LifeSiteNews is reporting that the letter was issued shortly after U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle ruled that the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. This allowed couples to begin marrying immediately even though the state’s attorney general, Pam Bondi, is still pursuing state and federal appeals to uphold the ban which voters approved in 2008.
In response, the Archbishop issued a letter to all Church employees reminding them of their commitment to refrain from public behavior that is in conflict with Church teaching.
“All employees should note that, because of the Church’s particular function in society, certain conduct, inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, could lead to disciplinary action, including termination,” the letter states. “Even if it occurs outside the normal working day and outside the strict confines of work performed by the employee for the archdiocese.”
Archdiocesan policy requires all employees to use discretion in their behavior about this issue, including what they post on social media sites.
The Archbishop’s letter comes in the wake of a strong statement of condemnation of the ruling by the state’s Catholic conference of bishops.
“The conjugal nature of a marriage between a man and a woman has provided for millennia the basis for norms of marital exclusivity and permanence that made possible stable families necessary for human flourishing. In redefining marriage to include same sex couples, the judge has in effect overturned a state constitutional amendment approved by nearly 62 percent of the electorate in a 2008 ballot initiative,” the Jan. 5 statement reads.
It goes on to warn about the harsh reality being experienced by the faithful in wake of the imposition of same-sex marriage across America.
“Besides the predictably disruptive effects, imposing this redefinition of marriage threatens both religious liberty and the freedom of individuals to conscientiously object as already seen in those states that have redefined marriage to accommodate same sex couples.”
The sad truth of this is being born out almost daily in the U.S. For example, in just the last few months, Cynthia and Robert Gifford, who own Liberty Ridge Farm near Albany, were forced to stop hosting weddings on their property after the couple refused to allow their premises to be used for a gay wedding.
In December, a court ruled against a Christian t-shirt owner who refused to print t-shirts for a gay pride parade.
These incidents only add to the growing list of Christians who are being persecuted for their beliefs in America simply for adhering to biblical teaching on homosexuality. The victims include Christian students, bakers, photographers and hotel owners, all of whom were successfully sued by same-sex couples for refusing to violate their religious beliefs.
However, Miami’s Archbishop knows that the law is on his side as far as disciplining employees who flout Church teaching. Courts have consistently ruled against employees who are dismissed after violating the agreement they signed at the time of their employment.
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