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Archbishops support Marriage and Religious Freedom Act

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Strong support was expressed by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. The bill was introdued , Thursday in the U.S. Senate by Senator Mike Lee. According to Zenit News Agency, both archbishops previously endorsed the companion Marriage and Religious Freedom Act introduced by Rep. Raúl Labrador in the U.S. House of Representatives on September 19, 2013.

“The fact that this very important non-discrimination bill has now been introduced in the Senate is quite encouraging,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “As with the House bill, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act introduced in the Senate would prohibit the federal government from discriminating against religious believers who hold to the timeless truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. This Act, therefore, provides necessary protections. Increasingly, state laws are being used to target individuals and organizations for discrimination simply because they act on their belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Such prejudice must not be allowed to spread to the federal government.”

Archbishop Lori said, “I urge both the House and the Senate to pass the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act. We are witnessing a growing climate of intolerance against individuals and organizations who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, with a ‘comply or else’ attitude being advanced by those who favor marriage redefinition in law. In this coercive climate, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act is an important step in preserving religious liberties at the federal level.”

Archbishop Lori added, “Among the many protections in this bill, the federal government would not be able to deny individuals and organizations a grant, contract, or employment because of their religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

Marriage is considered a sacrament by the Catholic Church. The seven sacraments are visible signs instituted by Christ to give grace. The redefinition of the word marriage conflicts with the beliefs of the Catholic Church. The sacraments are considered dogma, which means they have been revealed by God and cannot be changed.

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