Friday, March 16, 2012

Abolition of Marriage

Nobody has answered the question I posed a few days ago.

"What word do we use to define that relationship between of two persons of the opposite sex .... that is ordered to providing a stable environment for the procreation of children and upbringing of children?"

In fact there is no word.
What the Cameron government is actually doing is abolishing marriage!
..... the intended change in the definition of marriage would mean that marriage as traditionally defined no longer exists. Thus heterosexual people would no longer have the right to enter into an institution understood to be only possible for heterosexuals, as doubly recognising both the unique social significance of male/female relationship and the importance of the conjugal act which leads naturally to the procreation of children who are then reared by their biological parents.

In effect, if marriage is now understood as a lifelong sexual contract between any two adult human persons with no specification of gender, then the allowance of gay marriage renders all marriages "gay marriages." ....


Gigi said...

Father, I see where you're going with this, although it's a little tongue in cheek to state that the allowance of gay marriage renders ALL marriages gay... :)
What I'd really appreciate you or someone else clarifying for me is: could the state penalise the Catholic Church for not performing or acknowledging a gay marriage under Roman Catholic rite, beyond the jursdiction of the C of E?
BTW: I was talking to a friend in Brighton yesterday, who told me that he was a "gay Catholic" as opposed to a "Catholic gay", emphasising the capital letter.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I would read the rest of the article, I highlighted.

Lynda said...

You've got it in a nutshell. Defenders of marriage have been at pains to point out that both CPs and proposed legislation are direct attacks on the institution of marriage. Marriage contains the only natural sexual relationship that is inherently in the public interest, and inherently a public relationship. No other sexual relationship is in the public interest (or necessarily a public relationship) and thus such other relationships ought not to be given public recognition. The recognition of any other sexual relationship entails the undermining of the naturally unique status of marriage - and is naturally against the public interest.

Adrienne @ Love in the Village said...

It seems that on a certain level this has already happened. I moved here last year from the US when I married my husband. Since then, every form I have filled out for immigration, doctors' and hospital services, rental and mortgage applications, insurance forms, even down to registering to attend a charity dinner only have the options to select "partner" or "living with partner" as opposed to "married".

pelerin said...

Whatever they decide in future, any forms I have to fill in I will add 'Mrs' in large letters in protest. I hate getting things addressed to 'Ms' and as for abolishing the terms 'husband' and 'wife' in favour of 'partner 1' and 'partner 2' I can foresee arguments as to who would be No 1.

Richard said...

Sadly marriage was effectively abolished years ago in this country, when divorce became easy.

That means that the State will no longer uphold marriage vows, so they have become a merely private, moral obligation rather than a public, legal one.

Aaron Saunderson-Cross said...

I agree with you and the article Fr.

If sexual complementarity and the indispensable end of procreation are removed as considerations in what is held to be 'marriage', the only criterion being 'two people' (or potentially more?) that intend to 'commit to each-other' then what we are left with is marriage as defined to suit the interests of same-sex couples: "gay marriage" as it were.

What same-sex 'marriage' advocates are actually trying to do is to 'rewrite the history' of marriage as it were; they will argue that this legislation is inevitable, that marriage as an institution has changed, and that it is only fair that marriage be extended to same-sex couples: these advocates are denying any essential, intrinsic, enduring values within marriage; they are effectively looking for a stamp of approval to say that marriage is nothing more than what the State (and to an extension the voters) want it to be.

If same-sex 'marriages' are enforced then sexual complementarity, procreation, and the raising of children will be rendered categorically the same as two men or women living together in a static sexual relationship. This will fundamentally challenge what it means when we talk about the 'family' (i.e. 'family' will no longer be classified by 'fecundity' or 'fertility' or genealogy and histories and the next generation: family will mean merely 'people living together' irrespective of biological connections).

Whilst the 'natural law union' between one man and one woman can never be properly undermined or extinguished (in the same way that nobody can ever undermine the primacy of St. Peter) what this legislation could do is to 'obscure beyond recognition' this distinct union we are talking about and which is 'presently' called marriage.

These are at least some initial thoughts of mine and I readily accept they may be challenged or questioned by others.

nickbris said...

This whole nonsensical subject should be decided by means of a Referendum.The Government is totally corrupted by a small band of extremely powerful individuals.

Discussing such a fundamental change to our civilisation even in a Public place like Hyde Park Corner or Tower Hill would be likely to get one arrested for inciting a Disturbance of the Peace.

The country is being run by a bunch of incompetent nincompoops and they are not to be trusted.


Supertradmum said...

Why is it that Catholic leaders do not speak out against this government's attempt to thrust this unnatural law done our thoats?

Aaron Saunderson-Cross said...

If Fr. is happy to publish links:

This is an in-depth discussion hosted by Jeremy Paxman on the issue of same-sex marriage featuring amongst its guests His Grace, the Archbishop of Westminster (who speaks with great eloquence on our position) and also notable others. It is also features Milo Yiannopoulos whom some may be familiar with, a well known 'gay Catholic' who always articulates a good, strong, and orthodox defence of the Church from within the particular circumstances of homosexuality: keep him and his faith in your prayers.

John Nolan said...

The best definition of marriage is found in the preamble to matrimony in the Book of Common Prayer. (Not that I would subscribe to all the contents of this book!) I have voted Tory all my life, and hoped that the return of a Conservative ministry might have signalled the end of political correctness and environmentalist lunacy. Like many others, I have been bitterly disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Funny you should say this. Julie Bindell sometime Independent journalist suggests just this (the abolition of marriage) in this radio 'debate' below. The key bit is about 12-16 mins in. I forget.

She calls marriage a 'failed social experiment', a place where men beat their wives, women are oppressed and child abuse and worse takes place. Her solution?. Abolish marriage altogether and just have civil partnerships. 'Liberation' is at hand.

Greg Daly from Catholic Voices does his best to hold his end up but he's completely outnumbered by the other three - one of whom is the ubiquitous Peter Tatchell. Its all feminist/marxist claptrap of course but if the 'liberals' manage to kick the door down on this one its pretty obvious where the activists want to take us next.

Peter Tatchell never went away in the 1980's. He merely continued his career of infiltration and covertly influencing public opinion by working behind the scenes. An activist through and through its difficult to believe the 'Militant tendancy' of the 1980''s ever really died off. These sorts of groups tend to mutate and change chameleon like into something else. Is it a coincidence this one-sided 'debate' took place on Voice of Russia radio station?. I doubt it.


Anonymous said...

Would this understanding of marriage would invalidate any sacramental marriage between two protestants officiated by the state?

gemoftheocean said...

Pelerin, don't be too quick to turn up your nose at 'Ms' -- it can actually serve some very useful purposes for some of us.

1) If your preference is NOT known to the writer - they still have to use something. They can't just go on your age and assume. I was always quite irritated to receive mail for Mrs. Maiden Name.

2) When I came to England I was engaged. My husband to be was diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer, which we knew would likely be terminal within the year. It was. Technically one isn't supposed to get married here on a tourist visa, and I would have to go through a real pain in the rump application and hearing process. We did take advantage of a loophole in the law, and applied for leave to remain. I couldn't very well change my name mid-stream of the application process. Theresa May, for spite, has been rejecting US visas and deliberately being bullheaded, regardless of reason request for waiver, which in July was refused. A hearing was set for early October - which we won -- the home office not even cross-examining me (which tells me they knew they were in the wrong) -- and my husband died 2 weeks later. I STILL no visa. [But am here legally] Though they are obligated to give me one. Ms. May is still being spiteful, dragging her feet. Well, I'm now a widow. I never legally changed my name to Mrs. Husband's name, and I'm not exactly a 'Miss' being a widow, nor am I an actress.
So you see, there are quite a number of situations where 'Ms' is of use. I'm not sure, at this point, I would change to Mrs. Husband's name, because knowing MY government, that gives them more opportunity to screw up my records when it comes time for me to retire and get my SSI benefits. I am no spring chicken.

3) consider the woman who has built a professional career with many contacts who is also no spring chicken. Should she decide to get married and change name, she'd have to re-advertise and contact every person she's dealt with, and quite likely lose custom.

So don't assume people are asserting some sort of femi-nazis status if they use the title, or if it is used on you.

Once, all this is settled I might take the option of Ms. Double-Barreled last name to honor my late husband -- I'd have to give a think though, if that would cause more trouble though legally and keeping things straight. It would be a pain though, to change names while I am abroad, then have to get another visa reflecting name change.


Gigi said...

@ Fr Ray: I have just finished reading the whole thing again. I see...
Oh dear.

Michael Petek said...

I suspect that, marriage having been abolished, we;ll have to find a new term called 'heterobonding'.

Paragraph 2.16 states that adultery and non-consummation will have the same consequences for all marriages, whether same or opposite sex. They have none for civil partnerships.

The Government isn't quite sure about what kind of act should be held as apt for the consummation of a same-sex marriage and as an ingredient of adultery.

MPs will almost certainly have to discuss this, inevitably in eye-wateringly unparliamentary language.

Delia said...

I now have a little fantasy scenario: Rowan Williams is retiring because the Queen has told him that there's no way she's going to sign this gay marriage business into law, since it would violate her coronation oath, and he can't face the fall-out. (The Queen, of course, is influenced by the rather intemperate views of her husband!)

David said...

"What word do we use to define that relationship between of two persons of the opposite sex .... "

Perhaps the Church should reclaim the term Matrimony, specifically Holy Matrimony, and let everyone else get on with marriage and use whatever humpty-dumpty interpretation of it they wish.

Pablo the Mexican said...

God created the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

A puny politician or King cannot abolish that which God creates.

When a priest makes the sign of the cross towards a couple and says "I pronounce you man and wife," they are.

Let the heathen rage at God and His Christ; the Sun will come up and go down.

The birds will sing and the Stars shine.

God has established His will and it shall be so.

The answer to your question is

"Mi cha el"


Pablo the Mexican said...

Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote on Man and Woman:

It is good spiritual reading.

It helps Catholics understand the Catholic teaching on Man Woman, and God.


georgem said...

We come back to the truism that hard cases make bad law. Comparatively few gays appear to have been agitating for marriage rights.
Of all the comments I have read on various newspaper blogs the defence position of gays seems to be little more than: "I want what you've got".
But the pushing of same-sex marriage is a diversion from the true purpose which is, as you say Father, the abolition of marriage in society at large.
Apart from the religious context, the policy is one of divide and rule.
The elite, who hold the reins of power in every area of public life, all opt for conventional marriage and so shore up their status through money and property within a relatively small and tight-knit circle.
You only have to look at the published list of mourners at the funerals of the "great and the good" to see the same names cropping up over and over again. They are all interlinked through marriage.
The new laws will hardly touch them. As the greater part of society disintegrates their power will be ever greater. The so-called equality lobby is sleepwalking into servitude.

Nicolas Bellord said...

The answer to Gigi's question is that under the proposals there will be a bar against celebrating a gay marriage on religious premises. This is supposed to protect "religious organisations" (Newspeak) from being forced to do so. However such a bar will not stand up for two minutes in the face of Equality legislation and will expose Catholic churches to damages for discrimination if they refuse. If you look at the end of the "Impact Statement" under "Social Impact" (which is ignored) you will see a description of the present state of play in the European Court of Human Rights. It is already in play.

I would guess that we already have a trojan horse in the form of the Soho Masses and we can expect such happening there first due to the negligent manner in which this has been allowed to develop. Will a blind eye be the order of the day?

Anonymous said...

I think that the Catholic Church's teaching on the sacrament of marriage has never been explained in the public square. One would have to explain what a sacrament is , for a start. The church of England seems not to(from what I can find out online) teach that marriage is a sacrament in the same way as are Baptism and the Eucharist. Its no wonder then that many people in England have no insight into the argument and view the marriage of homosexuals a matter of 'fairness' even if , deep down , they are not in favour. Lindi

Dominie said...

Apparently the push for gay marriage is down to the EU (the uk no longer governs itself - we are puppets of the EU - who would have guessed!). Read Nigel Farrage's very good article in the Daily Express - also on facebook. Talking of facebook - "Soho Masses" has its own page. It is clearly a platform for dissent and really someone should show the disrespectful and dissenting comments to Archbp Nichols. Really - it's a disgrace.

Paul Morse said...

I suppose the bishops' of England and Wales are silent because the change in legislation will only apply to 'civil' marriages and not sacramental marriage. The church will not be obliged to recognise same sex marriage or to conduct them, just as it is not required to recognise or witness the marriages of divorced and remarried catholics who marry outside of the church.
I really can't see what all the fuss is about.

The Rev. M. Forbes said...

deow, many good things have been said here and I do not copletely agree or disagree with any writer. I would note that on both sides of the pond the state has radically redefined its role in marriage as a guardian of a contract rlated to material ownership and, austensibly, to the welfare of children. My son's wife has filed for divorce after repeated adultery. That is not relevent in court. Only property and custody matI would suggesst that the boat has sailed. Let prospective couples go to a registry or a justice and satisfy the state contract. Then celebrate Holy Matrimony in church accordin g to God' Holy Ordinance. Is it not a Sacrament in Catholic and Orthodox teaching and indeed in the 39 articles for Anglicant? If we act as registrars we are rendering to Caesar what is God's. The major activism must be to have the law secure sacramental autonomy. God help the Establishment.


Solent Rambler said...

Historically, a marriage has not been considered a binding contract until it is consummated.

The Consultation Document says,” Specifically, non-consummation and adultery are currently concepts that are defined in case law and apply only to marriage law, not civil partnership law. However, with the removal of the ban on same-sex couples having a civil marriage, these concepts will apply equally to same-sex and opposite-sex couples and case law may need to develop, over time, a definition as to what constitutes same-sex consummation and same-sex adultery.”

Will the standards for consummation really be equally the same for heterosexuals and homosexuals? Think about it.

And having done so, I suggest we must challenge these extraordinary suggestions when making our response in the Consultation.

Gigi said...

Yes, Solent Rambler; a very pertinent point...
Thank you Nicholas Bellord: someone else has today mentioned the "protective" legislation snaking back on itself in the name of equality.

John Fitzpatrick said...

I was amused to read of a man who is thinking of marrying his son to whom he is devoted in order to do away with inheritance tax. In the new world, why not?

Lynda said...

Marriage is a NATURAL institution recognised by all, including the Church(es) and the State. The Catholic Church also recognises marriage's supernatural aspect and sacramentality. Marriage is NOT POSSIBLE between two persons of the same sex. Consummation of marriage is natural sexual intercourse between a man and woman who have married - obviously this is IMPOSSIBLE between persons of the same sex. Dear Paul Morse, All Catholics, particularly our moral leaders, the Bishops, priests, and the laity have varying degrees of duty to speak out for the moral/the truth and against the immoral/the untrue within our communities, our nation. The recognition of homosexual relationships by the community, nation or state, is wrong, against human nature and the natural moral law. It is against the good of the individual, the family and society as a whole. If there were not one Christian living in the UK, this would still be true. We have a duty to protect direct attacks on marriage, the family and the common good. It is not necessary to even acknowledge God to know and be subject to the Natural Law.

Pétrus said...

Peter Tatchell is already pushing for this to be forced on Churches.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Solent Rambler suggests that we think about the suggestion in the Consultation Document that case law will have to be developed to establish what is non-consummation and adultery in a same-sex union. I hesitated to dwell on this but the "Archbishop Cranmer" blog has bitten the bullet. There is an interesting comment by Carl Jacob to the effect that such definition of non-consummation and adultery in a same-sex marriage will prove unworkable. Instead anything to do with non-consummation and adultery will be removed from the legislation on marriage whether same sex or heterosexual so that sex will become completely separated from marriage. Thus our concept of marriage will be deconstructed even further.

Pablo the Mexican said...

A little help from the U.K. if you will:

Pro-life Representative under attack:

Channel 12 News Switchboard:(602) 444-1212

Please call Channel 12 News and complain of their treatment of this American Hero that has the intestinal fortitude to call a spade a spade.

The News media is bending over backwards to support baby killers any chance they get.

The phone number for Representative Harper is:

1700 W. Washington
Room 301
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Phone Number: (602) 926-4178

Fax Number: (602) 417-3154

Email Address:

Stand up against Evil. Support this good man.

Viva Cristo Rey!


Anonymous said...

I don't see why we don't simply privatise (or 'abolish') marriage completely.

Quite frankly, the state's got no business having anything to do with marriage. It's a private concern, and a private contract. The state doesn't have anything to do with baptism or confirmation, or bar mitzvahs for that matter.

And spare me the 'marriage is in the public interest' blather. Feminists and politicians have been undermining it for years, if the public cared they'd have been doing something about it.

Frankly the RC church needs to get a grip. Tell the politicians to sling their hooks and get off our turf.

Marriage should be a purely religious matter. If you want to get married go see a priest, druid, imam or rabbi. If you want it to be legal, go to a solicitor and draw up a contract. That's it. End of the matter.

Would this allow gay marriage, polygamous marriage etc.?

Absolutely it would - simply find a solicitor and draw up a contract. Half-a-dozen men or women can get 'married' to each other if they wish, in any combination they like. Just don't expect it to be solemnized in an RC church.

Fact is, the Church has got nothing but itself to blame for the current situation where it's begging the government to see things it's way. The minute you let politicians call the shots you're at the mercy of all their bloody nonsense. Look at the CofE and how it's ended up standing for sod-all.

If the riots last summer, the child-abuse ring in Rochdale sentenced last week, the sky-rocketing divorce rate and the landscape of broken families, crime and greed that is the state of Britain today proves anything, it's that between feminism, welfarism, out-of-touch Tories and idiot New Labour, we're headed for a Britain that's a new Sodom and Gomorroah.

Let's leave 'em to it.