18 June, 2013

Doubts over future of Catholic weddings as Lords revisit gay marriage bill - Telegraph

Will Fr. Homer be forced to officiate at gay weddings?
"Catholic bishops were advised earlier this year that they might have to stop carrying out weddings in the way that they currently do if they wish to avoid being taken to court under human rights laws.
The church’s legal advisers said that the uncertainty could even lead to Catholic couples being forced to get married twice – once in front of a civil registrar before a separate church service, as happens in France and elsewhere.
The problem is confusion over whether Catholic priests are acting as “public” officials when they carry out weddings, under a legal arrangement dating back 120 years.
Catholic bishops and other church leaders have been vocal opponents of the plans for same-sex marriage and have made clear that they do not wish to carry them out.
The Government’s same-sex marriage bill includes legal protections to ensure that no priest or church will be “compelled” to carry them out."
Click on link below to read entire article:

Doubts over future of Catholic weddings as Lords revisit gay marriage bill - Telegraph


  1. Are Catholic priests in Britain required to marry divorced Catholics, non Catholics or first cousins? Of course not, then why would they be required to marry homosexual couples?

  2. Rationalist: As I understand it, there was never a concerted campaign by divorced Catholics or close cousins demanding that the Church bless their unions in the name of equality. I think we can both agree that the LGBT... community will not likely offer that same concession as it has been the lodestar of their entire movement.

    The right you reference is essentially a privilege granted the Church by the State, permitting it to act within their walls entirely by her religious teachings. The fear is that if the Church domain is pierced by the State as a result of pressure from the LGBT community forcing priests to officiate at their weddings, then they will be forced to provide the same for the others you referenced.

    Fr. Tim

  3. Well, we've had gay marriage for 10 years here and there's been no movement to require gays to marry in churches where they aren't welcome. Churches change and some members disagree with the church's teaching but that's different. As long as the church teaching is against gay marriage then I can't see that happening. And if it does I would protest along with you.

    1. Rationalist: You're correct in saying that it has not become an issue (yet?) here in Canada. But the article is dealing with the legislation has formulated in Great Britain. It's the legal beagles there that are pointing to a flaw in the proposed law which would open the door there to the State forcing the Church to officiate at gay unions.

      I guess the only reason to be concerned here is that once a court within the Commonwealth makes such a declaration based on equality rights, it tends to quickly spread throughout its member states. So if England ends up in a situation where priests cannot 'discriminate' against gay couples it will likely become a problem for us here. Should that day come, I have no doubt that you (and many others of good heart) would stand with the Church to oppose such an intrusion into the her internal affairs.

      Fr. Tim


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