27 June, 2013

Marriage, the Church & The Supreme Court | National Catholic Reporter

I'm posting this article to help those who are confusing the National Catholic REPORTER with the National Catholic REGISTER. The latter strives to promote an orthodox interpretation of the Catholic Church's positions while the former is more concerned with promoting a liberal agenda (just as this article does). The only columnist at the Reporter that is worth reading is John Allen... a writer whose work I always read whenever he posts a column.

Marriage, the Church & The Supreme Court | National Catholic Reporter


  1. I'm not sure what is unorthodox in this editorial.

    I was wondering what you think of this paragraph. This happens in many countries already.

    "I repeat my call for the bishops of the United States -- and now extend it to the bishop of Rome -- to adopt a different strategy. We should draw a bright line between civil marriage and the sacrament of matrimony. We should start by announcing that the church's ministers will no longer participate in the conferral of civil marriage in any way. If you want that, go to city hall and get the forms signed there. If you want the sacrament, come to us. As long as the ministers of the church participate in a legal contract that the state defines, it is only a matter of time before someone seeks to compel the ministers of the church to perform a same-sex ceremony with a lawsuit."

  2. Rationalist: The difference is that this article, like most from the Reporter calls for the Church to change, not for society to respect the way the actually Church functions.

    As to your last point, I happen to agree with the author's argument! I've been saying for the past 15 years that we should renounce our civil licences to marry people and follow the path now practiced in Europe... which is exactly what this author suggests. So long as we act as agents of the State (and that's what are civil licences make us) we will soon be compelled to officiate at unions that the Church does not recognize as being valid or moral. We would be in a far better position if we offered sacramental marriages only and then it would be the responsibility of the couple to register their union with the government themselves, either by repeating their vows before a justice of the peace or signing a marriage contract at city hall.

    To date, North American Bishops have been loathe to give up the right to act as civil agents. But they should recognize the clear and present threat to the faith that recent changes in social institutions like marriage present to the Church if we don't soon make that break. To use the lexicon of moral theology: we are cooperating with evil at our own peril.

    Fr. Tim

  3. But it's not for the Church to change its teaching, more to change its approach to the issue. Surely that's okay to do. One wonders if there had have been a call in the 50's in Quebec for the Church to be less political if the collapse of the Quebec Church would have occurred to the same extent. The same may occur here. Again, it's not changing the teaching, but changing the approach. People resent being told how they are to act and when they see religious institutions seeking to impose their will upon the general public, well ... Just saying.

    I agree withe separation of civil and religious marriage. They do it that way in France I believe. But I don't think the state would seek to impose upon religious institutions, but that's an old discussion. Years ago I took a summer off and spent it in Paris taking courses at the Sorbonne. Ah, the single, non mortgage life. I had an hostory course about the French government/French Church dispute where the French government nationalized all the French Catholic Churches but allowed them to have masses in them. The Church was furious, but now over 100 years later the government is on the hook for maintaining the buildings. Almost makes one bel.... Went too far there.


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