Bishop Richard Malone of Maine’s Catholic diocese claimed during a press conference this afternoon that the Church will not actively campaign against the state’s ballot measure to approve marriage equality. But according to his rambling “pastoral letter” released today, the Church will continue to actively teach that opposite-sex marriages are superior and that “human society is vitally dependent” on not allowing same-sex couples to marry. Here’s an excerpt:
All of us are sensitive to what are clearly discriminatory acts or speech, or even appearances of being unfair or unkind. Today, the cause for the legal recognition of various human relationships is often equated with non-discrimination, fairness, equality, and civil rights. But when we say that these relationships cannot be called marriage by legal definition, we are not discriminating, but rather, we are marking the obvious and essential difference between marriage and every other form of relationship.
Considering his letter is part of a whole new “Beauty of Marriage” campaign, it’s unlikely that these teachings will be limited to Sunday school classes. After all, during the 2009 ballot initiative to overturn marriage equality, Question One, Maine’s Catholic churches took extra basket collections to support the campaign, contributing well over $550,000. In fact, the leadership of Maine’s Catholic diocese was at the forefront of that fight, with its public affairs director, Marc Mutty, leading the “Yes on 1″ campaign. In the fly-on-the-wall documentary Question One, Mutty described how he regrets his role in the “awful” campaign, and admitted that the campaign used inaccurate statements to scare voters. Watch the clips: