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US Supreme Court Postpones Marriage Opinions Another Day. Decisions to Come on Wednesday

By Deacon Keith Fournier
June 26th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Throughout the day and evening various self styled experts will pontificate concerning the opinions left to be read from the bench tomorrow. They will discuss who will read them and what that might say about the outcome. Some of it will be interesting, most of it will be about as helpful as reading tea leaves.We are being invited into a new missionary age of the Church. This is not the first time in our Christian history that we have been sent into cultures which have rejected the truth as revealed in the Natural Moral Law. They aways think they are being 'liberated' when they do so. History always proves them wrong. 

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Along with over almost 100,000 other Court observers, I sat with my eyes glued to Scotus Blog this morning. That was after serving as a Deacon at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass this morning. I was unable to be in the Court, though I am a member of the Supreme court Bar. I felt that being at the altar and interceding would have more value anyway.

Like many Christians, I have been involved in deep prayer, and action, concerning two major cases which concern marriage and the family and society founded upon them; Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case concerning Proposition 8 in California, and United States v. Windsor, the case involving the Defense of Marriage Act.

I sat in my parish office this morning praying, literally as the bell tolled. We have a beautiful bell tower which rings on the hour.

I am acutely aware of the historic importance of these cases. I also know that no matter what the Court rules, no-one can change the truth about marriage and family. However, how the US Supreme Court rules has extraordinary implications for anyone dedicated to defending marriage as what it is. 

As the opinions were released, I moved between anxiety and faith filled confidence. Not because I have confidence in the Court, but because I have confidence on the God who has revealed the truth about marriage and family.

The announcement of the first decision came from Justice Alito, Koontz v. St. Johns River Management District. It was a case involving property law which reversed a decision from the Florida Supreme Court. It is, in effect, a victory for the advocates of property owner rights.

The second also came from Justice Alito, Adoptive Couple v Baby Girl, concerning the termination of the rights of a biological father over a minor daughter. It is, in effect, a victory for the rights of adoptive parents in certain circumstances.

The third case involved the much watched challenge to a section of the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder, It was read by Chief Justice Roberts.

Section four of the Voting Rights Act was struck down as unconstitutional because " its' formula can no longer be used as a basis for subjecting jurisdictions to preclearance." Of the three opinions, this is the one which will be parsed throughout the day by the media and the pundits and has the most implications.

However, there is no doubt, the real story out of the US Supreme Court today is what decisions were not read.  The Chief Justice announced that the Court will release its remaining three opinions tomorrow at 10:00 AM (EST).

No matter what is announced from the Bench tomorrow, marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of creation. Marriage is ontologically between one man and one woman, ordered toward the union of the spouses, open to children and formative of family.

The institutions of civil government should defend marriage and not seek to undermine it. Sadly, that is no longer the case.

No Court and no legislature can change the objective truth. Redefining the institution of marriage is improper and outside the authority of the State. The Supreme Court has no authority to redefine marriage, even if they try to do so through issuing an opinion signed by a majority.

If the US Supreme Court does become the tool by which marriage is redefined in the positive law of this nation, the precedent established will leave no room for any limitation on what can constitute such a redefined notion of marriage.

Conferring a moral and legal equivalency to same-sex couples by legislative or judicial fiat also sends the message that children do not need a mother and a father. It undermines their fundamental rights and threatens their security, stability, and future.

Family is the first vital cell of society; the first church, first school, first hospital, first economy, first government and first mediating institution of our social order. The future of a free and healthy society passes through marriage and the family. To undermine that fact does not serve the common good.

Throughout the day and evening, various self styled experts will pontificate concerning the Court opinions left to be read from the bench tomorrow. They will discuss who will read them and what that might say about the outcome. Some of it will be interesting, most of it will be about as helpful as reading tea leaves.

We are being invited into a new missionary age of the Christian Church. This is not the first time in our Christian history that we have been sent into cultures which have rejected the truth as revealed in the Natural Moral Law. They always think they are being 'liberated' when they do so. History always proves them wrong. 

In reality, the message we proclaim about the dignity of life and primacy of marriage is the true path to authentic progress and lasting liberation.  

My advice to my readers - Pray. Get ready.

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