Catholic Church | J. Peter Sartain | News | Seattle | Washington

Seattle Archbishop Says 'Society Would Be Harmed Beyond Repair' if Gay People Can Marry: VIDEO


Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain released a 4-minute video on the church's website warning voters that if Referendum 74 is approved and gays are allowed to marry, that "society would be harmed beyond repair."


Says Sartain, in solidarity with all the Catholics bishops in Washington:

"We urge our Catholic people to uphold our consistent Catholic teaching on marriage for the good of the Church, society, husbands and wives and their children. Therefore, we bishops reject the redefinition of marriage as a 'civil contract between two persons.' ... Redefining marriage as a means of dealing with important issues of equality and respect for all persons will not achieve the goal of defending the rights of all and would overturn centuries of common law. To suddenly change the God-given and time honored understanding of marriage would be a very harmful thing for our state and for the world. … Should marriage be redefined in our state the very foundational nature of marriage for the good and strength of human society would be harmed beyond repair."


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    Posted by: Jeff R. | Sep 21, 2012 1:27:47 PM

  2. The pedophile enabling Holy Roman Catholic Church needs to tend to their own business- rape and abuse of children and keep their mouths shut about politics unless they want to pay taxes. You have no moral ground to stand on.

    Posted by: nick | Sep 21, 2012 1:32:27 PM

  3. I don't have 27 minutes to waste in order to tell him to shut the hell up.

    Posted by: Jakeinlove | Sep 21, 2012 1:40:23 PM

  4. You know, it's really kind of ironic that those who claim they want to "protect marriage" seem to think it's such a fragile institution, so easily broken. Gays actually seem to have MORE faith in the institution than they do. And NONE of them has ever explained how allowing MORE people to marry, making it a desired ideal for a larger segment of the population, weakens it instead of strengthening it. That makes no sense.

    But then "sense" has never been the strong suit of religious ideologues.

    Posted by: Caliban | Sep 21, 2012 1:53:10 PM

  5. We have data now from other countries, so please, provide evidence and a mechanism for that 'harm'. Its called the scientific method.. No? Thought not, facts arent the churches strong point.

    Posted by: Rovex | Sep 21, 2012 1:55:22 PM

  6. These American princelings have to be extreme or Joe Rat. will let loose his German Inquisitor Müller - who has also been accused of protecting child-molesting priests. A threatened posting to Nigeria keeps these weak-willed wusses in line.

    Posted by: Hue-Man | Sep 21, 2012 1:57:11 PM

  7. This fool and the others don't even realize that it is God who makes Gay people for His own reasons....maybe birth control for an overburdened planet? The Church has no moral authority whatsoever. Tax the churches...all of them.

    Posted by: John Simpson | Sep 21, 2012 2:30:31 PM

  8. The blindness of the Roman Catholic church never ceases to amaze me. Remember they once said that condoms cannot prevent the transmission of HIV - their evidence was their theology dictating their science. As pointed out above the history of marriage does not show one unchanging definition. (BTW: how does he explain polygamy in the Bible?) As pointed out in many comments, gay marriage is a real phenomenon - even in the US. Other countries have plenty to say about it. (The Religious Right tries to spin these positive results beyond belief.)

    The Episcopal Church [TEC], the province of the Anglican Communion in the US, has been supportive of LGBT rights. Many bishops have come out in support of civil marriage equality. The General Convention this past summer approved a Rite to Bless Same-Sex Unions. The policital reality of the Anglican Communion is that TEC cannot go further at this point. After all, another province of the Anglican Communion is the Church of Uganda. Remember Uganda? It's the country where outside agitators of the US Religious Right inflamed Ugandans to try to pass a kill-the-gays bill.

    @Little Kiwi: while I laughed reading your line about the UCC not raping your children since 1925 - don't be too sure. Pederasts are everywhere.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Sep 21, 2012 2:45:48 PM


    There is a nice counter to what any Catholic/Christian has to say about gays causing "harm beyond repair."

    Posted by: kp05 | Sep 21, 2012 3:02:58 PM

  10. Dear Archbishop,
    We have seen what you are.
    We know what you are.
    We now what you have done.
    Every time I see one of you it makes my skin crawl.
    You live for your own comfort and power.
    The very idea of you telling people people who should marry and who should not, is revolting.
    You obviously have not an ounce of self awareness or shame.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 21, 2012 3:31:00 PM

  11. Well, given that it's already legal in 11 countries and 6 states, I'm pretty sure the world is already "beyond repair". So why are you still at it, Bishop?

    Posted by: Matt N | Sep 21, 2012 3:49:03 PM

  12. "for the good of the Church". That says it all right there. They're supposed to be infallible, and since they can't admit they made a mistake they're doubling down on it instead.

    Posted by: jexer | Sep 21, 2012 4:33:27 PM

  13. Let me be succinct, EFF YOU ARCHBISHOP!

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Sep 21, 2012 4:40:32 PM

  14. When the Catholic Church is consistent in its teachings that sexually abusing children and covering it up is wrong, then perhaps it will have a moral leg to stand on. Until then, mind your own damn house Archbishop.

    Posted by: topdawgbombadil | Sep 21, 2012 5:10:53 PM

  15. So two men in love getting married will completely ruin the nation...but grown men molesting boys is no big deal and should be swept under the rug, right Archbishop? RIGHT?

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Sep 21, 2012 5:45:52 PM

  16. "...harmed beyond repair."

    How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How? How?

    Posted by: KZ | Sep 21, 2012 5:56:05 PM

  17. FOLKS, IF YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF CATHOLIC, are you speaking up? Are you asking everyone to stop donating until the bishops feel the pinch?


    Posted by: Bob | Sep 21, 2012 6:13:46 PM

  18. The next time marriage equality comes up when talking to a Catholic ask them if they think it is strange that Mary and Joseph, whose marriage is held up by the Church as the "perfect model" of a Christian marriage, would in fact have grounds for an annulment today.

    Posted by: Former Catholic Seminarian | Sep 21, 2012 10:01:21 PM

  19. This gentleman, like many of his colleagues, appears to have forgotten that marriage is nowadays a civil institution. Priests and other ministers of religion perform marriages by permission of the jurisdiction in which they work. The people who perform marriages in a religious context may imagine, or more accurately delude themselves, that they perform these rites by some sort of divine mandate. Let a clergyperson who labours under this delusion fail to get the proper licence to perform marriages, and he or she will quickly find out just how far the imaginary divine mandate runs. Nobody is asking Roman Catholic priests to perform equal marriages. Nobody has ever asked ministers of religion to marry people who according to the tenets of their faith are not eligible to marry. People who aren't Roman Catholic, and many people who are, wish that these tired old men would stop trying to impose their narrow-minded outdated beliefs beyond their own community.

    Posted by: Bruce Davidson | Sep 21, 2012 10:47:46 PM

  20. Let him keep his comments to his own flock of mindless sheep and stop trying to convert the rest of us. Even most of his 'flock' doesn't buy that crap.

    We'll see who gets to hell first...him or the rest of us...

    Posted by: cbhermey | Sep 22, 2012 12:21:40 AM

  21. Where does Sartain get the idea that his god, Yahweh of the bible, ordained marriage as the union of ONE man and ONE woman? Certainly not from the bible. The judeo-Christian bible tells us that yahweh's chosen leaders like Abraham, Saul, David Solomon et al had many wives and concubines, all with Yahweh's blessing. Search the bible for a marriage rite and the only thing that you will find is that a a man purchased a woman, took her to his tent and f*cked her and they were married. The Catholic Church teaches that Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament. How did he do that? He went to a marriage feast at Cana and changed a lot of water into really good wine. Thats it. There is nothing else. Their whiole marriage is a sacrament B.S. is based on a party where Christ changed a lot of water into wine to be served to people who had already consumed a lot of wine. Its all B.S.

    Posted by: Andrew | Sep 22, 2012 1:26:15 AM

  22. Fairness compels me to say something positive about the Catholic Bishops. They have big balls! Can you imagine any other group who for decades covered up the crimes of sexually abusive priests in their ranks, and thus endangering thousands of children, to have the audacity to lecture people on family, marital or sexual ethics and morals? You would think that they would go into hiding in shame for their gross crimes.

    Posted by: Andrew | Sep 22, 2012 1:53:10 AM

    tells a lie in the first 20 seconds, so I closed the video.


    Posted by: Bob | Sep 22, 2012 2:41:36 AM

  24. "society would be harmed beyond repair."

    This is perpetuation of a homophobic, people phobic and love phobic mythology, at best. Some objective facts that support the statement: "society would be harmed beyond repair" would lend some credibility to your screed, but these facts do NOT exist!
    So go away.

    Posted by: acd | Sep 22, 2012 8:06:44 AM

  25. Dear Archie Bishop of Washington:

    ALL marriages are civil contracts. Marriage has always been a civil issue. It has nothing to do with "god".

    Church weddings are ceremonial and carry no legal validity. NO marriage is recognized as legal unless a marriage license is issued and signed by the civil authority.

    Further, you cannot prove and have no evidence to support your contention that same-sex marriages would "harm society beyond repair".

    Your opinions are your own and as any citizen, you are free to express them--even publicly.

    However, to encourage citizens to vote against (or for) any ballot issue regarding civil equality based on your strident, hysterical advocacy of your church's theology is a violation of your church's tax-exempt status.

    Continue to proselytize politically at your own peril. Concerned citizens might just rise up and demand an end to your tax-free incivility.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Sep 22, 2012 10:21:21 AM

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