Theology Students Participate in Conference on Civil Marriage

Author: Michael O. Garvey

A conference on the political and social significance of civil marriage will be held Thursday (April 3) in the University of Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall.

The conference, “For Richer, For Poorer, For Children: The Definition and Importance of Civil Marriage,” is being sponsored by Students for Child-Oriented Policy, a Notre Dame student organization.Theology majors involved in the organization of the conference include Michael Bradley, Caroline Reuter, Timothy Kirchoff, Timothy Bradley, and Erin Stoyell-Mulholland.

According to one of the conference organizers, Philosophy and Theology join-major Michael Bradley, the conference is intended to explore the purpose of marriage as a civil institution, and how it has become a political subject. “As controversial as marriage has become across the country,” Bradley said, “these questions are rarely addressed. Many in the national media are more interested in pronouncing marriage a nonissue in politics than in examining the effects that civil marriage has on the youngest and the poorest among us. Here in Indiana, however, we should not ignore how important it is for these most vulnerable members of society that we properly define and promote marriage as a civil institution. This conference will gather student leaders from across Indiana to form a statewide network of advocates for marriage, properly defined, as a child-oriented civil institution that specially serves the poor.”

Conference speakers will include Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., presiding bishop of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches; Jennifer Thieme, director of finance and advancement at the Ruth Institute; Gerard V. Bradley, professor of law at Notre Dame; Daniel Mark, assistant professor of political science at Villanova University; Arina Grossu, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council; Katrina Harrington, founder and editor of “Cedars and Tiny Flowers”; and Robert Oscar Lopez, associate professor of English at California State University and co-founder of English Manif.

Contact: Michael Bradley,

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at on March 31, 2014.