Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and the former archbishop of St. Louis, continues to monitor events closely in the United States.
On June 28, Cardinal Burke briefly discussed the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional, calling it "one more step" down a destructive path that eventually "will destroy our culture."
Following is the full text of the interview:
How serious a threat to marriage and society is the Supreme Court decision on DOMA?
Without being able to go into the actual text of the decision, what the decision represents, sadly, for our society, is a loss of the sense of nature, and specifically human nature, and the continuation in the highest judicial decisions of the pretense to define, for instance, the meaning of human life, define marriage in a way other than nature herself defines marriage. So this is one more step down a path which is destructive. The lack of respect for the good order which God has placed in nature, especially human nature, will lead to violence. It will lead to death for individuals and eventually it will destroy our culture.
So it’s a very serious matter, and we have to, as citizens of the United States, reawaken and insist on the respect for human life and also for the integrity of the marital union.
Do you see it being reversed in any way?
I certainly hope so — I hope people of goodwill fight for the sake of saving marriage, because marriage and the family are the first cell of the whole life of society.
This is not a particularly Catholic issue, and that should be made clear. Surely, the Catholic Church teaches the moral law, but this has to do with the moral law written on every human heart, and you can’t tell me the founders of the United States of America didn’t have a respect for nature and a profound sense of it. In any case, we must have it.
How should the Church best respond to this?
The Church should teach very effectively and also encourage her members to be active in politics, in education and every aspect of society to promote a sound understanding of marriage and the family.