ZENIT—The World Seen From Rome – 9-24-12

 Archbishop John Myers: Marriage in the United States Is Threatened and Undermined
 Head of Newark Archdiocese Releases Pastoral Letter on Marriage

ROME, SEPT. 25, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The subject of marriage has been an area of constant debate in recent years. As election season approaches in the United States, advocates of same-sex “marriage” have increasingly gained more and more influence in politics and the entertainment industry. Those on the other side of the debate have faced criticism, even so far as being accused of bigotry for voicing support for traditional marriage.

The Catholic Church in the United States has not remained silent despite many attempts by supporters of same-sex “marriage” to quiet and discredit them. In spite of many attacks from different fronts, the U.S. bishops have remained steadfast in support of the traditional union between man and woman.

Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, New Jersey has released today a pastoral letter on the definition, purpose and sanctity of marriage. As head of one of the nation’s largest diocese with well over 1 million Catholics, Archbishop Myers set out to help the faithful “form their consciences” on the sacrament of marriage. Using the writings of philosophers, both religious and secular, the American prelate makes the case for traditional marriage according to the natural law, thus giving a balanced view of the sacrament of marriage through the eyes of both faith and reason.

Archbishop Myers spoke with ZENIT on his pastoral letter and on the state of marriage in the United States.

ZENIT: What prompted you to write the pastoral letter on marriage?

Archbishop Myers: Well, I worked for some time on it because marriage is one of the foundations of any society and, of course, important in the Church.  In our society, it’s being undermined in many ways, both by some government actions, also by cultural pressures and the preferences of people. So, my concern is that people live the mystery of the sacrament of marriage; and also that we have the stability which is required for stability in society and for rearing children properly. So, I was concerned about all those things when I set out several months ago to write the pastoral [letter].

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