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Prayer for charity and understanding

July 10, 2015
Jim Hargarten
San Francisco

Civil gay marriage is now constitutional in the entirety of the United States. That is a reality found to be unpleasant by many, including many in our Catholic community.

Amid all of the angst and hand-wringing, however, some basic facts are easy to overlook.

First, no civil authority has or will mandate that the Catholic Church do anything. The church remains free to define sacramental marriage in the way that it always has. That is the benefit of our system of separation of powers.

Second, my sacramental marriage is in no way diminished by the fact that gay couples can avail themselves of civil marriage status.

The Catholic Church, particularly in San Francisco, now faces one of its biggest challenges. My hope and prayer is that our gay parishioners and their civil husbands or wives will be treated by us with Christian charity and understanding and welcomed as full members of our church community.

For us to do otherwise would diminish us as Christians.

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