Monday, June 29, 2015
CIVILITY IN THE CHURCH AND TAKING THE HIGH ROAD IN THE FACE OF A NEW CIVIL SITUATION IN THE USA
The same will be for same sex couples who have children. The Church can minister to the couple, who like heterosexuals in irregular civil marriages, should not receive Holy Communion. However, they may attend Mass for the graces and in fact if Catholic they are obliged to attend Mass under the pain of mortal sin. Their children should be baptized and given a Catholic education or CCD classes and the other sacraments of the Church.
I have had a couple of children in my parish who have parents who are gay and in committed partnerships. I did not stand in the way of these children to be baptized if I could ascertain that their parents or grandparents would be sure to rear the children in the faith and prepare them for subsequent sacraments.
While the Church would have preferred the Supreme Court to give same sex couples in "legal civil partnerships" a legal civil platform named "civil union" and not marriage, we should not interfere as the institutional Church from allowing those in civil unions from receiving the same civil benefits as heterosexual civil or religious marriage. The Church should not support discrimination of homosexuals unless their lifestyle and ideologies oppose the philosophy and teaching of other institutions, secular or religious.
At the end of the day love wins not only for the gay community, if love is properly understood, but also for the Church.
However if the Supreme Court's decision presages a persecution, marginalization and suppression of the Church to the point the Church forms its own circle the wagons community out of fear of being stigmatized and restricted from jobs, housing and the rest of it, we have to fight tooth and nail with the spiritual and legal resources we have to the end. Civil disobedience will be a part of that. Martyrdom even in a symbolic way also.
To keep Catholics from succumbing to the corrupt culture of sexuality and civil marriage, heterosexual or homosexual or whatever combinations, we must make strong the Catholic teaching on the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and what is expected of Catholics as it concerns marriage and sex and mortal sin:
1. Catholics must be married in the Catholic Church by a bishop, priest or deacon (I believe the permission given after Vatican II to Catholics to be married in other ceremonies is/was a major, major mistake. That must be rescinded! Catholics must receive the blessing of the Church through the Nuptial Blessing offered by a bishop, priest or deacon to have a valid sacramental marriage--this is a shift in theology to bring us to the theology of marriage of the Eastern Rite in union with Rome. No longer can we or should we say that the couple is the "officiant" of the Sacrament of Marriage of which the bishop, priest and deacon are simply official witnesses. The official witnesses are the best man and maid of honor or any two people of whatever combination. The bishop, priest and deacon provide the validity of the Sacrament! Change this now!!!!!
2. Those Catholics who enter into any kind of civil marriage are considered to be living in sin and may not receive Holy Communion unless they renounce sex within their relationship.
3. Catholics are called to Biblical chastity--abstinence from sex before the Sacrament of Marriage and fidelity to their marriage after the Sacrament of Marriage. Sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin. Sex in a civil marriage, gay or straight, is a mortal sin for Catholics.
Finally, Pope Francis has reassured us in his homily for the Paliums of the new Archbishops today the following:
Everything passes, only God remains. Indeed, kingdoms, peoples, cultures, nations, ideologies, powers have passed, but the Church, founded on Christ, notwithstanding the many storms and our many sins, remains ever faithful to the deposit of faith shown in service; for the Church does not belong to Popes, bishops, priests, nor the lay faithful; the Church in every moment belongs solely to Christ. Only the one who lives in Christ promotes and defends the Church by holiness of life, after the example of Peter and Paul.