Washington D.C., Nov 25, 2009 / 04:45 pm (CNA).- In an interview with Dr. John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. stated that the proposed same-sex “marriage” law in D.C. doesn't only redefine marriage, it lacks the conscience protections necessary to allow the social services of the Church to continue partnering with the civil government. On Dec. 1, D.C. council members are scheduled to vote on a bill which would legalize same-sex “marriage” in D.C. and require Catholic Charities and other religious institutions to “recognize and promote” it as Archbishop Wuerl has previously stated.
The prelate told Haas that the Church has two reservations about the proposed law.
First is the definition of marriage itself. “Marriage has been defined across human history, across cultures, nations, and time, in a very specific way,” Wuerl said.
Secondly, Wuerl noted that the new law would “prohibit us from carrying out our social service ministry if we did not subscribe to this new definition.” If, on December 1, the D.C. city council votes in favor of the law as it is now, the partnership between Catholic Charities and the civil government will be over, and not simply out of spite.
The archbishop noted that Catholic Charities will continue to operate, but only “with our resources.” However, the “long history of partnership with the civil government” will be over.
Ultimately, the position of the archdiocese is that “ if you are going to enforce this law, you have to provide freedom of conscience,” declared the archbishop.