ACCB logoJune 26, 2015 – Alaska’s Catholic bishops today released a joint statement through the Alaska Catholic Conference responding to the United States Supreme Court decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that redefines the institution of marriage in this country. Alaska Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

Statement from Alaska’s Catholic Bishops:

Today’s decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to redefine marriage represents a profound legal turning point in the contemporary and cultural understanding of spouses and family. The bishops of Alaska agree with the president of the United States Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, in his statement for the bishops of the U.S.:

“Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage. The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the ‘integral ecology’ that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home. Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.”

We continue to teach that every human person deserves respect and compassion. The experience of same-sex attraction is a reality that calls for attention, sensitivity and pastoral care. While every person is called to love and deserves to be loved, today’s momentous decision will not change the truth of the Church’s teaching on marriage.

Going forward, the Supreme Court’s decision to redefine marriage will have a significant ripple effect upon the first amendment right to religious liberty. It sets the Church’s teaching about marriage in opposition to the law and will create inestimable conflicts between the state and religious persons and institutions. As the impact of the decision plays out over the coming weeks and months the Catholic Church will continue to preach the truth about marriage and will promote, in the public square, this truth as what is good for society and our world.

Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, OMI
Archdiocese of Anchorage

Bishop Chad W. Zielinski
Diocese of Fairbanks

Bishop Edward J. Burns
Diocese of Juneau