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Bishop Silva's Letter to All Clergy & Parishioners of the Diocese of Honolulu

October 13, 2013

Ltr 131013 SSM

As you know, our State Legislature will convene in a Special Session beginning October 28, 2013, to consider a bill submitted by Governor Abercrombie on “marriage equity” or same-sex “marriage”.  We thank all who have prayed for the Lord’s guidance on this issue and have contacted your legislators.  I now urge you to continued prayer and to more intense action.  If you have already contacted your legislators, please consider doing so again; if you have not, please do so within the next couple of weeks.

Please keep in mind that the major concern should not be giving this or that same-sex couple the ability to be married, but rather the long-term and profound societal implications such a concession would have on all of us.  Our religious freedom, which goes far beyond simply freedom of worship, would be seriously threatened, no matter what safeguards may be built into the bill.  The rights of parents to see that their children are taught the sacredness of marriage between one man and one woman would be seriously undermined.  The boundaries our young people so desperately need in our over-sexed culture will be widely expanded if not taken away altogether, thus leading to more confusion in their hearts and minds.  The prohibition against homosexual activity that the Word of God makes so clear can only be ignored to the detriment of all.  The law of God is written into each human heart, and there are serious consequences if we ignore it.

Please keep in mind that our efforts to preserve the true definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman are an expression of our love, even though many consider them to be just the opposite.  Only the truth about the need to respect our human ecology and the true meaning of sexuality and the body can be loving, even when not accepted by all.  Pope Francis has recently made statements that have been taken out of context and misused by others to imply that he condones homosexual ACTS and even same-sex marriage.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  His emphasis on loving persons, no matter what they believe, is essential, but by no means does such love condone immoral behavior.  When talking about same-sex marriage we must also be careful to distinguish between equality of persons and equality of institutions.  No matter what our sexual attraction may be, we are all equal as persons.  But the institution of marriage between a man and a woman cannot be equal to the union between persons of the same gender.

While I cannot take the space to reprint all of the following materials here, I ask you to go to the website of the Diocese of Honolulu at www.catholichawaii.org and to review the following for yourself: (Links have been added for your convenience).

  1. My August 22 letter to parishioners
  2. List of contact emails and phone number for State Senators and Representatives
  3. Scriptures related to homosexuality
  4. Two letters of Cardinal Jorge Bergolio (now Pope Francis) regarding same-sex marriage when it was being considered in Argentina in 2010:
    1. Bergoglio on Same-Sex Marriage;
    2. Bergoglio to Carmelite Sisters
  5. Recent quotes of Pope Francis in context:
    1. Pope Francis Interview on Rio-Rome Flight, 28 July 2013;
    2. Pope Francis Interview with Civilita Catolica, 19 August 2013.
  6. Quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding homosexuality

I invite you all to a rally at the State Capitol on Monday, October 28, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., to join with others to let our legislators know of our opposition to same-sex marriage.

This issue is critical for the vitality of our entire community, so I urge you to pray diligently, especially the rosary, AND to contact both your State Senator and Representative to let them know that you support only marriage between one man and one woman.

May God bless you all!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Larry Silva
Bishop of Honolulu