NJ Catholic bishops campaign against gay marriage

November 29, 2009 3:50:06 PM PST
In Catholic Churches all across New Jersey, the subject of same sex marriage was front and center on Sunday. One parishioner, Tom Pandolfi said, "The reason for marriage is a bond between a man and a woman, we would like to keep that bond."

A pastor added that, "if they pass the bill the family's going to be destroyed."

Bishops in the garden state designated Sunday as a"Day of Prayer", urging parishioners to "not stand silent in the face of this serious challenge."

The challenge they say, is a possible legislative vote that could pave the way for the passage of a same-sex marriage bill.

Governor Corzine said he is a supporter, has promised to sign legislation. Governor-elect Chris Christie is not a supporter of the bill, but he doesn't officially take office until January 19th.

The Catholic Church is hoping a letter, part of which was read during mass at Holy Family Church in Nutley, will have an impact on worshipers.

Msgr. Paul Bochicchio, of Holy Family Church, said "We've tried to speak our mind to legislators, but very often people mark this off as political but we see this more as a moral implication."

More than half of the congregation at Holy Family, some 900 people, signed a petition against same-sex marriage.

Parishioner Christ Grillo said, "I have no problem with civil unions, health benefits for same-sex couples, but as far as marriage, I do believe to become one, that's between a man and a woman."

Those in favor of same-sex marriage are also holding similar letter writing campaigns to legislators and believe Sunday's "Day of prayer" is appropriate.

Reverend Bruce Davidson is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran church in America and is part of a large group of organizations which supports same-sex marriage.

Rev. Davidson explained, "What we're looking for from the legislator right now is a bill that's religiously neutral that doesn't accept one particular definition of marriage over or against another."