The Manhattan Declaration

by Dennis Coday

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The Internet and blogsphere is buzzing this morning about the The Manhattan Declaration, which calls itself "a 4,732-word statement signed by a movement of Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical Christian leaders who are collaborating around moral issues of great concern."

The Assocaiated Press says about it:

The 4,700-word document, called "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience," sounds familiar themes from political and social debates over the health care overhaul and gay marriage battles.

While acknowledging that "Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage," the group rejects same-sex marriage. The declaration states that opening a legal door for gay marriage would do the same for "polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships."

President Barack Obama's desire to reduce the need for abortion is "a commendable goal," but his proposals are likely to increase the number of elective abortions, the document contends.

"The present administration is led and staffed by those who want to make abortions legal at any stage of fetal development, and who want to provide abortions at taxpayer expense," it says.

Obama has said he wants to strike a balance on abortion coverage in the health care overhaul.

The declaration also cites threats to health care workers' conscience clauses and anti-discrimination statutes it argues impinge on religious freedoms.

Signatories of the declaration include Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia; Cardinal Adam Maida, Archbishop Emeritus of Detroit; Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Denver; Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York; Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C.; John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark; John Nienstedt, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis; Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City; Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville; Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix; Michael J. Sheridan, Bishop of Colorado Springs; Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland; Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Portland; and David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh.

“We are in a crisis today,” Archbishop Nienstedt said during a Nov. 12 interview with The Catholic Spirit (his archdiocesan newspaper), during which he highlighted the particular challenges facing the institution of marriage. ...

The mass media and some self-interest groups promote views of human sexuality — particularly among the young — that are unhealthy spiritually, physically and psychologically. The challenge, Archbishop Nienstedt said, is to readjust society’s perspective on the role of sexuality in human relationships and get back to a view of sexual behavior as something that is properly expressed within the context of lifelong marriage between one man and one woman.

“It’s not just a question that church leaders are concerned about,” he said. “It’s a question that I think anyone who takes a look at the future of our country has to be concerned about.”

The web address tot get a copy of the declaration, and to add your signature to it if you want, is here It must have been getting a lot of traffic because the site was very slow when I visited a few minutes ago.

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