Notre Dame Marriage Petition

The following is a petition penned by members of Students for Child-Oriented Policy (SCOP). Founded in January 2014 by a group of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Notre Dame, SCOP* is focused on promoting policymaking that places primary emphasis to how any particular policy will affect children.

In conjunction with the March 17 event, “Marriage, the Church, and the Common Good: Philosophical, Pastoral, and Social Reflections,” and SCOP’s April 3 conference, “For Richer, For Poorer, For Children: The Definition and Importance of Civil Marriage,” (for which you can register here) this petition is a call to the Notre Dame administration to take up the defense of marriage at this pivotal moment in the national discussion surrounding this foundational institution.

* The initial phrase “is a student organization” did not reflect official student organization or club status according to Student Activities Office approval protocols.  Due to confusion surrounding the Rover‘s generic use of the phrase, it has been removed as of 4/2/14.

*                         *                         *

A Call to Action: The Notre Dame Marriage Petition

Addressed to Father John Jenkins and university administrators

Essential…is the uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors. It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness.

                                                                  — Pope Francis, January 30, 2014

We, the undersigned members of the Notre Dame community, affirm the inherent dignity and special vocation of every human being. We hold that those called to marriage have a vocation to participate in a natural human institution, universally intelligible to human reason. We understand marriage to be that natural institution that unites one man and one woman in a comprehensive sharing of life “ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.”1

The University holds itself in harmony with the Catholic teaching that “[s]exuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion.”2 In accordance with its stated mission to engage in the “pursuit and sharing of the truth for its own sake”3 and to encourage “a way of living consonant with a Christian community,”4 we call on the University administration to make a clear stand in support of the true definition of marriage and to take serious and sustained action to improve the public understanding of this natural institution.

 

1. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1601.

2. “Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame,” Part II, paragraph 6, quoting CCC, 2360.

3. Mission Statement, University of Notre Dame, “Mission,” paragraph 1.

4. Ibid., paragraph 5.

ND Marriage Petition

Essential…is the uncompromising witness of Catholic universities to the Church’s moral teaching, and the defense of her freedom, precisely in and through her institutions, to uphold that teaching as authoritatively proclaimed by the magisterium of her pastors. It is my hope that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness.
— Pope Francis, January 30, 2014

We, the undersigned members of the Notre Dame community, affirm the inherent dignity and special vocation of every human being. We hold that those called to marriage have a vocation to participate in a natural human institution, universally intelligible to human reason. We understand marriage to be that natural institution that unites one man and one woman in a comprehensive sharing of life “ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.”1

The University holds itself in harmony with the Catholic teaching that “[s]exuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion.”2 In accordance with its stated mission to engage in the “pursuit and sharing of the truth for its own sake”3 and to encourage “a way of living consonant with a Christian community,”4 we call on the University administration to make a clear stand in support of the true definition of marriage and to take serious and sustained action to improve the public understanding of this natural institution.

-
1 CCC, 1601.
2 “Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame,” http://friendsandallies.nd.edu/, Part II, paragraph 6, quoting CCC, 2360.
3 Mission Statement, University of Notre Dame,
https://www.nd.edu/about/mission-statement/, “Mission,” paragraph 1.
4 Ibid., paragraph 5.

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