kaine. Nothing will be gained by injecting the Church into an already messy political campaign at this time except additional confusion!

  • Posted by: pvanderl7463 - Sep. 13, 2016 8:34 PM ET USA

    Rev 3:16

  • Posted by: phineas - Sep. 13, 2016 6:40 PM ET USA

    So what about Canon 915 & Kaine? A Bishop is truly deserving of our praise when he is willing to take a stand, at personal risk, for the truth. Will Kaine continue to "oppose efforts to weaken or subvert the basic holding of Roe v. Wade" as he has said? Will he continue to express his "full, complete, unconditional support for marriage equality"? Bishop Di Lorenzo's boilerplate statements without subsequent consequence for the likes of Kaine will result in exactly nothing.

  • Posted by: bruno - Sep. 13, 2016 6:13 PM ET USA

    Thank you, Bishop DiLorenzo, for standing in the gap. May we be given the grace to 'hold your arms aloft during the battle'.