June 18, 2003


OTTAWA, ONTARIO His Excellency Marcel Gervais, Archbishop of Ottawa, wrote to Federal Justice Minister Martin Cauchon regarding the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision on the redefinition of marriage.

June 17, 2003

The Honourable Martin Cauchon, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada,
East Memorial Building, 4th Floor,
284 Wellington Street,
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0H8

Dear Mr. Cauchon,

I am writing to you today on behalf of the Roman Catholics of the Archdiocese of Ottawa in connection with the recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in the case of Halpern et al. V. The Attorney General of Canada. As a result, marriage is now defined as "The voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others". The purpose of this letter is to request, respectfully, that you appeal this decision.

It is our firm belief that the marriage covenant can only take place between a man and a woman, not two persons of the same sex, and that this union establishes a partnership of their whole life and which, of its own very nature, is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and for procreation and the bringing up of children (cf. Canon 1055, The Code of Canon Law). Marriage plays a pivotal role in our world. It is a communion of life and love upon which all of society is built.

Even though a homosexual relationship can be considered to be a special one, in our view, it does not have the same ordered goals as marriage. Other ways of supporting and recognizing stable homosexual or non-sexual unions could be found. Certain European nations have recently enacted legislation on "Civil Unions" or "Cohabitation" but they are not called marriages.

In closing, I thank you in advance for taking these convictions of ours into account as you review this issue. In the strongest way possible, we urge you to appeal this decision. With every assurance of our prayers for you at this important time, I remain:

Sincerely yours in Christ our Lord,

+Marcel Gervais
Archbishop of Ottawa

Source: Gabrielle Tassé, 738-5025 ext. 211
    Communications Co-ordinator

For further information: Gabrielle Tassé, 738-5025, ext. 211