Amendment 43 and Colorado’s Catholic Bishops
There are only three Catholic bishops in Colorado. They all agree that the Catholic faithful should vote yes on Amendment 43 and No on Referendum I:
Dear friends in Christ, October 21, 2006
On the ballot this election, Coloradans have an opportunity to amend the state constitution through Amendment 43 so that marriage will be defined as exclusively the union between one man and one woman. As Catholics, we understand that marriage is a sacramental union; but defending marriage is not primarily a “religious” issue. On the contrary, it is a matter of common sense serving the common good. Protecting marriage serves all Coloradans, whether they have religious beliefs or not. Marriage has two natural purposes: to deepen the unity of spouses through their mutual love, and to provide a loving environment for bearing and raising children. Anything less than a state constitutional amendment defending marriage this year will enable state judges and legislators to potentially redefine marriage — even against the will of the people. Any attack on the identity of marriage and the family undermines society itself. Every effort to defend marriage and the family serves the common good. This is why Amendment 43 is so vitally important. Therefore, as the Catholic Bishops of Colorado, we strongly urge you to vote “Yes” on Amendment 43, which will protect and preserve the definition of marriage. We also strongly urge Catholics to vote “No” on Referendum I. In its language and its practical effect, Referendum I begins the dangerous process of establishing domestic partnerships as an equal and parallel institution to marriage. This inevitably undermines the privileged place of marriage and the family, and cannot serve the common good of Coloradans in the long run. Many good ways exist to secure the rights and dignity of all Coloradans. Referendum I is not one of them.
The U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults reminds us that “Catholics must participate in political life and bring to bear upon it – by their voices and their vote – what they have learned about human nature, human destiny and God’s will for human beings from his self-revelation” (pg. 502). This is a critical year on the Colorado ballot. We pray that every Catholic will vote responsibly, guided by his or her Catholic conscience, in November.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Most Reverend Arthur N. Tafoya, D.D.
Most Reverend Michael J. Sheridan, S.T.D.
The bishops do not endorse candidates, of course, but the Denver Post notes:
Beauprez supports and Ritter opposes Amendment 43.
A complicating factor is Referendum I, which would recognize domestic partnerships between same-sex couples and could motivate Democratic voters. Ritter supports and Beauprez opposes the referendum.
If you had to guess, which candidate do you suspect the bishops will be supporting for governor?