Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Catholic marriage

The sacredness and indissolubility of Catholic marriage have been used against the ideas of same-sex marriage and of divorce/remarriage. I've seen two articles recently that challenge the traditional assumptions usually made about Catholic marriage: The Myth About Marriage by Garry Wills, and Remarriage in the Church: Pastoral Solutions by the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC). The ARCC article is much more detailed, but here's a bit from Garry Wills ....

Why do some people who would recognize gay civil unions oppose gay marriage? Certain religious groups want to deny gays the sacredeness of what they take to be a sacrament. But marriage is no sacrament. Some of my fellow Catholics even think that “true marriage” was instituted by Christ. It wasn’t ......

The early church had no specific rite for marriage. This was left up to the secular authorities of the Roman Empire, since marriage is a legal concern for the legitimacy of heirs. When the Empire became Christian under Constantine, Christian emperors continued the imperial control of marriage, as the Code of Justinian makes clear. When the Empire faltered in the West, church courts took up the role of legal adjudicator of valid marriages. But there was still no special religious meaning to the institution. As the best scholar of sacramental history, Joseph Martos, puts it: “Before the eleventh century there was no such thing as a Christian wedding ceremony in the Latin church, and throughout the Middle Ages there was no single church ritual for solemnizing marriage between Christians.”

Only in the twelfth century was a claim made for some supernatural favor (grace) bestowed on marriage as a sacrament. By the next century marriage had been added to the biblically sacred number of seven sacraments ......



2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound pretty much like a CINO, to me.

Why stay? Discord? Isn't that kinda like
marrying someone to change them? Not
exactly, I know. Still can't see staying
without incorporating.

3:52 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Why don't I leave? Hard to explain why, even to myself.

12:13 PM  

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