Springfield Bishop To IL Senate: Focus On “Authentic” Love This Valentine’s Day

Springfield’s Catholic Bishop says he “strenuously” objects to proposed legislation in the State Senate that would legalize marriage for same sex couples in Illinois.

Earlier this month Senate President John Cullerton called for members of his chamber to vote on the measure Thursday, Feb. 14th.  The Chicago Democrat has said he believes it has enough support to pass.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki says in a news release from the Springfield Diocese that this Valentine’s Day our elected officials would “do well to focus on a more authentic understanding of the word ‘love'”.Paprocki says the Catholic Church has “great love and compassion for those who experience same-sex attraction” – that the Church offers help “dealing with this condition to help [homosexuals] live a life of chastity”.

Paprocki hopes elected officials will “see the value marriage between a man and a woman contributes to the common good of our society”.

-Peter Gray, WUIS


February 12, 2013

This Valentine’s Day the Illinois State Senate is scheduled to vote on redefining marriage. As the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, I strenuously object to this legislation and hope our elected officials will see the value marriage contributes to the common good of our society.

We would do well to remember the color red is associated with St. Valentine’s Day because Valentine died as a martyr on Feb. 14, about the year 270. Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Emperor Claudius II. This Valentine’s Day we would also do well to focus on a more authentic understanding of the word “love.” Love never encourages sin or leads a person further into sin, but seeks instead to help others live a holy life. As St. Valentine demonstrated, love seeks to lead us further away from sin and closer to the truth.

In this spirit, the church defends true marriage because she knows that such marriage is a fundamental human good that has God—not the state, not human convention—as its author. The church has always, does now, and will forever proclaim and defend true marriage as a fundamental human good that unites one man and one woman in a unique sharing of the whole of their lives. True marriage has been recognized from time immemorial as worthy of recognition and support from civil society, but such support in no way makes the definition of marriage dependent upon politics or civil law.

The church hopes all civil servants will serve the common good and avoid acting contrary to that common good, especially in regard to basic institutions that, like marriage, are fundamental to the well-being of the whole society and her members. In a special way, the church expects this of Catholics who have been called to the dignity and responsibility of public service. Catholics who propose or promote the legal establishment of marriage as something other than the union of one man and one woman harm the common good of society, as known by reason, and set themselves against the settled teaching of the church.

The Catholic Church has great love and compassion for those who experience same-sex attraction and offers pastoral help for people dealing with this condition to help them live a life of chastity. This is a separate issue, however, from the definition of marriage as a natural institution between a man and a woman committed to an exclusive and life-long relationship open to the potential to bring new life into the world.

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3 Responses to Springfield Bishop To IL Senate: Focus On “Authentic” Love This Valentine’s Day

  1. Chris Cook says:

    nothing like a Catholics “authentic” love for boys or bondage… The Catholic Church is becoming more and more irrelevant in today’s society. Holier than thou ignorance from men in lace dresses, pfft.

  2. timothy canezaro says:

    The Catholic Church is the Pope, Priests, women and men Religious, and all the Catholic faithful that participate in the Sacraments and adhere to The Way.
    Bishop Popracki had some nice words reminding us of what Valentine’s day is, Saint Valentine, and how since. Politicians want to weigh in more and more on citizens personal religion, beliefs and even radically redefine the meaning of Marriage and Family, so it is nice to see Catholics like Bishop give our teachings and beliefs right back to them. Politicians, especially the ones here in Illinois are generally crooks, thieves & criminals so it seems especially confusing to me that they want to play the role of Creator and define in a completly different way a new understanding of Marriage, from man & woman to any 2 people, to family altering the meaning away from any natural meaning including a mother, father, and children.
    The politicians think they are doing some great deed or service to humanity the “cause of their lives.” So instead of putting unemployment, jobs, the economy, solving the killing problem we have, guns, violence, wealth disparity, poverty, broken homes and divorce…gay marriage, that’s apparently the big issue for politicians these days.

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