Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., argued forcefully in a Washington Post op-ed piece yesterday that if the D.C. City Council passes a same-sex "marriage" law, as expected, it must include religious liberty protections sufficient to allow Catholic Charities to continue its historic ministry to the people of the District.
From Archbishop Wuerl's op-ed:
"While we do not agree with the council on redefining marriage, we recognize that it is firmly committed to opening marriage to homosexual couples. We are asking that new language be developed that more fairly balances different interests -- those of the city to redefine marriage and those of faith groups so that they can continue to provide services without compromising their deeply held religious teachings and beliefs. The archdiocese has not been alone in requesting broader language. Other groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington and nationally recognized legal scholars all called for stronger protections for religious freedom in their testimony on the original bill.
"For the archdiocese and Catholic Charities, two core tenets of our faith are at the heart of our concerns: our understanding of the nature of marriage and our commitment to expressing Christ's love through service to others. Under the legislative language before the D.C. Council, the archdiocese would be forced to choose between these two principles...
"We recognize that the council is likely to legalize same-sex marriage. It is the hope of the archdiocese and Catholic Charities that council members will work with us to find a way to better balance interests so religious organizations that have served this city well for many decades may continue to provide services without compromising the tenets of their faith" (Read the full piece by clicking HERE.)
The New York Times, not surprisingly, disagreed with the Archbishop's reasoning in an editorial today, which you can read HERE.