Wednesday, November 30, 2022



We all know that President Obama wanted to force Catholic institutions to provide insurance coverage for “women’s health” concerns to include contraception and abortion. Democrats for the most part want to see Catholic hospitals and clinics provide abortion services too. Usually this is tied to government regulations and money, which is really “our” money. 

Now that the Supreme Court and Congress have codified a new understanding of civil marriage to include a variety of styles and genders binary or not, will a future Democrat president, or the current “Catholic” democrat president force Catholic parishes to provide same sex or non-binary weddings to those who request them?

I would not put it past these dictators of relevatism to do so. 

Unless Pope Francis approves what His Holiness is hearing about some Catholics wanting a redefinition of the Church and her/its sacraments and allows for what the Culture is now dictating about marriage in deference to the “spirit” of the culture, what can the Church do to protect its “backward” thinking about marriage being exclusively between one biological man and one biological woman and until death do they part?

We need to get out of being an agent for the State when it comes to the legal or civil aspect of marriage. 

No longer would priests be allowed to be both the religious and civil celebrant or presider of Marriage. 

But since the Church requires legal recognition of the Sacrament of Marriage, what would be required is that a Catholic desiring a wedding in the Church would need to go to a civil official not only for the civil marriage license, but also for that official to ratify the state’s requirement for a legal marriage, such as a Justice of the Peace kind of “wedding.” 

In other words, no representative of the Church signs the civil marriage license, only the state’s representative does sp.

Then, with the civil marriage certificate signed only by the court’s representative, the Catholic can have that civil marriage “sacramentalized” in a Church wedding.

What the priest or deacon does is only religious with no civil or “State” legalities. 


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Inasmuch as both civil society and religious society have the same goal for marriage, that being establishing the foundation for a healthy community, I don't think there can or should be the kind of absolutist separation you suggest.

I recognize that civil society may not percieve marriage as the "foundation" of society as we do in the Church, but that goal can be achieved nonetheless.

As for tax money being "our" money - not so much. When a person belongs to a club and dues must be paid, the dues are the property of the club, not the members. As citizens, members of the club, we pay our dues (taxes) for the good of the whole, not for the good of individual members. That's why, even though a person does not have children in public school, he/she still is required to pay taxes to support schools, as this is a community good. That tax payer probably benefits from the education provided as well.

Bob said...

The problem, past Kavanaugh maintaining gender bending definitions of marriage being good for society (I suppose he would think it marvelous and volunteer to be raised by a gay polygamous throuple wearing dog suits), is the state taking unto itself the word "marriage" which has always had sacramental meaning...

At least, it did until the rise of splintered protestantism, of which this country was largely founded and run by same protestant multivalued meanings of sacraments to include some sects holding zero.

Civil contracts should be seperable from sacramental marriages, and the US and its states should be made to accept the phrase civil contract for their operations which can be contracted/dissolved at a whim, and save the marriage word for religions with sacraments.

With as many Catholics as now on the Supreme Court, there would be no better time for the US bishops to bring this matter before them, to define marriage as a religious sacrament outside of state purview, and civil contract as outside religious purview.

While they are at it, they should work on getting defined human life and when it begins, as most contentions today are all about confusion of terms and definitions.

William said...

All Holy Matrimonies are marriages but not all marriages are Holy Matrimonies. Requirements for a Catholic marriage still apply no matter what. The State can hold no sway over the Church's Sacraments.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

William, what you say is true. But in today’s Church with canon law governing the sacraments, it would be illicit, and maybe even invalid, if I intentionally presided at a Catholic Wedding and married a couple without the State’s acknowledgment of the legal aspect of marriage and the legal and civil benefits that are given to those in a contractual legal civil marriage.

The Church presumes her Sacrament of Holy Matrimony is also recognized by the state, especially if the state is separate from the Church. Of course, in states where the Church is the state, that is a given, but not in those where there is no state Church and the Church is the state.

TJM said...

Civil Marriage was another sad by-product of the French Revolution.

Bob, Fr K is a Dem operative masquerading as a Catholic priest

TJM said...

Fr K,

LOL - you can quit a club and no longer pay dues. Much of the evil in the US today is caused by a Leviathon like federal governemnt. Under China Joe it is becoming more oppressive than ever. I guess you like being a slave to the State.

rcg said...

FrMJK is pretty much correct, at least insofar as the practical application of authority. However, the State in USA is no longer brokering commerce between citizens, but actively monitoring what we are allowed to think and believe. For example book sales of 'cancelled' authors are curbed or even proscribed companies such as Amazon as enthusiastically as any Nazi or Stalinist group, but are protected as free speech by the Government who has a vested interest in preventing opposing thoughts.

The concern of faithful American Catholics is that the Government will root out the practice of Catholicism through a legal hegemony that incrementally moves from allowing sinful activity through actively endorsing it to eventually forcing it on us. I think that if the current political leadership stays around long enough, goodness knows they indicate that they will, then they will be challenged on their "private beliefs" and will need to publicly deny the Church to retain their power. I predict they will feel relief.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anyone who does not want to pay taxes (club dues) is free to quit the club at any time. He/She can renounce citizenship and move to a country (join a club) where the required fees are to his/her liking.

The ten lowest tax countries at present are:
Western Sharah
Cayman Islands

Bon Voyage.

Amazon is not the State. Decisions made by Amazon are neither Nazi nor Stalinist. If an author wants to sell his/her books, that person is 100% free to do so within the limits of the law. A corporation cannot be forced to sell a product it chooses not to offer. Should Chevy dealers be forced to sell Fords? Now THAT would be Nazi/Stalinist tactics.....

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The Respect for Marriage Act does not force any church or non-profit agency to do anything.

"Section 6(b) of RMA recognizes that religious nonprofits and their personnel have a statutory right to decline any involvement with a marriage solemnization or celebration—including a same-sex one. This federal right would preempt any state or local law to the contrary. It means clergy can refuse to officiate a gay wedding. A church can decline to be the venue for these unions. A Christian college can deny use of its chapel for the same reason, and a Christian summer camp can refuse use of its lake and nearby pavilion, as well."

"Section 6(a) of RMA states that nothing in the act diminishes any existing federal right to freedom of religion or protection of conscience. For example, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 goes untouched by RMA, and so do many religious exemptions in civil rights legislation."

"But RMA has no impact on federal law not arising from a marriage. Does a religious organization’s tax-exempt status with the IRS arise from a marriage? No. Does a religious school’s accreditation arise from a marriage? No. Does a religious employer’s exemption from civil rights employment antidiscrimination statutes arise from a marriage? Again, the answer is no. Churches, Christian colleges, K-12 religious schools, and faith-based social service providers can take comfort in these boundary lines."

All quotes from Christianity Today 17 November 2022

TJM said...

Christianity Today? A non Catholic publication. Figures since the greatest sermon you heard was delivered by a Protestant woman

rcg said...

Fr Kavanaugh, the increment is not the same as the end result. By that I mean that Amazon is not an arm of the Government but must act within the bounds of that law. If Amazon restricts sales of a book with nary a peep from the Government, how is that different from a baker being forced to make and sell cakes for homosexual weddings? Similarly, we live in an era where the resources of large companies can intimidate and prevent competition. Many of these companies have special status under the law and commerce protecting them from competition and oversight and restrict free speech without Government intervention. They operate in the same way as utilities and restrict access to to the public utility of their medium based on their own un-supervised judgements. So even if the law does not say that certain thoughts are proscribed, yet does not act in its role to defend free speech and association of people holding those thoughts, it is acting as if the law was already in place; essentially a sin of omission. Saying that people who want books can simply go to another bookseller is the same argument made that black people who wanted an education could start their own schools. It is dissembling the situation.

A Catholic judge can find that the Constitution does not protect abortion only as long as it, in fact, does not. Despite our understanding in the matter of abortion, the Law is the law. For a bureaucrat to ignore, as policy, application of the law based on his personal beliefs, Catholic or otherwise, is contrary to the same Constitution.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

rcg - What business does the government have "peeping" about what items Amazon does or does not carry? The law does not require Amazon to sell what they choose not to sell.

I agree that the influence of mega-corporations is often deleterious. Schumacher was right - "Small Is Beautiful." We used that as our text in the second semester of philosophy I had in college.

Government DOES protect free speech, but it does not and should not police what items a company chooses to sell or not sell. The "free speech" of an author is in no way harmed if Amazon chooses not to sell the book. Profits may be harmed, but not speech.

I think retail sales are very different from utilities and should be regulated very differently. Everyone needs water. Not everyone needs what Amazon sells.

rcg said...

Generally the Government has no bidness peeping in the windows of Amazon. In this case, however, Amazon enjoys several special protections from the Government that protect it from competition or give it advantage in access to resources such as servers and communications systems. Under that umbrella Amazon has developed a huge advantage in web services, cloud structures, etc. that are important to protect the US and friendly countries from domination by unfriendly or even hostile countries. So there is a good use of that protection for Amazon. But they are using that position to enforce their preferred thoughts that happen to align with and support political party goals.

TJM said...

The Biden Administration does not protect free speech - it suppresses it. The slave to the State is just another useful idiot. Hey, was the binary guy, Sam Brinton of the Biden Administration, stealing ladies luggage to make you a Christmas present?

the Egyptian said...

in the end we will find out if the "church" values Gods message or their tax exempt more.
It's about time we find out. We have been using it as an excuse for decades

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

rcg - What special protections does Amazon enjoy? Are these not available to other corporations?

rcg said...

Amazon receives billions in state, local, and federal subsidies to develop its business. It also gets special competitive status bidding DoD jobs based on the web services it was subsidized to to develop. It gets cost advantage subsidies from the USPS to deliver packages below the USPS costs. Some of this is dodgy, some not. It is available, in theory, to other companies, but it is prioritized for Amazon based on the way it controls the information it delivers through books, television, streaming, etc. the evidence of this that the Government itself is not allowed to prevent to flow of free speech, press, etc. but does not prevent private entities from doing so. Amazon excludes content ostensibly as a private entity, but reaches a larger audience only due to Government support, or subsidy, of the their activities.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

rcg - Many businesses recieve subsidies for development. That's not "special" to Amazon.

Amazon is a major government contractor. It is not unusual for contractors to have advantages that, I suspect, would be available to others.

It seems that by your reasoning, any corportation that receives government support/subsidy, might be acting in ways that are injurious.

Again, I'm not a fan of mega-corporations. But I don't see that Amazon is much different than the others...

TJM said...


Give it up - Clericalism on Steroids is an expert in every secular area - not so much in Catholic doctrine or liturgy!

rcg said...

FrMJK, 'special' does not mean 'unique'. Yes, when you do business with the Government you are obligated to follow stricter rules than other entities. That is generally open to any company, but again, does not dispense the obligation. In fact, companies that do business with the Government are not allowed to discriminate on exactly the grounds that Amazon uses to remove books, videos, etc. from their catalogue. That Amazon uses a Government supported system to conduct their business this way should be examined and, I believe, corrected.