PORTLAND (AP) – The Catholic church has traditionally opposed or stayed neutral on anti-gay initiatives in Oregon.
But the Oregon Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s 425,000 Roman Catholics, will support a ban on same-sex marriage when its board meets Friday, said Robert Castagna, general counsel and executive director.
"The church is not telling people how to vote," Castagna told The Oregonian on Wednesday. "The church offers its moral teaching and better judgment not only to Catholics, but to all people of good will."
Leaders said neutrality is not an option on this issue because it deals with marriage, a holy sacrament for Roman Catholics.
Measure 36 on the Nov. 2 ballot would amend the state constitution to recognize marriage as only between a man and a woman.
Other Christian denominations take varying positions on the measure, said David Leslie, executive director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, which represents 17 Christian denominations, including Catholics.
"Some are more comfortable with civil unions, some with civil marriage, and some are not comfortable at all using the word marriage," he said.
Catholics take seriously what their leaders suggest, said Patricia O’Connell Killen, a religion professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma who has studied Catholicism in America and religion in the Northwest. But, she adds, "All the surveys that have been done over the past 30 years show an increasing trend of Catholics relying on their own consciences more than they rely on formal teaching." [Source]
That last statement is sad but true. The reality is that more people are relying on a conscience that is not truly informed. The teaching they are relying on is the societal drip-down of a more and more self absorbed culture. Ignorance is not bliss.