Bill May Presents Vision for New Marriage Movement to National Catholic Leaders

BIRMINGHAM, AL, May 13, 2014 – Catholics for the Common Good (CCGI) President, William B. May, presented a vision for a new, positive marriage movement during an address at the national Catholic Leadership Conference in Birmingham, Alabama on May 2. Remembering the recent canonization of St John Paul II, May said, “We need to follow the advice that he gave to Solidarity in Poland and the approach he used that led to the downfall of communism. ‘Let your work serve human dignity, let it elevate man, let it elevate families, let it elevate whole peoples!’”

May spoke about the crisis due to the breakdown of marriage that is touching nearly every family. “Today there are too many children deprived of the right to grow up in a united family with their mothers and fathers.” May suggested that every apostolate and every ministry has role to play in rebuilding a marriage culture without changing their mission. “The unifying theme that we must be mindful of is the need to evaluate every law, every curriculum and every institution (apostolates and ministries included) on how well they help encourage and support men and women marrying before having children and supporting them in their marriage. This is right out of the Catechism on the Human Community with an emphasis on the principle of subsidiarity (CCC §1883).”

May referred to CCG Board Member and Spiritual Director Father Michael Sweeney, OP’s observation that marriage cannot be defined, it can only be described. How it is described is critical to revealing its truth. May said, “With all of the confusion about love, marriage and sexuality, the only way to see the full truth and beauty of marriage is to view it through the eyes of the child – the child within us.” He referred to Luke 10:21, I praise you, Father … because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to childlike. "We are the wise and learned. The child knows the truth.”

 “We need to follow the example of Our Lady of Guadalupe for the enculturation of our faith, and in this case the revealed truth about marriage.” May noted that she first demonstrated humility, even though she communicated her power over the sun and the moon. Secondly, she spoke in a language of the culture, that people could understand. May said, “Today, the language of the culture is experience.”

May believes that any new marriage movement must be a true expression of the New Evangelization. “It must be built through collaboration and partnerships of apostolates and ministries” he added. “Pope Francis offered powerful suggestions for how to do this in his recent apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Guadium. We need to follow them by recognizing the need for new processes that help confront conflict rather than engaging in it and the need to focus on reality rather than ideology. Through this we can unite people across the political spectrum in a positive effort to rebuild the family based on marriage between a man and a woman.”

Audience members expressed appreciation for the clarity the presentation brought to the issue and excitement about having a positive message with which to move forward. There was discussion about cooperation on educational efforts including joint webinars.

Invite Bill May to speak at your conference or convention. Contact Teresa Greenman at 415-738-2326.

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