U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website, Marriage: Unique for a Reason >>
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop President Most Rev. Timothy M. Dolan on Religious Freedom and the Defense of Marriage Act, Letter to U.S. President Barack Obama >>
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Speaking Against Repeal of Defense of Marriage Act, Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee >>
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Frequently Asked Questions on the Defense of Marriage >>
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, On the Christian Family in the Modern World, Familiaris Consortio »
U.S. Bishops Pastoral Letter on Marriage, Love and Life in the Divine Plan »
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Work of Secretariat of Education »
Family and Education Issues
"The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."
-- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601
"... God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."
-- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1603
"No religion, government, or individual has the right or the legitimate authority to alter the basic meaning and structure of marriage that has existed ever since the first man and woman were created. Because God designed the marital union as part of our intrinsic nature and established it as the foundation of our civilization, the proper role of both church and state is one of stewardship, to preserve our Creator’s great gift of marriage from one generation to the next."
-- Virginia Bishops Pastoral Letter on Marriage
"The political community has a duty to honor the family, to assist it, and to ensure especially:
- the freedom to establish a family, have children, and bring them up in keeping with the family's own moral and religious convictions;
- the protection of the stability of the marriage bond and the institution of the family;
- the freedom to profess one's faith, to hand it on, and raise one's children in it, with the necessary means and institutions;
- the right to private property, to free enterprise, to obtain work and housing, and the right to emigrate;
- in keeping with the country's institutions, the right to medical care, assistance for the aged, and family benefits;
- the protection of security and health, especially with respect to dangers like drugs, pornography, alcoholism, etc.;
- the freedom to form associations with other families and so to have representation before civil authority."
-- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2211
Children and Education
"The fruitfulness of conjugal love extends to the fruits of the moral, spiritual, and supernatural life that parents hand on to their children by education. Parents are the principal and first educators of their children. In this sense the fundamental task of marriage and family is to be at the service of life."
-- Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1653
"The right and duty of parents to educate their children is essential, since it is connected with the transmission of human life; it is original and primary with regard to the educational role of others, on account of the uniqueness of the loving relationship between parents and children; and it is irreplaceable and inalienable, and therefore incapable of being entirely delegated to others or usurped by others. Parents have the duty and right to impart a religious education and moral formation to their children, a right the State cannot annul but which it must respect and promote. This is a primary right that the family may not neglect or delegate."
-- Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 239