Bishop's statement on same-sex marriage ruling

Bishop Robert Vasa, who took over the 165,000-member Santa Rosa Diocese in 2011, issued the following statement after being contacted by The Press Democrat to comment on Friday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states. His spokesman declined a reporter's request to speak to the bishop.

SANTA ROSA — Today, Bishop Robert F. Vasa, ordinary for the Diocese of Santa Rosa in California, released the following statements in reference to the Supreme Court of the United States' Obergefell v. Hodges decision:

*Years ago, in the Dred Scott decision, the US Supreme Court ruled that blacks were not persons. This was despite the fact that each justice presumably believed all of mankind is created in God's image (cf. Genesis 1:26). Similarly, today's Justices have erred with the Obergefell case just like their predecessors did with Dred Scott, by making an egregious error in moral judgment.

*While five Justices may have changed marriage's legal definition, they can never change its moral definition. As such the true definition, the moral definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman—that is ordered not only toward the couple but the procreation and education of children—remains unchanged.

*Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the abortion question nearly two generations ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the marriage question today.

*The Court was wrong in 1973 with Roe. It is wrong again in 2015 with Obergefell.

The Diocese of Santa Rosa consists of six northern California counties: Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte, which borders Oregon. Bishop Robert F. Vasa has served as ordinary for the diocese since 2011.

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