Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Archdiocese and the Alderman: Clash of Cultures in St. Louis

St. Louis' Civil Courts Building
By Kathy Schiffer
Ave Maria Radio

Just in time for the Supreme Court’s controversial rulings on DOMA and Proposition 8, the St. Louis Civil Courts building is decked out in gay pride colors this week for the first time. 

Meanwhile, ten miles away, the Archdiocese of St. Louis released a strong statement reaffirming marriage as being between one man and one woman.
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The Civil Courts Building, home to the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri, is one of several downtown St. Louis buildings to flaunt rainbow colors, as the city prepares to celebrate this weekend’s St. Louis Pride Fest. The Park Pacific, a nearby apartment building, has also lighted its façade in rainbow colors.  On Wednesday, the city began flying rainbow flags at City Hall and other buildings.  And this weekend, Soldiers Memorial will switch over to the colors as the Pride Fest—being held for the first time in the city’s downtown—kicks off.   
Visible from the river and out west, the tribute to homosexual activism further solidifies St. Louis’ reputation as one of “the gayest cities in America.” 
The week-long LGBT light show at the Civil Courts Building is not cheap:  Ward 25 (Dutchtown) Alderman Shane Cohn spent $15,000 in capital improvement funds to pay for the lights, and that amount was reportedly matched by a private company.  Capital improvement funds, made up of collected sales taxes, are allocated to St. Louis aldermen each year; and individual aldermen, with approval from two city boards, decide how they will spend their portion.  In choosing to designate $15,000 for the rainbow light show, Alderman Cohn has spent his share of the capital improvement funds outside of his district.
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Across town, the Archdiocese of St. Louis responded to the Supreme Court’s June 26 rulings on the Defense Of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 by releasing a statement  reiterating Catholic teaching with regard to marriage.  Angie Shelton, community relations specialist for the Archdiocese, voiced the statement in a video available on the Archdiocese’s website.
The statement reads:
The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and to dismiss the California Proposition 8 appeal does not change the reality of marriage, nor does it change the Archdiocese of St. Louis's responsibility to defend marriage as being between one man and one woman. It is important to note that marriage predates both the U.S. government and Western civilization. 
From a Catholic perspective, it is not enough to offer the Church’s position on same-sex union without also saying how it fits into a broader understanding of the sacrament of marriage, human sexuality, and theGospel of Life as taught by Blessed John Paul II. The vocation to serve God and society through married life is a sacred union in which man and woman become one flesh. The Catholic Church does not condemn individuals for having same-sex attraction. She teaches that all people are called to responsibility regarding sexuality. The sexual union of a man and woman, when not obstructed by contraceptives, is the kind that is open to life even if new life is not the result.
We understand that married persons imitate the way Christ offers His body completely and permanently to the Church so that we might have life, and have it abundantly. This truth is written into our bodies as well as on the pages of the Old and New Testaments. While the law can allow other things to be called marriage, it cannot make them into the kind of union that is marriage.  

Screenshot from the website
of the Archdiocese of St. Louis

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