WASHINGTON (CNA) — A new video from the U.S. bishops’ conference gives married couples’ reflections on marriage issues, the place of children and the complementary nature of the union of a man and a woman. Openness to children, it says, has a “major impact” on the Catholic view towards proposals to redefine marriage.
Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of Oakland, Calif., chair of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, announced the new video, Made for Life, during his report to the U.S. bishops at their June 2011 meeting in Seattle.
“Our culture is one that often forgets the sacred gift of the child, and, in so doing, it also fails to recognize the vital importance of a mother and a father together for the life and upbringing of that child,” he said. “In contemporary debates about the meaning of marriage, the rights and dignity of the child should be at the forefront.”
He said the video addresses a “real gap” in public awareness about “the close connection between a culture of life and a culture that promotes and protects marriage.”
“The two cannot be separated,” Bishop Cordileone explained.
The new video is the second of five videos in a series aimed at promoting and defending marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
The video opens with several quotations from Genesis and shots of vineyards. It features several married couples and one single mother who reflect on the gift of children, sexual difference and the indispensible place of fathers and mothers.
“Being open to children is so foundational,” one married woman says in the video. “You’re not only open to children, you’re not just opening yourself to the possibility of the gift of life, but you’re (also) opening yourself up to your spouse.”
Other speakers reflect on their children as “a gift and a blessing,” the place of mothers and fathers as “the building blocks of the family,” and the right of a child to have a mother and a father.
Marriage is “perfectly designed” so that spouses’ love for each other can not only conceive but nurture and raise a child, one husband says.
“Life can only come forth because of our differences, and it only makes sense that the true way to raise that life is by having those differences, meaning a husband and a wife,” his wife adds. “You have to have a husband and a wife to create a child. How perfect, then, and better for that child, to have a mother and a father in a stable unit to raise them.”
The video’s viewer’s guide calls marriage the “fundamental and irreplaceable pro-child social institution.” The attempt to redefine marriage to include two persons of the same sex is a proposal that will “ultimately empty marriage of its most basic elements.”
In addition to the viewer’s guide, the subcommittee also provides a resource guide for priests, deacons, catechists and teachers.
Previously, the subcommittee was called the Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage. As a permanent subcommittee, it is now under the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, which is chaired by Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Ind.
The video and guides may be purchased through USCCB Publishing or may be accessed online at MarriageUniqueforaReason.