Religious leaders make push for marriage in final election countdown

By Maria Wiering

Twitter: @ReviewWiering

Clergy representing several Christian denominations gathered in Beltsville Nov. 2 to speak against same-sex marriage and show solidarity. Father Erik J. Arnold, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ellicott City, represented the Archdiocese of Baltimore, calling marriage “a truth that cannot be changed.”

“These days, it is not always easy to proclaim our deeply held belief that marriage, created by God and given to us by nature, can only be the union of one man and one woman,” Father Arnold said. “But we know too the power and the joy of being united in the truth about marriage – united across faiths, across race, across political parties, and across time.

“That truth, and the many generations who have passed it on to us – will not let us be silent,” he said.

Father Arnold urged people to pray for the state, people on both sides of the marriage debate and for children.

“We know our future is in (God’s) hands, and pray that his will may be done on Election Day,” he said.

Father Arnold joined nearly 30 clergy members, including the Rev. Derek McCoy, director of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, and Father John J. Dillon from the Archdiocese of Washington.

Marylanders will vote on a same-sex marriage referendum Nov. 6. Catholic leaders are urging them to vote against the measure, which is listed on the ballot as Question 6.

Father Arnold testified against same-sex marriage before the Maryland General Assembly in February, prior to its passage and prior to Gov. Martin J. O’Malley signing it into law. The Maryland Catholic Conference, as a coalition member of the Maryland Marriage Alliance, led a campaign last summer to gather enough signatures to bring the measure to public vote.

The Maryland Catholic Conference advocates for public policy on behalf of the state’s bishops.

Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori has been a leader in the statewide crusade against same-sex marriage. In a letter to be shared in parishes the weekend of Nov. 3-4, he asked Catholics to pray and vote.

“This election is a particularly important one, especially as it regards the religious liberty we so cherish, the sanctity of human life and the institution of marriage in our state,” he said.

“With this in mind, I warmly invite you to attend Mass on Tuesday, even if you don’t ordinarily attend Mass during the week,” he added. “That day, let us together fervently pray for our nation and for our state.”

Copyright © November 2, 2012

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.