Marriage and Same-Sex Unions: Statement by the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Wednesday, June 18 2003

Marriage understood as the lasting union of a man and woman to the exclusion of others pre-exists the State. Because it pre-exists the State and because it is fundamental for society, the institution of marriage cannot be modified, whether by the Charter of Rights, the State or a court of law.

Enlarging and thereby altering the definition of marriage in order to include same-sex partners discriminates against marriage and the family, and deprives them of social and legal recognition as the fundamental and irreplaceable basis of society.

Permanent Council
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Members of the Permanent Council:

Most Reverend Jacques Berthelet, C.S.V., President, Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil
Most Reverend Brendan O’Brien, Vice President, Archbishop of St. John’s
Most Reverend André Gaumond, Co-Treasurer, Archbishop of Sherbrooke
Most Reverend Anthony Tonnos, Co-Treasurer, Bishop of Hamilton
His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal
His Eminence Aloysius Cardinal M. Ambrozic, Archbishop of Toronto
Most Reverend Marc Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada
Most Reverend Michael Bzdel, C.Ss.R., Archeparch of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Catholics of Canada
Most Reverend Roger Ébacher, Archbishop of Gatineau-Hull
Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Halifax and Apostolic Administrator of Yarmouth
Most Reverend Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Edmonton
Most Reverend V. James Weisgerber, Archbishop of Winnipeg
Most Reverend Frederick Henry, Bishop of Calgary
Most Reverend Clément Fecteau, Bishop of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatière
Most Reverend Paul Marchand, S.M.M., Bishop of Timmins
Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall