Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Danish gay couples given right to marry in Church

Gay couple get married, civil partnership
Frightening article in the Telegraph: Gay Danish couples win right to marry in church.
The country's parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.
....
Under the law, individual priests can refuse to carry out the ceremony, but the local bishop must arrange a replacement for their church.
I am sure at first most Catholic clergy will refuse and bishops will not comply but down the line, in two or three years, what will happen, and if this law were introduced into England, or the rest if Europe?

Meanwhile in Chelmesford...

27 comments:

Neil Addison said...

As I understand this Father the legislation only covers the State Lutheran Church in Denmark (their equivalent of the Church of England) and does not cover the Catholic or other non state Churches in Denmark

This is of course part of the inherent problem of having "State Churches" as established during the Reformation.

Crux Fidelis said...

Under Scots law priests are recognised as registrars (I presume it's the same in England and Wales). To avoid being forced to conduct same sex "marriages" surely all they have to do is de-register?

euouae said...

This law only applies to the state Lutheran Church over which the Danish parliament, quite rightly, has the power to legislate. There have of course been calls for other religious bodies to be included but these have been resisted by the Danish government.

Joe said...

Surely all clergy should refuse as this is in no way a catholic mararige. In addition can I have the 'right' to get married in the middle of the houses of parliament? The forcing of churches to do this is amoral. What about mosques?

Joe said...

Surely all clergy will refuse as this cannot be a 'marriage' by catholic definition.

In addition what about people who want to have the 'right' to get married in a mosque?

Shane said...

This story is from 2012; the compulsion applies only to the established Church of Denmark.

Delia said...

Old article, Father, and I think applicable only to the state church.

Still ...

Sean W. said...

The Church's detente with the modern world continues to bear much fruit!

nickbris said...

The Danes have been duffing us up with watery bacon for years and that is ADULTERY

William Tighe said...


The article on the Church of Denmark dates from June 2012. The same thing has happened in the Church of Sweden. The Church of Norway and the Church of Finland are moving in the same direction.

I will follow-up this comment with some Norwegian news on this topic from April of this year.

William Tighe said...


My Comment: What is most farcical about events of this sort is exemplified by the comment of the State Church's Bishop of Stavanger below. Does he have some sort of privileged telephone line to the Holy Spirit, so that he knows when a synodical vote is the fruit of "the Spirit," and when it is "resisting" that same Spirit. Or, more likely, has he cast aside the true Holy Spirit in favor of its envious counterfeit, the Zeitgeist? (In that case, though, should he not admit that the Danes and the Swedes far excel the Norwegians in the promptitude of their devotion and zeal for the Zeitgeist?) Or perhaps he is simply an ignorant buffoon. WJT

8 April 2014:

The legislative assembly (Kirkemøtet) of the Church of Norway today again rejected proposals to introduce same-sex weddings and to introduce church ‘blessings’ of same-sex civil partnerships. The weddings proposal failed by a vote of 51 to 64, and the ‘blessings’ proposal failed by 54 to 62. However, a motion to affirm that marriage is between one man and one woman was also voted down by the same margin: 54 to 62. A fourth motion that would have recognized “two equal viewpoints” in the Church was also rejected.



Norway legalized same-sex ‘partnerships’ in 1993 and adopted a “gender neutral marriage” law in 2008.



“I think that within four years as the church will say yes to marrying gays,” says Stavanger Bishop Erling Pettersen. “Today we see that there has been a huge change in attitude in the church in recent years, and the new attitude will continue to grow.”



Three of many articles (in Norwegian):



http://www.dagen.no/2014/04/08/kristenliv/birgit_opheim/astrid_dalehaug_norheim/km14/229927



http://www.dagen.no/2014/04/08/kristenliv/km/kristiansand/vigsel/229840



http://www.nrk.no/rogaland/biskop-tror-pa-endring-om-fire-ar-1.11657253

Jacobi said...

Well I suppose it had to happen sooner or later.

As for this country, we shall see? A Catholic priest cannot “marry” a homosexual couple. It would be a grievous sin for him to do so and since a Sacrament is involved, would be Sacrilegious.

A priest, and his bishop for that matter, would have to accept the consequences, presumably fines and imprisonment. (I think the death penalty has been abolished in Denmark, so that's out, so far?)

It is circa 200 years since Catholic emancipation in UK, not very long. But we may well be looking in the near future at the resumption of persecution of the Catholic religion.

I wonder how many priests and laity for that matter will stand up to the new persecution, and take it, and how many will, for whatever excuse they find, will just fade away.

Seaneinn said...

I think the time if coming where the good bishops aRe going to have to nail their colours to the mast. I only pray thaT they have the courage to face prison

Sadie Vacantist said...

This might force the C of E to deestablish although I suspect they will go along with things. The issue for us is with whom do we now engage in the ecumenical cottage industry?

Jacobi said...

“with whom do we now engage”

@ Sadie

May I suggest, as has ever been the case for a thousand years, the Orthodox, including the Russian Orthodox.

Yes, let’s be nice to the others and help with one or two Christian charities, but it is towards the Orthodox who for their faults have retained their Christian ethos, we must look?

Hughie said...

Sadie Vacantist says that she suspects that the C of E will "go along with things". I have no such suspicion, I have an absolute certainty. They have, after all, always gone along with things ever since Henry XIII told them to do so inthe first place.

Ginge White said...

From William's post:

"“I think that within four years as the church will say yes to marrying gays,” says Stavanger Bishop Erling Pettersen. “Today we see that there has been a huge change in attitude in the church in recent years, and the new attitude will continue to grow.”

Here we have the crucial difference between the Catholic Faith and the Reformers. For the Reformers the Christian Faith is something that can be adapted to the world. Whereas the Catholic Faith is 'received', form God,truth that is unchangeable and unalterable. Furthermore, it is clearly true, and perfectly in accord with the natural order.

On the side of the angels said...

Neil Addison isn't really helping he situation when he refuses to address the real issues at hand for the Church:

a] The principle of Solidarity - we are absolutely prohibited from formally or proximate materially co-operating in an intrinsically unjust law.

b] At present there are two forms of 'civil marriage' - the heterosexual form which includes a state-witnessed and recognised vow to exclusive mutual sexual fidelity - and the homosexual form which removes that vow and refuses to recognise it [hence no annulments for non-consummation - no grounds for divorce due to adultery if the partners confine their sexual activity to members of the same sex]

c] Article 9 of the Constitution of Human Rights in the European Union states that although no state must have same-sex marriage legislation - where it is present the laws must be equal and uniform for heterosexuals and homosexual forms of the union.

d] This has led to heterosexuals in England & Wales - presently being sued for divorce on grounds of adultery - preparing appeals to the European Court that as this is impossible for those in same sex marriage there should be equanimity under the law and the legal notion of a recognised vow to exclusive mutual sexual fidelity should ALSO be removed from the heterosexual form of civil marriage. This will probably inevitably be granted and the state will henceforth refuse to witness or recognise a vow to exclusive sexual fidelity within a civil marriage ceremony [even if it's included in the partners' declarations to each other it will have no state-validity whatsoever and concepts of consummation & adultery will vanish from the statute books

e] Canonically: baptised non-Catholics going through a civil ceremony at present - having their vow to exclusive mutual sexual fidelity witnessed and recognised by the state - have a valid marriage. [this is forbidden to non-dispensed Catholics on the grounds of clandestinity [Pius X's Ne Temere]]

f] The 'Revised' civil ceremony by neither witnessing nor recognising any vow will not produce a valid marriage for baptised non-Catholics. Those eligible for a valid marriage are being denied it. This becomes an intrinsically unjust law and Catholics would be forbidden from co-operating under the principle of solidarity. Catholics would be unable to go through the civil marriage process.

g]BUT under art #95 of the 1949 Marriage Act it is a crminal offence to go through a religious ceremony without the corresponding civil part. [even though hindus,sikhs,mormons and polygamous orthodox jews are not presently beinng prosecuted]

h]This leaves Catholics at an impasse - once this intrinsically unjust law is imposed - technically it will be impossible for Catholics in full conscience to get married without becoming criminals or collaborators with an evil preventing those baptised non-Catholics eligible to marry - from validly marrying.

We're in trouble!!!
And Catholic Lawyers need to be spreading the word about this situation to all and sundry - especially our hierarchy and Rome - not spending half their time telling us not to worry until it's all too late to do anything about it.

Joe Potillor said...

The equating of error and truth, has most certainly resulted in things like this...

John Vasc said...

I can certainly imagine that sooner or later some anti-Catholic jurist will raise the Church's charitable tax-exempt status as a reason (or an excuse) for insisting that Catholic churches should be coerced into 'doing what the state does'.

The Charity Commission has been aggressively activist for some time now - like the ASA it pursues an increasingly hostile stance towards traditional Christian values.

Badum-tish! said...

Non issue, this.

- this article is old and talks only about the state church having to follow state law, which is logical.

- Catholics do not recognise divorce or remarriage, or indeed marriage outside the church (to a certain extent). Gay people choosing to get married is no worse or better than divorce or remarriage. Or indeed promiscuity.

- any chance of this happening in Catholic Churches and priests can simply deregister as registrars. Hey presto- civil ceremony at town hall, religious ceremony at church. Like in many countries already.

What's the issue? I smell a fair degree of homophobia here in general, if not in specific posts; if it's just 'despising sin' then why not focus on promiscuity, divorce etc for a bit...

Badum-tish! said...

John- neither of your paragraphs are in anyway based in reality. The Church can't be coerced into marrying people, although frankly if does need to do more to justify its charitable status. Secondly, the idea that there is an attack on Christian values is risible. England is one of the most actively Christian countries in Europe, and the media's public morality springs from this Christian ethos. You're confusing your own ideas about what Christianity is (which you know) with what they actually are (which are u for debate). If you think Christianity is under attack, can you imagine what life must feel like to be a Muslim?

Neil Addison said...

On the side of the Angels

Paul since you have chosen to publicly attack me I unfortunately need to repond simply to ensure that those reading your piece are not misled into thinking you are correct. I realise you will not pay any attention to what I say so I am really writing for the other readers

We debated your views on this topic at length on your website and the fact is that I am not "refusing to address the issue" I simply disagree with your interpretation of both Civil Marriage Law and Catholic Canon Law.

I'm not planning to debate the issue with you again since I would rather spend my time dealing with real legal problems and not made up ones

Neil Addison said...

John Vasc. Yes I agree with you that there is a real possibility that in a few years time religions, such as the Catholic Church, which do not perform Same Sex Marriages could be determined to be not for "public benefit" and therefore will lose their charitable status

On the side of the angels said...

Dear Neil: No attack - merely stating that you are not helping the situation while you are dismissing the canonical and MORAL ramifications of what's happening. Have you even bothered to research them?

As Catholics we can still go through a religious/civil or dispensed civil marriage -
EVEN if the civil marriage law endorsed adultery [remarried divorce] or permitted same-sex couples or polygamous groups or incestuous or sibling unions or even marrying oneself or a goldfish...

Designating/attributing a civil marital status to those whom in the eyes of the Church are not/could never be married - only makes the civil marriage law unjust - and not intrinsically unjust. Catholics would be morally permitted to go through a religious ceremony with its corresponding legally-required civil aspect..there are plenty extra non-marriages called marriage - but not one real marriage not called a marriage or thwarted in its potential to become a valid marriage.

BUT - a civil marriage process that wilfully prevents witnessing/recognition of a valid marriage for those baptised and eligible to marry - makes the law an intrinsically unjust law - with which we are forbidden to co-operate. Stopping baptised couples from marrying is EVIL.

This is not an invention - this is Catholic moral teaching - do you really need me to cite Aquinas, Suarez, Liguori, Pius X, Paul VI & Pope Benedict?

Or is your legal advice going to take the Finnisite interpretation of Evangelium Vitae 73.3 that we can continue to go through the marriage process and declare 'it's not our fault these new laws invalidate non-Catholic Christian marriage - so long as they don't compromise Catholic ones we can carry on'?

We haven't argued the issues - how could we when you fail to consider what Magisterial moral teachng and canon law decree and demand on these issues.

The ironic thing is His Holiness Pope Benedict prophetically realised all this was going to happen and wrote the applicable Universal Catholic teaching into the considerations on proposed homosexual union legislation - we can't do it!

Now when you can actually refute my arguments rather than glibly dismissing them - [sure you're a Catholic mover-and-shaker:I'm just a shelf-stacker] - get back to me - but PLEASE don't come on here claiming these issues can be ignored as you've disproved it all as delusional, irrational and impossible. I might very well be wrong but you haven't begun to show any reason why I'm not.

Now ironically Fr Ray brought up a similarly-related issue a few years ago - Catholic immigrants being forbidden to marry by the Immigration services...and you Catholic lawyers didn't do anything then..

So it's hardly surprising that they'll do anything now until the nightmare scenario arises of Catholics being forbidden by conscience from marrying without becoming criminals - or the Nuncio having to issue Vatican state marriage licences to all prospective Catholic couples.

Sixupman said...

"who am I to judge" - or we for that matter? Perplexing times!

Supertradmum said...

Beginning of tribulation...we should have expected this, and some have. I taught my students since 2003 that theirs was the age of martyrs...those who have eyes can see.