CHICAGO (CBS) — Francis Cardinal George has written a letter to priests asking that Catholics contact their lawmakers and oppose same-sex marriage in Illinois.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the cardinal wrote “it is physically impossible for two men or two women to consummate a marriage, even when they share a deep friendship or love. Does this mean nature is cruel or that God is unfair? No, but it does mean that marriage is what nature tells us it is and that the State cannot change natural marriage.”

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Read the full letter.

Illinois State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) have said they hope to get lawmakers to approve legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois when the Senate and House return for their final session days later this week and next week.

The cardinal wrote, if the Illinois General Assembly legalizes same-sex marriage, “it will be acting against the common good of society.”

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George argued Sunday gay marriage is at odds with both church law and natural law.

“Whatever else happens between two men and two women, it’s not a marital union,” he said. “That’s just a physical fact. That’s not something invented by the church.”

“Civil laws that establish ‘same sex marriage’ create a legal fiction,” George wrote in his letter to Catholic churches. “The State has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible.”

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The letter concludes, “Pray for our State.”