Cardinal George on “Chicago Values”

YouTube Preview Image

Francis Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago is alleged to have predicted that for upholding the teachings of Christ he will die in his bed, his successor will die in a prison cell, and his successor will be executed in a public square in Chicago.  Therefore, I am unsurprised that he has written an open letter exploring the “Chicago Values” cited by Mayor Emanuel when he decided to attack the free speech rights of Chick-Fil-A:

 

 

 

Recent comments by those who administer our city seem to assume that the city government can decide for everyone what are the “values” that must be held by citizens of Chicago.  I was born and raised here, and my understanding of being a Chicagoan never included submitting my value system to the government for approval.  Must those whose personal values do not conform to those of the government of the day move from the city?  Is the City Council going to set up a “Council Committee on Un-Chicagoan Activities” and call those of us who are suspect to appear before it?  I would have argued a few days ago that I believe such a move is, if I can borrow a phrase, “un-Chicagoan.”

The value in question is espousal of “gender-free marriage.”  Approval of state-sponsored homosexual unions has very quickly become a litmus test for bigotry; and espousing the understanding of marriage that has prevailed among all peoples throughout human history is now, supposedly, outside the American consensus.  Are Americans so exceptional that we are free to define “marriage” (or other institutions we did not invent) at will?  What are we re-defining?

It might be good to put aside any religious teaching and any state laws and start from scratch, from nature itself, when talking about marriage.  Marriage existed before Christ called together his first disciples two thousand years ago and well before the United States of America was formed two hundred and thirty six years ago.  Neither Church nor state invented marriage, and neither can change its nature.

Marriage exists because human nature comes in two complementary sexes: male and female.  The sexual union of a man and woman is called the marital act because the two become physically one in a way that is impossible between two men or two women.  Whatever a homosexual union might be or represent, it is not physically marital.  Gender is inextricably bound up with physical sexual identity; and “gender-free marriage” is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle.

Both Church and state do, however, have an interest in regulating marriage.  It is not that religious marriage is private and civil marriage public; rather, marriage is a public institution in both Church and state.  The state regulates marriage to assure stability in society and for the proper protection and raising of the next generation of citizens.  The state has a vested interest in knowing who is married and who is not and in fostering good marriages and strong families for the sake of society.

The Church, because Jesus raised the marital union to the level of symbolizing his own union with his Body the Church, has an interest in determining which marital unions are sacramental and which are not.  The Church sees married life as a path to sanctity and as the means for raising children in the faith, as citizens of the universal kingdom of God.  These are all legitimate interests of both Church and state, but they assume and do not create the nature of marriage.

People who are not Christian or religious at all take for granted that marriage is the union of a man and a woman for the sake of family and, of its nature, for life.  The laws of civilizations much older than ours assume this understanding of marriage.  This is also what religious leaders of almost all faiths have taught throughout the ages.  Jesus affirmed this understanding of marriage when he spoke of “two becoming one flesh” (Mt. 19: 4-6).  Was Jesus a bigot?  Could Jesus be accepted as a Chicagoan?  Would Jesus be more “enlightened” if he had the privilege of living in our society?  One is welcome to believe that, of course; but it should not become the official state religion, at least not in a land that still fancies itself free.   Surely there must be a way to properly respect people who are gay or lesbian without using civil law to undermine the nature of marriage.

Surely we can find a way not to play off newly invented individual rights to “marriage” against constitutionally protected freedom of religious belief and religious practice.  The State’s attempting to redefine marriage has become a defining moment not for marriage, which is what it is, but for our increasingly fragile “civil union” as citizens.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI Archbishop of Chicago

One of the few positive things I can say about the corrupt political sewer that goes by the name of Chicago is that occasionally it spawns someone unafraid to speak out against the terrible evil that exists in the Windy City.  Such a man is Francis Cardinal George.

21 Responses to Cardinal George on “Chicago Values”

  • Thank you for this post, Donald.

  • A square circle has been proven to be imposible and the best analogy for gay-marriage. I appreciate the way you described the situation in Chicago about the government approving a man’s value system. Will it come to the government forcing individuals to have sex change operations to realize its value-system?

  • I didn’t know the Cardinal had it in him. I just wish this had been his demeanor for the last 20 years. Apparently he has concluded his flock is under attack and he will not cede moral high ground to a bunch of corrupt, secular, depraved politicians who lack any moral standing whatsoever.

  • Darn, that was well-said. I pray the Cardinal’s prophesy about his successors my be wrong, but I fear he is all too prescient. Thanks for posting.

  • That quote from Cardinal George is very ominous. What was the context and are there any links?

  • He said it after civil unions passed in Illinois in 2010. I have been unable to find a direct link to the statement, but I will keep looking.

  • Marriage is primordial and, in the happy phrase of Lord Stowell in Dalrymple v Dalrymple, it is the parent, not the child of civil society.

    The state has a legitimate interest in marriage and it is important to note what precisely that is. Mandatory civil marriage originated in France on 9th November 1791 and was a product of the same Revolution that had just turned 10 million tenant farmers into heritable proprietors. This was no coincidence.

    The Code of 1804 contained no formal definition of marriage, but jurists have always found a functional definition in the provision that “The child conceived or born in marriage has the husband for father,” which mirrors the doctrine of the Roman jurist, Paulus, “.pater vero is est, quem nuptiae demonstrant.” (Marriage points out the father) [Dig. 2, 4, 5; 1].

    This was the opinion of the four most authoritative commentators on the Civil Code, Demolombe (1804–1887), Guillouard (1845-1925). Gaudemet (1908-2001) and Carbonnier (1908–2003), covering the period from the introduction of mandatory civil marriage down to our own day and long before the question of same-sex marriage was agitated. In 1998, a colloquium of 154 Professors of Civil Law, including such luminaries as Philippe Malaurie, Alain Sériaux, and Catherine Labrusse-Riou unanimously endorsed this interpretation of the Civil Code. This led to the introduction of civil unions (PACS) for same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the following year.

    No one will deny that the state has a clear interest in the filiation of children being clear, certain and incontestable. It is central to its concern for the upbringing and welfare of the child, for protecting rights and enforcing obligations between family members and to the orderly succession to property. To date, no better, simpler, less intrusive means than marriage have been found for ensuring, as far as possible, that the legal, biological and social realities of paternity coincide. And that is no small thing.

    It is significant that, in a country so committed to the principle of laïcité as France, no one has suggested that the opinion of the jurists, or of the courts which have endorsed it, is either the result of religious convictions or an attempt to import them into their interpretation of the Code.

  • The “martyrdom” quote has also been attributed to Abp. Charles Chaput. I also have attempted to pin down an exact time and place where Cardinal George said this and haven’t yet been able to find one. My guess — and it’s only a guess — is that whatever its origin, it’s been attributed to Cardinal George so many times that he’s embraced it and doesn’t bother denying that he said it, since it does express his beliefs about the direction religious freedom issues seem to be going in the U.S.

    Famous people or public figures often have quotes attributed to them that they never said, whether it’s Abraham Lincoln’s alleged “Ten Cannots” (“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift….”) or Chuck Colson’s “I would run over my grandmother to elect Nixon” or George Carlin’s “Hurricane Rules.”

  • …but for our increasingly fragile “civil union” as citizens

    These are fighting words. I doubt that the Rahms will take heed. Either by accident or design, the US has come to a position where the Right has to put aside all the pointless courtesies, and fight the Left tooth and nail or stand in danger of becoming strangers in their own land.

  • Archbishop Chaput has denied saying it Elaine. The quote has aroused my suspicion now since I can find nothing on the internet citing the statement directly from anything written or said by Cardinal George. I hope someone asks Cardinal George about the statement so we can clear this up. I have modified the post to say that he is alleged to have made this prediction.

  • So much talk on Gay marriage and the push to make it culturally acceptable and respectable but many seem to accept unmarried heterosexual unions. So many couples shacked up, living together and bearing children with little concern about the long time welfare of the child. Which type of union is more sinful in the eyes of God? Which lifestyle will have the greatest negative impact on our culture. What will life be like in America 50 years from now? I’m afraid to guess.

  • Indeed, Ivan, for the Left has dropped all pretense; where before was metaphor, dissemblance and clever rhetoric, now stand naked hostility and unadulterated arrogance.

    They started this, and one or the other side will soon perceive itself painted into a corner. Then it’s a-gonna get ugly.

  • RPM, those are valid concerns, and I certainly don’t see anyone here condoning either situation. As for which is more sinful in God’s eyes, only He knows for sure – for us, it is clear both are gravely sinful (both are in the mortal sin category, but whether it earns the 4th or 5th circle of hell, I’d just rather avoid either).

    As for impact on society, one strikes at the fundamental structure of marriage, the complementarity of the sexes, and the unified purposes of the marital act; the other likely involves a larger absolute number of individuals, and if not altering the fundamental structure, at a minumum undermines the important pillar of stability that marriage (ideally) provides. Neither is good.

  • Please give Cardinal George a call and thank him for his leadership as Christ’s chosen shepherd: 312-751-8200.

  • RPM

    From the public’s perspective, the two cases are very different.

    As the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell observed, “But for children, there would be no need of any institution concerned with sex. It is through children alone that sexual relations become of importance to society, and worthy to be taken cognizance of by a legal institution.” That is why the state uses the institution of marriage to make the paternity of children clear, certain and incontestable. Were this not its primary legal function, it is difficult to see why the law should facilitate marriage in extremis. What other purpose does a death-bed marriage serve?

    By the same token, same-sex couples whom nature had not made potentially fertile, are irrelevant to the institution of marriage. This is different legal treatment, because their situation is not analogous.

    As the legislator has no authority in the other world, whatever may be the lot of its subjects in the life to come, that is not its business, provided they are good citizens in this one.

    The question is not one of morals, but of civil status: (1) mandatory civil marriage, makes the institution a pillar of the secular Republic, standing clear of the religious sacrament (2) The institution of republican marriage is inconceivable, absent the idea of filiation, enshrined, not in Church dogma, but in the Civil Code and (3) the sex difference is central to filiation.

  • The nearest Chick-filet-a is 25 miles away from me, in Racine. And since the price of gas has skyrocketed to over $4.00 a gallon in Wisconsin (a pipeline to Chicago has broken and is leaking in central Wisconsin), I don’t think it would be prudent to make a 50 mile round trip to buy a chicken sandwich:-) But I certainly will, when gas prices go down a bit.

    I remember saying, at Gerard N.’s old blog *sigh*, that gay marriage was not a terribly important issue to me. Well, congrats to the gay bigots who have finally succeeded in making me an active oppoment to their agenda. Does anyone think it will stop with Chick-filet-a? No, I can easily see gays holding “kiss-ins” outside of our parishes on Sunday mornings, because Todd and Brad really, really want to have a Catholic marriage service, but those mean old “homophobes” are standing in their way. The harassment will never, ever end unless we make a stand now.

  • The fascinating aspect of this Donna is the rapidity of all this. Two decades ago only the lunatic fringe of the gay rights movement was even talking about gay marriage. Now the Democrats are enshrining gay marriage in their platform and denouncing as dangerous bigots anyone who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. I await with anticipation what next “right” will become a cause celebre on the Left, and an excuse for what too many Leftists seem to live for: an opportunity to engage in campaigns of organized hate against those who do not follow them in ideological lock step.

  • Rockport Pilot, Rockport Texas
    Friday, August 3, 2012Dear Editor;

    Since there are many businesses whose primary reason for existence is to spread hate, in addition to Chick-Fil-A, and since there are many executives who espouse bigoted traditional values and hate-driven biblical values, would not the actions of all good pure people – which includes, by definition, all Democrats – in avoiding these businesses be greatly facilitated if: 1. Christian businesses be required to display a Star Of Bethlehem sign in their businesses – and this could be a federal regulation whose implementation involves multiple government agencies, e.g. EPA, Health And Human Services, Department of Education, Homeland Security, and of course the Center for Disease Control; and 2. Christian executives be required to wear a Star Of Bethlehem over their hearts or have one tattooed on their forearms? And, to further the purity of Democrats and all others who are free of hate, why not have all Christians who go out in public be required to wear a Star Of Bethlehem over their hearts or have it tattooed on their foreheads? Of course a crucifix would do instead of the star.

    Am I remembering correctly something like this once happened? Was it in Europe? Wasn’t there some kind of conflict about this? How did the pure people do that time?

    Guy McClung

  • Truth Mr. McClung:

    When will our self-proclaimed moral superiors stage a kiss-in in Saudi Arabia or in a Nation of Islam meeting?

    Western oil purchases made Saudi Arabia super-wealthy.

    They cannot pull such publicity stunts because they don’t allow (Nicht Keystone pipeline; “not in my back yard”; save the snail darter; save Mother Erda!) energy independence.

    So it goes. Most of USA oil to make gasoline is imported from foreign cartels, e.g., OPEC, composed of countries that are tyrannies that execute gays.

  • Everyone must be tired of reading this but I must post it again, simply because it says what it says: one fake husband or one fake wife equals one fake marriage. The truth of the matter is that homosexual behavior does not pass the reality test necessary for admission into the culture. The fact that the homosexual agenda will not allow the issue to be put on the ballot is a very good indication of the level of indoctrination, physical coersion and the dirty politics involved. Whe I say dirty politics, I mean the denial of the human being’s immortal soul, unalienable civil rights, unauthorized use of the language and the strangling of FREEDOM by the perjury that is a fake marriage.

Follow TAC by Clicking on the Buttons Below
Bookmark and Share
Subscribe by eMail

Enter your email:

Recent Comments
Archives
Our Visitors. . .
Our Subscribers. . .