Bishop Salvatore Cordileone believes gay marriage contributes to a rise in poverty.

Cordileone, who leads the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage and heads the diocese of San Francisco, made his remarks in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

When asked how the Roman Catholic Church justifies spending money, time and resources opposing gay nuptials when it could be directing those resources towards fighting poverty, Cordileone answered that the two issues were intertwined and suggested that the children of gay parents are poor in “spirit.”

“Marriage and poverty are deeply intertwined concerns: an extremely high percentage of people in poverty are from broken families, and when the family breaks up it increases the risk of sliding into poverty, with single parents (usually mothers) making heroic sacrifices for their children as they struggle to fulfill the role of both mother and father. And beyond material poverty there is that poverty of the spirit in which kids hunger for their missing parent, who often seems absent and disengaged from their lives. We all have a deep instinct for connectedness to where we came from, and we deeply desire it when we do not have it.”

“Promoting stable marriages is actually one of the best things we can do to help eradicate poverty; in fact, it is a necessary, even if by itself alone not a sufficient, part of the solution – that is, we cannot hope to fix the problem without it. The solution to poverty certainly requires a multi-faceted strategy; we need efforts such as job training and placement for those in poverty, quality education for at risk youth, and so on. My Church is also involved in many of these kinds of efforts. But neither are these efforts alone sufficient. To focus exclusively on this, without educating our young people for marriage – teaching them to desire marriage and to develop the virtue necessary to sustain the demanding but rewarding commitment of marriage – would be like putting a bandage on a mortal wound. Rebuilding a marriage culture in which both men and women understand they need to come together in marriage to raise their children is not a distraction from poverty, it's one necessary part of helping to alleviate poverty.”