Catholic Bishops Call for Marriage Amendment

( [email protected] ) Sep 13, 2003 03:01 PM EDT

WASHINGTON -- In response to the increased cases of legalized sodomy, the council of Roman Catholic bishops released a statement of “general support” for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

"At a time when family life is under significant stress, the principled defense of marriage is an urgent necessity to ensure the flourishing of persons, the well-being of children and the common good of society," the bishops said.

The protection of marriage requires advocacy for legislation and public policies that "define and support marriage as a unique, essential relationship and institution," the statement said.

Although the bishops recognized the church's teaching to accept homosexual persons with “respect, compassion and sensitivity," they stressed that this “does not mean changing marriage laws.”

The 50-member administrative committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met privately in Washington. The statement came after a strong Vatican call to defend traditional marriage; the Vatican denounced same-sex marriages in a July decree from its doctrinal office.

President Bush has not endorsed the proposed constitutional amendment but has said marriage is between a man and a woman, and "we ought to codify that one way or the other."