The Altar Not Ours to Alter
"This Marriage is not ours to alter. It is ours, however, to encourage and celebrate…this we affirm." These were the final words recited from a new affirmation on marriage at the conclusion of the three-day conference of international religious leaders at the Vatican on the complementarity of man and woman. The atmosphere was almost euphoric as the attendees from six of the world's seven continents broke from the historic gathering to return to their respective nations renewed in their stand for marriage.
As I shared with reporters earlier in the day, anyone who cares about the well-being of children, the well-being of men and women, and the well-being of society as a whole cannot help but be encouraged by what happened in Rome this week. Stepping away from the U.S. media's incessant spin that the redefinition of marriage is inevitable and corporate America's capitulation to cultural extortionists was refreshing.
While there is no question the institution is in trouble, the roots of marriage go deeper than the moral drought that our nation is experiencing. Man did not create marriage; God, the evidence of which is seen in every country and every culture, created marriage. The courts may declare otherwise, and Hollywood may depict its demise, but the union of a man and a woman as the natural and enduring definition of marriage will endure until the end.
"Marriage," the gathering resolved, "is no mere symbol of achievement, but the very foundation -- a base from which to build a family and from there a community. For on earth marriage binds us across the ages in the flesh, across families in the flesh, and across the fearful and wonderful divide of man and woman, in the flesh."
Those who didn't attend this week's Colloquium in person can get a sense of it from a beautiful six-part film series on the complementarity of man and woman in marriage, now available online. For more on the week's events, don't miss CNS News's coverage, including an interview I had with Penny Starr this morning, here.