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Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity

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rug

(82,333 posts)
Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:29 AM Nov 2012

Religion: A proposal for churches to cut ties to civil marriages [View all]

TERRY MATTINGLY - Scripps Howard News Service
November 21, 2012 - 8:40 am EST

If the American public is truly changing its mind on marriage, then author George Weigel believes it is time for Catholics to draw a bright red line between the state's secular ceremonies and the church's rites of Holy Matrimony. — At least, that's an option that Catholics, and by implication other religious traditionalists, must be willing to consider, according to the Ethics and Public Policy Center scholar, who is best known as the official biographer of the late Pope John Paul II.

In the wake of President Barack Obama's victory, supporters of same-sex unions will "press the administration to find some way to federalize the marriage issue," argued Weigel, in an essay that ignited fierce debates when it was posted at FirstThings.com and elsewhere online. "It seems important to accelerate a serious debate within American Catholicism on whether the church ought not preemptively withdraw from the civil marriage business, its clergy declining to act as agents of government in witnessing marriages for purposes of state law."

If Catholic leaders take this step now, he noted, they would be "acting prophetically" and underlining the fact that there is a radical, and increasing, chasm between the church's sacramental definition of "marriage" and legal meaning now being assigned to that term by judges and legislators.

"If, however, the church is forced to take this step after 'gay marriage' is the law of the land, Catholics will be pilloried as bad losers who've picked up their marbles and fled the game -- and any witness-value to the church's withdrawal from the civil marriage business will be lost," argued Weigel.

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/religion-faith21/religion-faith21

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