Above is the first page of “A True and Living Icon,” Archbishop Alexander Sample’s pastoral letter on marriage. 

Above is the first page of “A True and Living Icon,” Archbishop Alexander Sample’s pastoral letter on marriage. 

A not-for-profit working to thwart family breakdown sent a letter of commendation and 24 white roses to Archbishop Alexander Sample thanking him for his defense of Catholic teaching on marriage.

The California-based Ruth Institute accumulates research to support individuals and families harmed by divorce and a culture of casual sex. 

In his 2016 pastoral letter, “A True and Living Icon,” Archbishop Sample wrote that the “indissolubility of marriage is a precious and essential teaching of the Church, revealed by Jesus and cherished in our unbroken Tradition. … The marriage bond is indissoluble because the Gospel covenant is indissoluble, for the sacrament signifies Christ’s permanent union with his Church.”

The archbishop countered misuses of Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation on marriage and family life. 

“We are so grateful for Archbishop Sample’s clear teaching on the indissolubility of marriage,” said Jennifer Johnson, director of the Ruth Institute’s Children of Divorce project. “We hear from people who have been harmed by family breakdown, literally every day. Straying from Jesus’ teaching on the permanence of marriage has devastated millions of children and deserted spouses.”