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Pope to Visit Region to Endorse Straight Marriage

Pope Benedict XVI will travel to Philadelphia for a World Family Summit in 2015 as the Roman Catholic Church makes a clear statement about gay marriage.

In a clear statement in support of traditional "one man-one woman" marriage in the United States, the Vatican has put Southeastern Pennsylvania at ground zero of the debate over gay marriage. The Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which includes Roman Catholic Churches in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, has announced it will host the Vatican's 2015 World Meeting of Families.

The selection of Philadelphia came as Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput  attended this year's World Meeting in Milan, Italy over the weekend. The meeting is held once every three years.

In making the announcement, the Archbishop also made his position on gay marriage clear, saying in a news release:

"The family is founded on a deep and loving union between one man and one woman for mutual support and the nurturing of children. This meeting in Philadelphia will be a wonderful opportunity to highlight the family as the basic evangelizing unit of the Church. Every effort to promote marriage and the family serves not only the Church, but also the common good."

Politics, Gay Marriage and the Media

The announcement comes just weeks after President Obama officially changed his position and came out in support of same sex marriage. The World Meeting of Families is usually attended by the Pope, assuring major domestic and international media attention for the Vatican's position on marriage and families.

Archbishop Chaput acknowledged as much in a statement released on Sunday, saying:

"It's fitting that this gathering, which celebrates the cornerstone of society, will take place in America's cradle of freedom. The Holy Father's choice is a gift to the local Church in Philadelphia and to the whole nation." 

What do you think of the announcement and the Archdiocese's position on marriage and the family? Is Philadelphia a fitting place to stage the debate? Tell us in the comments section at the bottom of this article.

Bruce Wienckowski June 06, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Unfortunately, David, there is the recent case of photographers being forced to photograph a gay wedding even though it is against their religion and they do not wish to provide this service to them. Granted, it is a secular service but they feel strongly about their religion and are being forced to do this. There is also another case in New Jersey where a Christian facility was forced to allow a reception for a gay wedding even though it was owned by a Christian Church. These are just stepping stones to stomping out the "so-called" bigots and discriminators who are following their religious beliefs. Our First Amendment rights are being violated and the government, mainly the court systems, is now helping this to occur.
Bruce Wienckowski June 06, 2012 at 04:07 PM
David, I am truly sorry for your experiences with the home and your divorce. The systems in place definitely need reform. I was kind to my ex-wife when I divorced her. My lawyer did her best to try and convince me to go after assets that she had prior to our marriage. While my ex did lie about some very important things before the marriage, misrepresenting herself to me, she earned that money even before we married. I split things 50/50 with her and these were things that were ours after the marriage, We would have been better off doing the settlement ourselves. I did reign in my divorce lawyer but it was still very revealing about how evil the process can be. As I stated before, instead of the name-calling and the derogatory remarks spouted by the many sides, sitting down and talking out our concerns would be the better way of handling this situation. Yes, it would be a volatile topic but it can be done. There is an innate goodness in all of us and, with the right people at the table, things can be settled. That is at least my hope.
Bruce Wienckowski June 06, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Jeannette, Christ also told the sinners to "Go and sin no more." It is still a choice and it is now a choice in some states. The Pope and Archbishop Chaput are reinforcing the stance of the Roman Catholic Church on this topic to the laity. There is nothing wrong with this. The people still vote according to their choice. We are not standing at the polls intimidating Catholics into voting against Gay Unions. The concern of the Church is for the souls of the faithful and so they will advise according to Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Jesus even said that Moses only permitted divorce because of the hardness of our hearts. We are a stubborn people to Him but He told us what is right and good to do. Where you see hatred, bigotry and discrimination, we see love and are looking out for the welfare of souls of the faithful Catholics. Even if this is approved by the government, the Church's stance would remain the same. We will then be abused and bullied as bigots and discriminators. Religious Discrimination will run rampant and we will be fighting to keep our protections under the First Amendment. It can be seen in the comments within this thread and it will only get worse as the debate continues. It is a shame all around.
K Busch June 06, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Um, "endorsing straight marriage" seems like an extremely odd headline. One would have to spend a lot of time on the phone to find a gay activist so radical that he or she opposed straight marriage. What has changed and changed profoundly is the nature of marriage between straight people. Instead of being a relationship between unequals as it was for centuries, it evolved into a relationship between equals based on love and commitment not on dominance and pre-arrangement. That transformation is what makes marriage equality -- or if you prefer, gay marriage -- a logical consequence.
Michael Hill June 06, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Brue, if your talking about this story http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/judge-rules-christian-facility-cannot-ban-same-sex-civil-union-ceremony-on The court ruled that the Christian facility cannot ban same-sex civil union ceremony. No one was forced to allow a reception and no financial penalties were imposed.
David Ginsberg June 06, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Bruce, I definately agree that any discussion of this subject, and others, should be friendly, respecful, and without insults being made. If I sounded otherwise, I apologize, and it was my passion coming in a manner which I did not intend. I did read some comments by others, and it does seem that this topic has unfortunately broadened into a broader attack on the Catholic Church, Even though I am Jewish, I have a lot of respect for the Catholic Church and Christianity. One of the issues in my divorce is that my wife tried to make me out to be crazy and confused because I wanted to expose my children to the messages of Christ and Christmas. Even though I do not (and I am sorry if this offends) believe that Christ was the son of God, I believe there was tremendous value in his teachings and messages, and given that we live in a country which is mostly Christian, I wanted my children to be exposed to Christianity, especially that which Christianity has to offer which is wonderful and beautiful. I even took my children to a unitarian church one Christmas Eve and I had a wonderfukl christmas. So it is a shame if this issue has to become derrogatory and degrading and insulting, and again if I was perceived as having any part in that, I regret it and apologize. Sincerely, David M. Ginsberg
Jeannette McGinley June 06, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Hi Bruce, It is difficult for everyone to keep the first amendment for all. The point I am making is in an example of the three wise men and the nativity scene. Shepherd's were the lowest of the cast system. They had to pay someone to go to the city and pick up their goods. They were not accepted by the public. It is no mistake the nativity scene shows kings in the same company of shepherds. Christ brought all together. We will always have this problem. We are humans. Some people were excommunicated from the Catholic Church because of their beliefs. Galileo was one of them. He recently was accepted. Christ looked out for all souls not just the faithful. No one is one hundred percent faithful, or we wouldn't need forgiveness. My point is Catholics aren't the only true religion. People have personal relationships with God. There should be no debate about this. If a soul is certain no one will be able to destroy someone's belief system. I appreciate your opinion. I just have a different view about acceptance.
Bruce Wienckowski June 06, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Well, Michael, that is even worse than a reception to force a ceremony on their property. David, thank you, and, no, I have not noticed anything derogatory in your replies. Thank you. I also am sorry for what happened. It is a noble effort on your part to expose your children to various religions. Christ had a very positive message to share whether you believe or not that He is the Messiah. While I do not have every religious belief committed to memory, I do have books available to me for reference and value learning about them in reference to my own religion.
Bruce Wienckowski June 06, 2012 at 06:07 PM
What has not changed about Marriage between a Man and a Woman is that they can create a human life from their union as ordained by God. This has been, is and always will be the natural difference between them. God has also, always been, is and always will be.
K Busch June 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM
@Bruce Wienckowski: Even a cursory review of the Old Testament will show that the marriages it reports differ starkly even from marriages in the 1950s. I'm not sure what you're asserting by way of the permanence of God but it is certainly odd to suggest that we return to the social and sexual mores of an eastern backwater of the Roman Empire. Have you any notion of how brutal society was then? No one from the present day in his or her right mind would wish to return to a society that, say, regarded stoning or cutting tendons as a perfectly fine way to punish crime. By your view, God seems frozen in amber.
Bruce Wienckowski June 06, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Randy, you just insulted every homosexual by calling them pedophiles. This topic is a topic questioning the Catholic view as per the content of this article. All priests are not gay. All priests are not pedophiles. All gays are not pedophiles. Do you really think this way?!
Bruce Wienckowski June 06, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Old Testament vs. New Testament. Old Covenant vs. New Covenant. Just to bring you up to date, we are in the New Covenant. Your tangent just shows that you do not know how to stay on topic. Traditional Marriage within our Church will always be this way, no matter what the government, any government decides. The reference to God is that His Will is unchanging no matter what we demand on this earth. Even if the religious institutions bow down and give in to the will of the a minority of people who wish to go back to the Roman days where it was perfectly fine to lie down with another of the same sex or more, very brutal indeed and unnatural, God's eternal Will won't change and the punishment for committing sin against Him without remorse, without regret and without a firm commitment to sin no more will be the same. If you embrace the sin, no matter what sin you favor, then you have chosen to separate yourselves from God because you have put your own selfish desires before Him. It's that simple.
K Busch June 06, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Note to Bruce: the events of the New Testament occurred during the Roman Empire, too, and norms at the time were as described. Moving on to your comments about an unchanging will. Let's note that not even inconsistent with the doctrine of a New Covenant. I'll leave it to you to provide your certainty-filled rationalizations to paper over this obvious inconsistency.
Bruce Wienckowski June 06, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I'm sorry. What are you even trying to communicate here?
Drew Stockmal June 07, 2012 at 01:58 AM
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ This ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ . Well said Marc.
Bruce Wienckowski June 07, 2012 at 02:59 AM
No, we'll look back at this and say that this is the beginning of the end.
Ike June 07, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Well, i see alot of yall like it HOT, and its very HOT , WHERE SOME OF YALL might be going....Its not too LATE . TOO Change your evil ways.
Collegeville Mom June 07, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Bruce, I am a person who doesn't know much about religion. I haven't read the Bible, and I don't pretend that I have. I don't know the difference between a Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, etc. You seem to be pretty educated about religion, so I have a few questions for you. Maybe you can help clear up some things I've been wondering about. 1. You have noted that the Catholic church views marriage between a man and a woman with the goal of procreation. What about post-menopausal women? Are they allowed to get married in a Catholic church? What about an Iraq veteran who is paralyzed from the waist down, or missing necessary body parts. Could he get married? What about women who have survived cervical cancer but are now sterile from the chemotherapy? Or does the procreation thing just not apply to them? 2. How does the church define a man and a woman? I know this seems like a silly question, but it isn't. What about transgender people? Are they considered their orginal gender, or the changed one? Does the church go by genetics or outward appearance? Some people are born with an XXY chromosome defect (they have an extra sex defining chromosome), or they are born with parts of both genitalia. Are they allowed to get married? Who could Chaz Bono marry? A man or a woman? I don't mean for these questions to be rude or patronizing. I really want an answer from someone who knows about religion.
Harry Dixon June 07, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Jeanette, We are most certainly to judge. Matthew 7:1 is so often taken out of context. In the next verse, Jesus says, "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." He is just warning us to be prepared; that the same criteria we use will be used to judge us. (BTW, I count 17 judgements in your comment.) Yes, Jesus taught love and acceptance of the individual, which I fully embrace. But he condemned sin. Jesus (and Wm. Penn) NEVER taught that same-sex unions were okay. To me it's obvious. It just goes against creation. That can't be argued.
Randeroid June 09, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Hatboro: It is my humble opinion that Freedom From Religion was the intent of some of the founding fathers--the smart ones. The constitution and the Treaty of Tripoli coincide with this interpretation. A secular state must have Freedom From Religion.
Bruce Wienckowski June 09, 2012 at 10:27 AM
Sorry - I have not been monitoring this article anymore but I just did see the email with your comment. When I say "Can Marry", below, that means in a heterosexual relationship because it is only in a heterosexual relationship that you can procreate with one man and one woman. 1. Post-menopausal Woman: born a woman with the potential to have children (Can Marry); Injured Iraqi Veteran: born a man/woman with the potential to have children (Can Marry); Cervical Cancer (Can Marry). All of us have the ability to procreate, including homosexuals, but only heterosexuals have the willingness, the intention, to procreate with a spouse of the opposite sex which permits the creation of human life out of love. If you cannot love someone of the opposite sex and can only love someone of the same, then that love, as much as it seems similar, cannot create a life out of a truly, loving sexual relationship. 2. Man and woman are the true, physical forms of man and woman as naturally created by God. There are exceptions as Jesus noted some are born eunuchs or in a different manner and they are unable to procreate. So, as you noted some are exceptions and have to be taken on a case by case basis. Chaz Bono should not be able to marry within the Catholic Church given my current knowledge of the situation.
Bruce Wienckowski June 09, 2012 at 10:38 AM
We are permitted to freely practice our religion. We are also permitted to vote according to our religious beliefs. If anyone tried to stop us from practicing our religion, it would be a violation of our religious freedom (freedom OF religion). You do not have to practice a religion or believe in one. You do have to follow the rule of law as legislated (and lately as interpreted by the courts which seem to have too much power). If those laws created happen to coincide with some religious beliefs, it does not mean that the government has endorse any one religion nor is the government trying to force us to practice anyone religion. Now, if they told us all that we had to go to church services on Wednesday and we need to meet in the township building instead of our church buildings, or worse, took over our church buildings and renamed them to the Church of Pat, then that would be where your concern for for Freedom FROM Religion should take place. Because you disagree with a religion or religions does not permit you to silence us or permit you to try and stop us from practicing our religion or following our faith. If you truly believe in something, then you will vote according to your belief. You are doing this yourselves although it is not "religious". Just because our belief coincides with our religion, doesn't mean you can tell us how we can or cannot vote. "You can't vote that way because that's your religious belief... Can't include it!" YES WE CAN!
Joey June 09, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Bruce, I have a question. Can a person born man and women become a priest?
Bruce Wienckowski June 09, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I have no idea. You'll have to ask a Roman Catholic priest. More than likely someone in a higher position.
SugarSmack June 10, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Ahhh, yes. The Bible. It's a wonderful book. Actually, it's an unauthorized autobiography of Jesus' life. I wasn't there when it was written, and neither was anyone else who is alive and still reading this. So how can one book cause so much controversy? If you truly believe what is written in the Bible, then you know Jesus didn't shun anyone. Lepers, prostitutes, thieves, he invited all of them to eat with him. So if you believe all of that, and even the part where Jesus said "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." and "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." , then how can people still talk about homosexuals like they're the devil. The God that I believe in, he would never want me to judge people like that. The commandments state: "I am the LORD thy God, thou shalt have none other gods before me. Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me". Wouldn't it be crazy if we're at the pearly gates, and God says "I told you not to worship anything but me. So why did you worship a book that I did not write, and take everything in it so literally??"
Ann Hankins June 11, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Sadly, the Bible is too often a crutch for peoples weakness. It's MUCH easier to say " Oh, but my God doesn't WANT me to like gays and lesbians" than it is to say " well, they just make me feel uneasy and I don't know how to explain to little Debbie and little Bobby why two men or women are holding hands." The Bible prohibits quite a large number of thing that we all do every day and no one even notices, where are you bible thumpers then? I eat bacon, I eat red meats on Good Friday, I have tattoos. I don't see you out thumping your bibles over my head for that. Your pissing and crying over same sex marriage is against your gods intention is nothing more than a thinly veiled cover up for your own homophobia. I have asked this question before, I will ask it again since it NEVER got an answer in here........." Give me 3 reasons, NOT connected with your religious beliefs,since laws in this country should NEVER be written based on religious faiths, that same sex marriage should not be allowed.".....Lets see who can come up with FACTUAL reasons, not faith based.
HOLYROOD August 08, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Sorry you've been misled The Catholic faith that is the Gospels,Fathers and the Sacraments is the church founded by Christ and not poplatry and man made part.
Randeroid August 19, 2012 at 02:54 AM
This is about our Freedom FROM Religion. Anyone, who is not katholic and whose freedom is routinely violated by the katholic clergy, is being persecuted by them. In this case the clergy wants to stop non-katholic homosexuals from marrying. Recently, Islamists in Mali murdered a couple for having sex by stoning them to death! Similarly, an Indonesian is serving a 30-month jail sentence for posting ‘God doesn’t exist’ on Facebook! Our society is better because we have slightly more Freedom FROM the clergy of multi-billion-dollar tax-free corporations. We must do more to protect homosexuals from the clergy’s discrimination and to protect children from the clergy’s sexual adventures. At times, we have to choose between our superstitious beliefs that support immoral behavior and doing the right thing for other citizens. We have to choose between church and state--between anti-thinking servitude and Freedom FROM the harm caused by beliefs imposed by the clergy.
Bill August 19, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Sometimes there is great consolation in being proven wrong about a prediction. This is not one of those times. The Persecutions have begun here and abroad. http://www.wnd.com/2012/08/arab-spring-run-amok-brotherhood-starts-crucifixions/
Randeroid August 24, 2012 at 12:52 AM
So many times we are reminded about people coming to America fleeing religious persecution. The over-simplified point we are told is that they came here for Freedom of Religion. Yet, just who was persecuting them, who were they fleeing? Was it secularists? No. They were fleeing persecution FROM Religion. They were fleeing people like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Bill O’Reilly, and homophobic katholic clergy, who want to make a point that they see homosexuals as second-class citizens. We need Freedom FROM Religion to protect our fellow citizens from this heinous and ignorant persecution.

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