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Chaput: clergy might stop signing marriage licenses as “principled resistance”

I've been saying this ever since gay marriages were recognized by the Canadian government. +Chaput is the first bishop I've read who is counselling the same approach.

I am not saying that we should renounce our civic licences as a protest against same sex marriages. Rather I see it as the only way that we Catholic clergy can preserve our freedom to celebrate marriage as a sacramental union. Put another way, by separating the religious from the civil aspects of marriage we would make clear that we will not cooperate with any effort that confuses our Catholic understanding of the sacrament from the legal redefinition of the civil definition that the State uses. It would be akin to drawing a distinction between 'matrimony' (the proper Catholic sacramental term) and 'marriage', a word which the state has now co-opted and redefined to suit its own legal needs. All that this would mean is that any couple who confected the sacrament of matrimony in a Catholic church would need to register their union in a 2nd separate act. This would eliminate any confusion in the minds of believers that what the State means by the use of the term 'marriage' is distinct and different from the Church's definition.

Thank you Archbishop Chaput! Here's hoping that your Canadian brothers might consider proposing the same step here north of the border.

Chaput: clergy might stop signing marriage licenses as “principled resistance”


  1. One would wait a long time for the Canadian Bishops to take such a stand.I don't know any one of them that would step up to the plate.Ontario's bishops have allowed all kinds of nonesense to invade so-called Catholic schools without so much as a whimper.

  2. This is already done in many countries, France for instance. And why did they wait for gay marriage and not suggest it for divorced remarriage, consanguinity marriages or lack of form marriages, or mixed marriages?


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