Foundation of family is marriage


APRIL 10, 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In a radio address during World Youth Day in Brazil, Pope Francis remarked, "Not only would I say that the family is important for the evangelization of the new world. The family is important, and it is necessary for the survival of humanity. Without the family, the cultural survival of the human race would be at risk. The family, whether we like it or not, is the foundation" (Pope Francis, Radio Catedral, July 27, 2013).

We know, too, that the foundation of the family is marriage - the lifelong, exclusive union of one man and one woman. As the USCCB has noted, "Only a man and a woman - at every level of their identity: biological, physiological, emotional, social, spiritual - are capable of authentically speaking the language of married love, that is, the language of total self-gift, open to the gift of the other and the gift of life" ("Sexual Difference,"

We also know there is a sweeping sentiment in our culture which rejects this truth and proposes to redefine and extend the meaning of marriage to other types of relationships. Such a shift threatens the common good, especially the good of children.

At this time, I ask you first and foremost to pray that the beauty of authentic married love will inspire many to protect it. Pray for our civil leaders, our lawmakers and fellow citizens, that all might build a society that serves the common good and respects God's design for sexual difference. Pray also, for the grace to strengthen your own marriages and take steps to work towards protecting your family life.

Lastly, I invite and encourage you to participate in the third annual March for Marriage on April 25, 2015. The March will begin at 11:30 a.m. on the National Mall and will conclude in front of the Supreme Court by 2:00 p.m. This March offers us the best opportunity to witness for the good of marriage in our nation; to pray for our Supreme Court justices, who will within days after the March begin to hear oral arguments in a case that could define the legal definition of marriage for years to come; and to demonstrate our solid commitment to the well-being of children.

For more information about the March for Marriage, visit For more information and resources about God's unique design for marriage, visit, a website provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Urging you to take part in this March and keeping you in daily prayer, I remain

Faithfully in the Heart of Christ,

Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde

Bishop of Arlington

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015