Archbishop Thomas Wenski is the highest-ranking Catholic official in Florida. He was born in West Palm beach and grew up in Lake Worth. In 2010, he was appointed by Pope Benedict to be the Archbishop of Miami and Metropolitan of the Province of Miami — which covers the seven dioceses in Florida. This afternoon, he released a response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that declared gay-marriage bans unconstitutional, thus legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Here is his letter in its entirety:
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The decision of the Supreme Court redefining marriage as merely an affective union between two people of any sex was disappointing if not unexpected. As the minority of the judges said in their dissent, “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment.”
This is simply a wrong, mistaken decision. Of course, this is not the first time the Supreme Court got it wrong.
In the 19th Century, in the Dred Scott decision, the Court decided that a black man had no rights that a white person had to respect. In the 20th Century, the Court decided in Roe v. Wade that a baby could be killed in her mother’s womb at any time before birth. And now in the 21st Century, the Supreme Court makes another wrong decision.
Bad decisions lead to bad consequences and do not “settle” anything. Dred Scott made inevitable a bloody Civil War that cost more lives than any other war in our history and the racism that inspired the Dred Scott decision is still a cancer on America’s soul.
Roe v. Wade has resulted in more than 50 million abortions. Yet, abortion still troubles the conscience of America and an increasing majority of Americans reject “abortion on demand”.
This decision redefining marriage will also bring bad consequences. Losing the understanding of marriage in our culture as a conjugal union of a man and a woman in a permanent and exclusive commitment conducive to welcoming and raising the children born from such a union weakens the family as the basic cell of society; and it imperils the human flourishing of future generations. Allowing “an act of the will” to be substituted for “legal judgment” is a recipe for tyranny.
Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski
Archbishop of Miami