PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United’s Executive Director Responds to Archbishop Myers’ Pastoral Letter on Marriage

Posted September 25, 2012

WASHINGTON – Today, Archbishop John J. Myers of the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., released a 16-page statement on the archdiocesan website and participated in local media interviews, decrying public support for civil same-sex marriage equality, comparing it to incest. Archbishop Myers went on to say those who disagree with his views on marriage rights should refrain from participating in Holy Communion. A summary of the pastoral letter will be distributed this Sunday at Catholic churches.

Archbishop Myers’ actions reflect a growing reality that the American bishops’ far-right politics are driving an increasing number of Catholics away from the faith. In late 2011, the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., commissioned a survey of nearly 300 fallen-away Catholics. Among the “take-aways” from the survey, according to survey authors Fr. William J. Byron, S.J., and Dr. Charles Zech, are that many fallen-away Catholics perceive that gays and lesbians “are unwelcome in the church,” leading to a rift with the faith.

“We live in a time when Catholics are walking away from the faith in record numbers. Archbishop Myers’ tone-deaf pastoral letter on marriage might explain why,” said James Salt, executive director of Catholics United, a Catholic social justice organization. “When so many families live paycheck to paycheck, pew-sitting Catholics like myself want our faith known for its service to the poor, not for the far-right politics of the bishops.”

Founded in 2004, Catholics United is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting the message of justice and the common good found at the heart of the Catholic Social Tradition. For more information about Catholics United, follow us on our Facebook page ( or on our blog at