Friday, December 21, 2012
LIKE THE CHURCH'S FIGHT AGAINST THE LEGALIZATION OF DIVORCE, THE CHURCH'S FIGHT AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE MAY WELL BE DOOMED TO THE SAME FATE
This is what Newt Gingrich had to say recently, from a political point of view and the Republican Party:
"I think that [same-sex marriage] will be much more difficult than immigration for conservatism to come to grips with," Gingrich told the Huffington Post. "It is in every family. It is in every community. The momentum is clearly now in the direction in finding some way to ... accommodate and deal with reality."
What's charming about Gingrich is that he did not try to dress up this analysis as a change of heart. His argument, instead, is explicitly political: The public has moved – let's chase them.
"The reality is going to be that in a number of American states – and it will be more after 2014 – gay relationships will be legal, period," Gingrich said.
MY COMMENTS: We live in a society that condones abortion on demand and has made artificial contraception, sterilization and abortifacients a part of "women's health care."
How have we dealt with Catholics who are in second marriages that are not recognized by the Church? We ask them to come to Church and pray, to seek God's grace of conversion in their lives, but if they cannot or will not separate or live chastely without sex, we tell them they are censured and cannot receive Holy Communion or the other sacraments except in the case of a life-threatening emergency.
Cannot we do the same for those Catholics who will eventually enter into so-called same sex marriages? Can we be pastoral toward them and if and when they start living as brothers or as sisters in that union, can we not invite them back to Holy Communion?
I think as a Church, we have a right to try to prevent the passage of same sex marriages through political and judicial means, but avoid alienating the larger culture that accepts same sex relationships from the Church. The Church cannot come off looking like bigots in this regard.
But when we fail, and no one says that we will succeed, we need to draw some lines, proclaim the religious nature of the Sacrament of Holy Orders and get the state out of our business as it concerns the legality of our infallible beliefs about the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
As I've said before, I think we should require Catholics to go to the courthouse the day or two before the Church wedding to take care of all the civil legalities for their "legal union" as the state understands that. And of course the Sacrament of Marriage needs to have a larger imprimatur in terms of civil legality, always had and always will. Then once the legal part of marriage is recognized by the state, then the priest solemnizes it in the religious ceremony that makes it the Sacrament of Matrimony, a sacred union.
That seems to me to be the best solution when all else fails.
And yes, we as Catholics need to view ourselves in this corrupt society as an alternative society which means we may well need to circle the wagons once again for our spiritual and moral protection, not to mention our strong Catholic identity.