Friday, June 26, 2015
OKAY, LET'S JUST TAKE A DEEP BREATH FOLKS; IT ISN'T THE END OF THE WORLD
However, in the Catholic Church we have had to deal with civil marriages of heterosexuals that we do not acknowledge because there was an impediment, either a previous sacramental marriage or some other kind of impediment. There is a separation of Church and state. Marriage is not a sacrament for the state. It can be dissolved by the state very easily with no fault divorce. Lawyers will be enriched by a whole new category of people seeking divorce. It is a big business and the almighty dollar continues to win--the free market is what some call it. I think Pope Francis has some words about free markets and the corruption that money brings to society, to people and to the earth's ecology. Pope Francis is prophetic in this regard.Thank God for Laudato Si at this particular juncture in salvation history.
Marriage is a sacrament! Bishops, priests and deacons should not be the legal agent for the state to bring about the legal benefits for our sacrament. The state should take care of that themselves.
Therefore, I pray that our National Conference of Catholic Bishops will write a national policy whereby Catholics when they procure their civil marriage license also have at the same time the court magistrate legalize their civil union for the benefits they will receive as a civilly married couple.
After acquiring civil recognition of their union and the benefits that accrue, Catholics may be married in the Church as long as their are no impediments. This means one man, one woman, no previous marriages and no other impediments such as psychological impairment, immaturity, and a lack of willingness to live according the the vows and promises made before God and the Church. (The legal, civil part must come first as the Church has always required that the Sacrament of Marriage have societal recognition. In other words, no bishop, priest or deacon can solemnize a marriage without the legal component. I'm just saying let civil authorities do that part first. Clergy should not act as an agent of the state.