US Bishops Vow to Continue Defense of Liberty, Marriage

Open Fall Meeting With Reports on 2 of Biggest Cultural Battles

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BALTIMORE, Maryland, NOV. 12, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Lamenting that last week's election day was a "disappointing day for marriage," the US bishops' leader on marriage issues says that the voting results are a sign of a larger problem: that "people don't understand what marriage is."

This was the observation offered by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, after he presented a report today to the US bishops' annual fall general assembly. The prelates' four-day assembly is under way in Baltimore. 

Voters in three US states last Tuesday passed laws in favor of same-sex "marriage," while a fourth state rejected a proposal to define marriage in the state constitution.

Religious freedom

Meanwhile, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, assured that Church leadership will "stay the course" in the battle to defend religious liberty in the United States.

This issue was one at the forefront of the election due to elements in the government's health care reform package that mandate Catholic institutions to cover abortion-causing drugs and sterilization in insurance plans.

Archbishop Lori explained that part of the bishops' efforts will focus on education. Within this strategy is a new Web site, www.firstamericanfreedom.com, where viewers will learn about the Church's teaching on marriage and other issues.

"Our work is to provide education and formation as part of the new evangelization," Archbishop Lori said in his report. "I think that our initial efforts have demonstrated the need for greater formation, especially to reach young people, to open their hearts to their heritage as Americans and to what faith teaches about religious liberty."

Media

The fall assembly can be followed at the bishops' Web site. Publicity includes a Twitter feed as well as a live stream of the public sessions. Catholic News Service  is providing news at that page. Links to the agenda, speeches, votes and other material can also be found there.

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On the Net:

USCCB fall assembly home page: www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/index.cfm