Newark archbishop urges voters to defend marriage

September 25, 2012 5:13:45 AM PDT
More than 1 million Roman Catholics in northern New Jersey are being urged to vote "in defense of marriage and life."

Newark Archbishop John Myers will release a pastoral statement to his flock on Tuesday that calls on Catholics to examine how political candidates stand on abortion and "a proper backing of marriage."

Myers also says Catholics who disagree with the church's teaching on marriage should refrain from receiving Holy Communion.

Myers tells The Record newspaper his statement is not intended as an endorsement for either political party.

The archbishop says he's been thinking about issuing a statement on the subject for about a year because he believes there's been a lack of clarity.

The diocese includes churches in Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Union counties.