Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Not Something in Conscience I Recognise as Marriage

I watched some of the debate yesterday, I was quite impressed by a few of the Christian MPs contributions, I was a little shocked by most of the Catholics who seemed to side with the Redefiners. I felt quite sympathetic towards all those homosexual MPs who wanted to get married, the Redefiners seemed to argue for the most part from touchy feeliness.
I have no problem with the Cranmerian Book of Common Prayer definition of Marriage, with its presumption that it was between a man and woman, which until yesterday was what formed the basis of Marriage in English Law
  • First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.
  • Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body. 
  • Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.
Yesterday that was swept aside and has been replaced by something vague and ill defined, described as "loving committment" between two people.
Whatever most of the MPs in yesterday's debate were speaking about and what won the debate is something quite contrary to what the Catholic Church and the Christian tradition understands by "Marriage".

I am with Fr Tim, lets get out of that thing which the State now defines as "Marriage", the State can do whatever it likes but it is not something I in conscience recognise as Marriage and I want nothing to do with this thing that is now touted as "Marriage". It is contrary to God, to the Naural Law and my conscience, I want a divorce!



Virtually all of us could not have put it better ourselves!

Neil Addison said...

Under s75 Marriage Act 1949 it is a criminal offence for anyone to solemnise a Marriage otherwise than in accordance with the Act. Therefore there would be legal problems with a Catholic Church solemnising a Religious Wedding for a couple without a Civil Legaly registered Marriage coming first.

It is fair to say this is done frequently with Muslim Marriages (a subject I have frequently Blogged about) without there being any prosecution however I would not be so sure that a Catholic Priest would not be prosecuted in those circumstances.

If however the Church were to say that the couple can only have a Church marriage after they have been through a Civil Marriage in the Registry Office then that would be legal because the Church Wedding would be regarded in law as simply a private religious blessing.

This is what happens in much of Europe where couples go to the Town Hall for the legal registration of Marriage and then go to the Church for the “proper” marriage ceremony. It would be very irritating for the couples involved but it may be what the Church will have to do.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Thank you Neil,
I think however what we have now by the redefinition of "Marriage" a great gulf in what the Church and State understand by marriage, we are now speaking of two entirely different things. To equate our view with the State's would be sinful and seriously misleading. There must be clear bluewater between the two.
If Catholics agree with the State's definition then there is serious doubt their marriage will be valid according to the Church.

I am with Fr Tim, let us seperate, if people want the tax concessions etc., offered by the State then let them register their marriage afterwards with the State.

Neil Addison said...

Dear Fr Ray If you go down the route of registering the Civil marriage first then there are no legal problems but if you perform the Religious Marriage first then there may be criminal legal issues and also the couple may be deprived of important legal protections.

Clearly the Church must protect its vision of Marriage but the Church also has a moral responsibility so far as is possible to ensure that the Civil legal rights of individuals are protected by ensuring that their marriage is legally registered even if the state has a wider definition of marriage than the Church would recognise

Long-Skirts said...


Our leaders don't lead anymore
Our heroes aren't valiant anymore
Our fathers aren't home anymore
Our mothers won't birthe anymore

Our churches don't awe anymore
Our futures aren't safe anymore
Our past no roots anymore
Our present not ours anymore

The truth glossed o’er anymore
But hang a cross anymore
They'll all appear anymore
Outraged at faith anymore

They share their lusts and explore
They're seasoned whores to the core
They're salt of the earth they implore
These Sodomed-souls at Hell’s door

Jonathan said...

It isn't just tax concessions. The divorce laws still offer some protection against abandonment. I couldn't, in good conscience, have married my wife without some mechanism for enforcing my commitment to financially supporting her.

Here's an idea: let's use our ecclesiastical courts in the same way Jews use the Beth Din. It would kill two birds with one stone. All those who refused the Church's jurisdiction could be excommunicated. Then we would avoid the damage done to Christ's body by so many gay marriage supporters claiming to be Catholic.

nickbris said...

I watched it nearly all day,the pro.side mainly on the Labour side were just out for devilment to upset the Tories.Just before the result I resgned from the Labour Party as I do not wish to be associated with a bunch of mealy-mouthed self aggrandising bunch of nitwits,Yvette Cooper has never spoken so loudly & clearly before and she made me sick.

Supertradmum said...

Why did the Catholics give in to civil marriages anyway? Money, wills, legal recognition of children? The State wanted to undermine Church authority and now has successfully done so.

Leigh was brilliant btw.

Sad, so sad. And did you see this?

Chaos and we know who invented chaos.

Anagnostis said...

I was married in France, according to the form Neil describes - first to the Mairie for the civil ceremony, then to Church for the Nuptial Mass (for which M. le Maire will do his best, in good Clochemerle fashion, to make you late). The interesting thing is this: that the Mayor preached a "sermon" which would have been unimaginable in England, insisting on the fact that marriage exists in the first place because of the possibility/desireability of children; that this union of a man and a woman for the sake of their children in the indispensible basis of a free society, and that is why it is necesssary to solemnise it in the presence of one's friends and relations yes, but also la Republique, represented by moi. A couple of years later I was at a civil marriage in england. The registrar simpered some Blairite nonsense about "cherishing one another's dreams", and that was it.

A line has been crossed. God help us in the future and forgive those who "know not what they do".

JARay said...

I see that Fr. Longnecker has come out with the idea that a civil marriage must come first and then a proper marriage to follow in church.
I would suggest that this is what the Catholic bishops must promulgate loudly and widely so that the message gets through even to those dimwits who clain to be Catholic but followed the sickening claims by your Prime Minister.
I also saw a very good article on another blog about the Kennedy family in America which points out that that family has been CINO for 100 years.
As I said in an earlier posting, I am so glad that I emigrated to Australia 37 years ago, although not everything in the garden is lovely here. Our much vaunted Opposition leader, Tony Abbott's Catholicism may not quite be as strong as portrayed. Although he did insist that the whole Opposition, oppose SSM. Christopher Pyne, also touted as a Catholic, on the opposition front bench, came out in support of SSM when it was debated here.

MartinT said...

If the churches had made it clear at the ouset that they would not co-operate with a civil (redefined marriage) then perhaps their opposition might bave been taken more seriously, if for no other reason than that it would cause chaos in the registration system.

Webmaster Gareth said...

All the arguments they gave could be used to let a mother and son marry, brothers marry, grandparent and grandchild marry.

They are buffoons.

The emperor has no clothes on!

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

"Why did the Catholics give in to civil marriages anyway?" Because the only virtue of ACatholica is charity without truth, charity without - therefore - love, charity without Church, charity without Christ, in short - rebrand it tcharitee. Will Frankenstein's brides find comfort as victims of his next experiment? what about the children brought up in the golem marriage with only blokes or only girls 'parentees'? Hopefully gays will end up with enough of a conscience not to place that on innocents - a conscience which the broader players are without. After all, as someone said, 'just because it's legal, doesn't make it right.'

Unknown said...

I do not see why there is a criminal penalty in some countries for a religious service, if the state does not recognise the service only the registration, be it Catholic or Muslim. That is pointless? In US, depending on state, most lawyers can be registrars, so they come to the church, sign the papers / licence at the back, then the wedding service begins. The liberal anglican john jeffries spouts this view.

Gigi said...

Agreed. There was an inevitability to this I suppose but it still feels that a line has been crossed.
As a socialist, I do feel that the Left was largely just "going against" the government. And I do feel that the State is undermining the Church as part of a longstanding agenda.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I have my doubts about what you suggest. The Government has promoted this idea that there are two kinds of marriage - civil and religious - and we seem to be in danger of falling for that. There is only one kind of marriage which belongs to neither church nor state to redefine but merely to regulate.

I think we need to stick with the present system and fight against this bill and if it is passed into law to fight for its repeal rather than standing aside and letting the Government do its own thing.

We could have taken the line you suggest when divorce was brought in but we did not and I think we were right not to. We must give witness to what true marriage is and hope our example will inspire the rest of the population - religious, irreligious and atheist. We should not stand apart.

Integrity said...

Fr Ray said;
I felt quite sympathetic towards all those homosexual MPs who wanted to get married
I felt sick when they spoke; sympathy is what they were seeking. Sympathy is an easier response than standing for righteousness.

Fr. Stephen Brown said...

I note a general assumption that this bill is going to go through...

Supposing a Catholic couple say to their priest that in conscience they want nothing to do with whatever arrangements the State makes for the registration of marriage [on the grounds that those arrangements are offensive to the natural law/catholic teaching]. But they would like to be married in the eyes of God and the Church.
What options do they have? I note Canon Law allows for the secret celebration of marriage in certain circumstances. Could they have a secret marriage, continue to be regarded as unmarried by the State, and rely on a will for the legal/financial consequences of death?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Ah, Mr Integrity, then I suppose you have not heard many confessions. An emotional response "feeling sick", isn't that helpful, if that is where you are going stay.

To want to be married, to want to be a father or mother, seems to be a pretty basic aspiration. Sympathising with that aspiration, seems right especially as for those who so aspired it is impossible.

I sympathise with the old who want to be young, with the poor who want to be rich.

Gigi said...

"To want to be married, to want to be a father or mother, seems to be a pretty basic aspiration. Sympathising with that aspiration, seems right especially as for those who so aspired it is impossible."
Indeed, Father Ray. Many will thank you for saying that, I'm sure.

pearl said...

@ Fr. Stephen Brown,

''I note Canon Law allows for the secret celebration of marriage in certain circumstances.''

I would be most interest to read a gloss or a commentary from an official Catholic source on how that section of the Canon law has been applied and operated over time.


Pablo the Mexican said...

This is how a Roman Catholic Man addresses issues of Faith in Parliament:

Your English wig wearers have gone soft.

Viva Cristo Rey!


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