June 20, 2014
“Operation I Do” offers free Catholic weddings

Catholics and all of good will- more projects like this! Get creative!

October 26, 2013
"It is not the gays who are trying to redefine marriage; it is government that has already redefined it!"

— (via thethirdwaybook)

September 12, 2013
"Is it possible that approximately 100 years of government marriage licensing has undermined the efforts of the Church to uphold the dignity of marriage in society?"

— (via thethirdwaybook)

September 11, 2013
"The Church takes marriage very seriously, the government only cares that you are a heterosexual couple with $50 in your pocket."

— (via thethirdwaybook)

August 16, 2013
Why Would a Millennial Become a Priest or a Nun?

About half way through and enjoying so far

Pray for Vocations!  And the strength and courage to fully pursue where God is calling you!

July 30, 2013
Another reason government sponsored marriage undermines the institution of marriage.

Another reason government sponsored marriage undermines the institution of marriage.

6:30pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZYk13yr19IR1
  
Filed under: politics marriage 
March 26, 2013

If the government recognizes gay marriage, will supporters turn their attention to the plight of polygamists? Or will they be ignored because their love isn’t as cool and popular?

March 26, 2013
DEAD

DEAD

March 26, 2013

You can’t seriously say that you are for marriage “equality” while still supporting a system that will ban polygamists and other “marriage minorities” from getting married.

You simply support imposing your definition of marriage on others with government force so long as it suits your sensibilities. You just have a different definition than the “Christian bigots” you claim to hate. Isn’t that interesting?

9:34am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZYk13yhAJgUc
  
Filed under: politics scotus marriage gay lgbt 
March 20, 2013
"Government does not exist to force us into contracts, it exists to enforce contracts. There is all the difference in the world between the two."

8:49pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZYk13yglL6ai
  
Filed under: politics lgbt gay marriage 
February 17, 2013
"In the better we learn the joy of loving; in the worse we learn to love unselfishly."

— Thomas Green, SJ in “Drinking From a Dry Well”

November 5, 2012
Crusader Maximus: Response to Fr. Angel on Civil Marriage

fatherangel:

crusadermaximus:

“But that is not the concern. It is gay marriage as a definition, a civil right, and a legally protected status—that is what concerns the Church, many Christian congregations, and other people of good will who are not in favor of gay marriage.”

Then you are obviously not understanding my point. I am not arguing that gay marriage be a civil right. I am advocating that the State stop licensing ALL marriages.

“2) “Our society has already lost sight of what marriage is.” Oh really? I’ve met thousands of couples, both Catholic and non-Catholic, who would find that quite insulting and demeaning to them.”

I don’t think any serious person in the West would doubt that society as a whole has lost the traditional Christian definition of marriage. I don’t think it demeans anyone to say this, as most of these couples you cite would agree with my statement.

”(Greeks and Romans had laws governing marriage).”

Yes, they did have laws governing marriage. Mainly regarding adultery, inheritance, and property issues. The Greeks and Romans did NOT, however, demand that couples come before a civil magistrate in order to be considered married. Greek and Roman law recognized the private ceremony of the couple and law only kicked in when part of the private marriage contract was not fulfilled. That is the issue we are discussing.

“The “system” you speak of is the Church working to incorporate the importance of heterosexual marriage into civil law since the days when St. Augustine wrote his long treatises on marriage and inserted himself into the Roman courts to codify this.”

Just like we worked to make Christianity the official religion of the state. We later discerned that was no longer needed, as you have expertly argued in your other posts. The same principles of religious freedom are found in keeping the government out of our relationships with people we freely associate with, because freedom of association is a natural right. If someone can be a satanist without government interference, why can’t Jim and Bob live together?

The gay couple will get married in a ceremony which at once is legally binding, while the Christian couple will have to have a ceremony in their church which is legally void and then have to go and have another ceremony which will make them legal as a couple.”

No. There will be no getting married at City Hall for any couple. I am objecting to civil marriage licenses. And this scenario you cite has been the case in France since the Revolution there, when the government refused to recognize any wedding not performed before a civil magistrate. This is the step that is the lynch pin of our discussion. This is the modernist novelty (that did not exist in Greco-Roman times) that is causing so much strife in society right now.

“Preaching against something which is legally protected can easily be twisted by legal authorities as inciting hate or becoming political. Refusing to allow facilities to be used for something, which is a civil right and protected status will be legally actionable.”

You shouldn’t worry about that, because if the government stops licensing marriages, no “type” of marriage will be recognized as a civil right. These lawsuits you fear are the natural result of this system which I am objecting to. I am trying to prevent this. If government gets out, our parish halls can be rented to whoever we want for whatever reason we want. Photographers could photograph whatever wedding they wish to photograph. No business or entity would be forced into association with a party it does not wish to associate with. The rights of Christians are thus MORE protected under this system I am proposing than the current system in our society.

Hello Brother Max:

When it comes to your belief “I am advocating that the State stop licensing ALL marriages” you are actually not responding to me. My stance that the State should license and recognize heterosexual marriage as a civil right, and grant heterosexual marriage special privilege, and exclude gay marriage from this right and its privileges, is the stance of Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops who teach with him. 

So you should just be honest and write as a title of your post, “Why I dissent from the Catholic Magisterium and believe it is wrong on the issue of gay marriage.” The points I have taken up have come from the Catholic Church, and so your dissent is not with Fr. Angel, but with the Catholic teaching on the matter of gay marriage.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, under Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) clearly stated positions which you are contradicting in your blog. The document I am citing is “Consideration Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.”

 1) I’m not going to argue your historical points on Greek and Roman law, which is anachronistic, as they had other ways of tracking marriage and conferring rights. City Hall paradigms don’t apply to them. In addition, you do not cite sources and so discussing history without reference to scholarship will just be “you say this-I say that,” and my concern is with the Catholic outlook of marriage.

2) By the time of St. Augustine, power was being given to the Church to run courts, judge cases, and incorporate Christian belief into civil law. This is how Augustine was later able to send Roman officers after the Donatist heretics. Later, Theodosius and Justinian began to insert Christian belief into Roman Law. By the time of the Magna Carta (1215 AD) we see certain rights of marriage and inheritance clearly incorporated into civil law, which only apply to the male-female model of marriage and the children procreated from such unions. (See Theodore MacKin, SJ, “What is Marriage”).

3) The Magna Carta reveals that throughout the early Middle Ages the civil and religious laws were clearly setting out man-woman marriage as a special institution to be favored and protected. The Church through marriage records tracked who was legally married and whose children were legitimate and worthy of property and money inheritances. Jesuit scholar Theodore MacKin researched this history for his tome, “What is Marriage.”

4) As a sacrament, the State allowed the Church to supervise legal marriages and annulments and to keep marriage records for the sake of defending the rights of spouses and their children. When, after the French Revolution, the government ordered married couples to appear before civil magistrates, it was not altering the importance of marriage in law. It was simply saying that it was taking away from the Catholic Church the right to supervise legal marriage and judge its rights.

5) The Church would have preferred that priests still had the power to officiate civil marriage, but at least the rights of marriage as codified by Church law were still upheld by the French government. Couples had to be heterosexual, bigamy was condemned and punished, as was polygamy, and married couples had preferential rights over couples who were unmarried or shacking up. There was nothing “novel” except that French magistrates officiated at civil marriage, allowing people to be married outside the Church. Before, only Catholic sacramental marriages were recognized by the government as being legal and protected by the State.

6) Your statement, Brother Max, that “The same principles of religious freedom are found in keeping the government out of our relationships with people we freely associate with, because freedom of association is a natural right” is not at all the Catholic Church’s position. If by “association” we mean to give gay unions the recognition of being “marriages” and to legally accept them as possessing any rights, you are totally contradicting the Catholic position. Even if there are no marriage licenses and no more civil marriage, just the acknowledgement of “free associations” that would be accepting of homosexual unions is a contradiction to the Catholic teaching on the damage caused by this acceptance. There is also the matter, not at all trivial to the gay community, that they want to go to City Hall. They want that license. They want civil law to define their unions as true marriages. This solution you propose would be no less revolting and abhorrent to the gay couples I know as is the Church’s position to keep the status quo and allow only legal heterosexual marriages.

7) Cardinal Ratzinger, with the full teaching authority of Blessed John Paul II backing him up, forcefully stated in the document mentioned above:  ”Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person. Laws in favour of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.”

8) I quote you again: “There will be no getting married at City Hall for any couple. I am objecting to civil marriage licenses.”

And what is this supposed to solve? Since no one gets a civil license, no one’s marriage is legally recorded and protected by civil law. Everyone runs off and has their private ceremony and lives happily ever after? Do you have any idea of the anarchy and pandemonium that would ensue?

From tax breaks, to legal rights over children, to property and inheritance issues if one of the spouses dies, to the right of the couple not to be harmed in their relationship by an outside party (alienation of affection) to medical and funeral decisions, to the right during criminal trials not to have to testify against your spouse, etc. 

But most of all, for the Catholic Church, civil law, regardless of how broken it is, is in need of a reform so that Natural Law ethics once again remain the bedrock of governing marriage and marriage rights. It is easy to decry “interference” of the State but from the standpoint of the couple, that interference protects and upholds them in many practical matters. As well, that government involvement in marriage teaches the rest of society. St. Thomas Aquinas says that if law does not enshrine virtue, people will not equate obeying the rule of law with being virtuous.

9) In the mind of the Catholic Church, it is not enough for civil law to remain silent on homosexual unions. A civil code based in Natural Law must pass laws which explicitly state that such unions and such behavior is against the structure of the family and therefore of the common good of people. Cardinal Ratzinger states:

It might be asked how a law can be contrary to the common good if it does not impose any particular kind of behaviour, but simply gives legal recognition to a de facto reality which does not seem to cause injustice to anyone. In this area, one needs first to reflect on the difference between homosexual behaviour as a private phenomenon and the same behaviour as a relationship in society, foreseen and approved by the law, to the point where it becomes one of the institutions in the legal structure. This second phenomenon is not only more serious, but also assumes a more wide-reaching and profound influence, and would result in changes to the entire organization of society, contrary to the common good. Civil laws are structuring principles of man’s life in society, for good or for ill. They “play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behaviour”. Lifestyles and the underlying presuppositions these express not only externally shape the life of society, but also tend to modify the younger generation’s perception and evaluation of forms of behaviour. Legal recognition of homosexual unions would obscure certain basic moral values and cause a devaluation of the institution of marriage” (#6).

I do not believe one can read this teaching of Ratzinger and Blessed John Paul II and hold onto the positions you hold onto. When it comes to the Catholic teaching about marriage and the laws of the State, there can be no Libertarian “hands off” approach by the government. It needs to concern itself with civil marriage to promote only heterosexual marriage and the rights of heterosexual married couples. God bless, Fr. Angel

So you should just be honest and write as a title of your post, “Why I dissent from the Catholic Magisterium and believe it is wrong on the issue of gay marriage.” The points I have taken up have come from the Catholic Church, and so your dissent is not with Fr. Angel, but with the Catholic teaching on the matter of gay marriage.

The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, under Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) clearly stated positions which you are contradicting in your blog. The document I am citing is “Consideration Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.”

Thank you for your response, which I have mulled over for sometime.  Thank you most especially for the Document written by the Holy Father when he was head of the CDF.  I have read the document, and I don’t think that it is fair that you should characterize my position as being one of “dissent”.  You have made many good posts on your own blog showing Catholic doctrine, and how it is exercised in practice, has evolved over the centuries in regards to slavery and religious freedom.  I see no reason why this could not also be adopted by the Church.  It does not require us changing the unchangeable fact that marriage is defined as being only between a man and a woman.  Rather it challenges the statist assumption that we must support a civil marriage licensing system that will be used to severly cripple the Church in the next 50 years.  Thus, our discussion should remain focused on Pt. #9 of the document you have cited, specifically this portion, “Because married couples ensure the succession of generations and are therefore eminently within the public interest, civil law grants them institutional recognition.”

I agree that the State should recognize the marriages of heterosexual couples.  Marriage, from a strictly civil point of view, is and always had been a contract.  It is the governments’ duty to recognize and enforce contracts to ensure that they are carried out; it is also the governments’ duty to mediate what happens when a contract is broken, and the parties cannot remedy the situation between themselves.  This is a basic principle of any free society.  What Cardinal Ratzinger did NOT say, was that couples must present themselves before the State in order to achieve this “institutional recognition.”  Remember that this is the point we are arguing; civil marriage licenses, which from the document you have cited, are mentioned nowhere.  The only mention is that the State should grant institutional recognition of those who have entered into a marriage contract.  So things like property, inheritance, custody issues, and the like can all be handled by the courts, even without civil marriage licensing.

So to say that I am promoting “dissent” when I clearly have not dissented from the document you have cited, is not a fair characterization.  As the good end of civil “institutional recognition” can be achieved by means outside of “civil marriage licenses.”  We know from history that the licensing of marriage is a new and recent innovation.  While you are correct in pointing out that the State recognized the activities of the Church in regards to children and annulments, this simply reflects what the State should always be doing in enforcing contracts.  So I don’t see how it furthers your point.

 "If by “association” we mean to give gay unions the recognition of being “marriages” and to legally accept them as possessing any rights, you are totally contradicting the Catholic position."

I don’t see why any such thing would ever happen.  Gays are perfectly capable of entering into any and all sorts of contracts with one another and whoever they so choose.  If the State is limited to only adjucating scenarios in which a party desires to have recourse to the State because of a broken contract, it would be limited to issues of property, inheritance, alimony, etc.  The gay marriage itself, would have no recognition.  Suppose two men are in a relationship in which they agree to commonly hold all property they own (3 houses).  One of the parties decides the relationship no longer works for himself, and so he breaks his contract, and goes to court for unbiased mediation on how to split the assets   The State is in no way “glorifying” homosexuality, but simply limiting itself to how to properly split the commonly held estate.  If we hold that gays can form business contracts and hold property in common, it makes no sense to say that gays cannot form personal contracts in which they can hold property in common.

"7) Cardinal Ratzinger, with the full teaching authority of Blessed John Paul II backing him up, forcefully stated in the document mentioned above:  ”Every humanly-created law is legitimate insofar as it is consistent with the natural moral law, recognized by right reason, and insofar as it respects the inalienable rights of every person. Laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason because they confer legal guarantees, analogous to those granted to marriage, to unions between persons of the same sex. Given the values at stake in this question, the State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.”"

I don’t object to any of that.  It is in perfect conformity with what I have written.

"Since no one gets a civil license, no one’s marriage is legally recorded and protected by civil law. Everyone runs off and has their private ceremony and lives happily ever after? Do you have any idea of the anarchy and pandemonium that would ensue?

From tax breaks, to legal rights over children, to property and inheritance issues if one of the spouses dies, to the right of the couple not to be harmed in their relationship by an outside party (alienation of affection) to medical and funeral decisions, to the right during criminal trials not to have to testify against your spouse, etc.”

Incorrect:

A) Tax Breaks- Seizing 30% of the income of a married couple, rather than 35% of their income, hardly builds up a culture of marriage. We cannot stake dogma on the assumption that the State seizing slightly less income from a recognized couple rather than an individual is morally praiseworthy.  I would like all income tax to be at 0%.  Which as you know, was the case in the US before 1913, as such, tax breaks cannot be a trigger which forces civil licensing.

B)  Legal rights over children- are given to people who aren’t civilly married.

C)  Property-  The State handles the bankruptcies of multi-billion dollar companies, it could surely handle splitting up Bob and Tom’s things in a fair manner.  Just as it already does when Bob and Tom’s business goes bust.

D) Inheritance issues- Wills.

E) Medical and funeral decisions- Living wills, power of attorney.  All presumably handled when the parties enter into contract with one another.  We handle co-habitating couples who have these issues, no chaos would ensue.

F) 5th Amendment, you don’t have to testify against anyone you don’t want to testify against.

As to your larger point about the “anarchy” that would ensue.  I could use your same exact argument in opposition to freedom of religion.  I could say, “But if we allow freedom of religion, people will just do whatever they want, they’ll play with Ouija boards, go to yoga classes, build Buddhist temples next to schools, build mosques next to Ground Zero, not go to church, not raise their kids in church, not be buried in a religious cemetery, gurus will have TV shows where they can spread their false gospel, etc.”

I do not see how you can support the State requiring a couple to appear before itself before granting any of the privileges you seem to be so concerned about.  The right to the concerns you have listed belongs first to the individual, not to the State.  You are in effect making the State the dispenser of natural rights in our society.   

As an aside, if an undocumented couple presents themselves before you (I would assume they can’t be married by the State) would you witness their marriage on behalf of the Church?  If not, then you are placing the State over and above the natural right of two heterosexuals from entering into relationship with one another.  If you do, then this couple would have to live without any of these civil priviledges that you have listed.  

In conclusion, I do not see my points as being in dissent with the document you have cited.  As my proposal clearly grants “institutional recognition” to those who enter into contract with one another.  Libertarian society is not the “wild west” that most caricature it to be.  While your system sees the State as being the granter of blessings and privileges to married couples, my proposed system recognizes that the couple itself is the source of the rights and privileges you have concerned yourself with.  Which is much more inline with our actual theological teaching on the Sacramental nature of marriage, than the secular system you are defending.

Pax Christi

October 30, 2012
Response to Fr. Angel on Civil Marriage

"But that is not the concern. It is gay marriage as a definition, a civil right, and a legally protected status—that is what concerns the Church, many Christian congregations, and other people of good will who are not in favor of gay marriage."

Then you are obviously not understanding my point. I am not arguing that gay marriage be a civil right. I am advocating that the State stop licensing ALL marriages.

"2) “Our society has already lost sight of what marriage is.” Oh really? I’ve met thousands of couples, both Catholic and non-Catholic, who would find that quite insulting and demeaning to them."

I don’t think any serious person in the West would doubt that society as a whole has lost the traditional Christian definition of marriage. I don’t think it demeans anyone to say this, as most of these couples you cite would agree with my statement.

”(Greeks and Romans had laws governing marriage).”

Yes, they did have laws governing marriage. Mainly regarding adultery, inheritance, and property issues. The Greeks and Romans did NOT, however, demand that couples come before a civil magistrate in order to be considered married. Greek and Roman law recognized the private ceremony of the couple and law only kicked in when part of the private marriage contract was not fulfilled. That is the issue we are discussing.

"The “system” you speak of is the Church working to incorporate the importance of heterosexual marriage into civil law since the days when St. Augustine wrote his long treatises on marriage and inserted himself into the Roman courts to codify this.”

Just like we worked to make Christianity the official religion of the state. We later discerned that was no longer needed, as you have expertly argued in your other posts. The same principles of religious freedom are found in keeping the government out of our relationships with people we freely associate with, because freedom of association is a natural right. If someone can be a satanist without government interference, why can’t Jim and Bob live together?

The gay couple will get married in a ceremony which at once is legally binding, while the Christian couple will have to have a ceremony in their church which is legally void and then have to go and have another ceremony which will make them legal as a couple.”

No. There will be no getting married at City Hall for any couple. I am objecting to civil marriage licenses. And this scenario you cite has been the case in France since the Revolution there, when the government refused to recognize any wedding not performed before a civil magistrate. This is the step that is the lynch pin of our discussion. This is the modernist novelty (that did not exist in Greco-Roman times) that is causing so much strife in society right now.

"Preaching against something which is legally protected can easily be twisted by legal authorities as inciting hate or becoming political. Refusing to allow facilities to be used for something, which is a civil right and protected status will be legally actionable."

You shouldn’t worry about that, because if the government stops licensing marriages, no “type” of marriage will be recognized as a civil right. These lawsuits you fear are the natural result of this system which I am objecting to. I am trying to prevent this. If government gets out, our parish halls can be rented to whoever we want for whatever reason we want. Photographers could photograph whatever wedding they wish to photograph. No business or entity would be forced into association with a party it does not wish to associate with. The rights of Christians are thus MORE protected under this system I am proposing than the current system in our society.

October 29, 2012

"(Sidebar: what this means it that heterosexual people getting “married” drunk at 2 a.m. at a drive-through Elvis window are not “getting married.” For one thing, drunk people don’t have the mental capacity to consent, and consent makes the marriage. To defend “traditional marriage” is not to defend its abuses and mockeries.)"

I never said anything about them being drunk.

Sober Dick and Jane drive up to Elvis at 2am and get married. This is recognized by the State.

That’s a problem.

Here’s some more scenarios that are troublesome:

1) Larry King being married by the state 8 different times.

2) A hypothetical couple meeting and getting married by the state the very day they meet each other.

3) Britney Spears 36 hour wedding

I mean basically if you’re breathing and a heterosexual couple, City Hall will marry you if you have $50.

The State doesn’t care about the “sanctity” of marriage, and to act like gays marrying will ruin marriage is being ignorant of the fact that our society has already lost sight of what marriage is. We can’t say that it’s okay for Larry King and Britney Spears to have multiple ridiculous marriages and lose our minds when Steve and Jim want to get married. Before you say, “But the Church doesn’t recognize those marriages.” Maybe we don’t. But I don’t recall the bishops starting petitions to change the secular definition of marriage in light of these abuses.

The system is completely broken. We should get rid of it altogether. Then the Church can have its definition of marriage (which we already do and won’t change) and everyone else can do what they want (they already do anyways). If our marriages become something worth emulating again, society may possibly recover what marriage really is all about. What are we afraid of?

10:34pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZYk13yWFiW-V
  
Filed under: Catholic Marriage 
October 28, 2012
"2. Civil marriage, if it does not obey the natural law of marriage is but a parody of the sacrament and that mockery is insulting to the Church and to God. It is in that sense an example of the state declaring its authority over the Church, claiming for itself the right to marry people. It therefore upsets the natural order under which the law of God is always higher than the law of man."

Then why do we insist that all heterosexual couples seek the permission of the State before getting married?

This step is entirely unnecessary and the reason for unneeded civil strife.

State licensing of marriage is an invention of atheist enlightenment thinkers. There’s no reason to defend it as an article of faith.

And if the State “parodies” marriage by licensing gays to marry, how is allowing people to get married by Elvis at 2am in a drive thru not a parody?

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