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20140619cnsto0421 webArchbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco addresses supporters of traditional marriage during the second annual March for Marriage in Washington June 19. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Political and religious leaders encouraged Americans to promote traditional marriage with truth and love at the second annual March for Marriage.

Referencing the passage from the Gospel of Matthew, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, encouraged march participants June 19 to spread the message of the Gospel with love.

"It is easy to become resentful when you are relentlessly and unfairly painted as a bigot, and are punished for publicly standing by the basic truth of marriage as a foundational societal good," Archbishop Cordileone told a crowd of several hundred. "It is tempting to respond in kind. Don't. We must not allow the angry rhetoric to co-opt us into a culture of hate."

Co-sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council, the March for Marriage brought grass-roots activists to the U.S. Capitol to illustrate that a "majority of Americans still stand for marriage" as the union of one man and one woman, according to event organizers.
Citing traditional marriage as "the key to individual and societal flourishing," Archbishop Cordileone explained the importance of creating a culture of marriage within the U.S.

"Our society is broken and hurting in so many ways," the archbishop said. "But none of the solutions will have a lasting effect if we do not rebuild a marriage culture, a culture which recognizes and supports ... marriage between a man and a woman committed to loving faithfulness to each other and to their children. No justice, no peace, no end to poverty is possible without a culture of marriage and the family."

Rick Santorum, a former Republican senator from Pennsylvania, advocated for the dignity of all people as he explained that the movement in favor of traditional marriage "isn't about hating anyone or anything."

"This is a movement that is based in love for what is best for children and families in America," Santorum said. "People from across the ideological spectrum will all admit that marriage between a man and a woman is best for raising children and building strong communities. We need to help rebuild marriage of men and women ... with respect for all people."

Highlighting procreation as one of the key differences between a romantic relationship and a marriage, the former senator urged participants to become involved in the movement to "reclaim marriage for what it truly is."

As the crowd prepared to march to the U.S. Supreme Court building, Archbishop Cordileone encouraged the event's participants to allow love to guide their future efforts in the movement.

"This noble cause is a call to love for us, a call we cannot abandon that ... in the end, we know will triumph," he said. "So my friends, we must not give up. The truth will not go away and we will not go away. Let us place our trust in God and let us go forth to build a civilization of truth and love."

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.