“The Myth About Marriage” (Gary Wills, NYRB)

Roman wedding.jpg
Palazzo Massimo alle Terme

A Roman sarcophagus depicting a bride and groom (center), 270-280 CE

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. Marriage is prescribed in Eden by YHWH (Yahweh) at Genesis 2.24: man and wife shall “become one flesh.” When Jesus is asked about marriage, he simply quotes that passage from Genesis (Mark 10.8). He nowhere claims to be laying a new foundation for a “Christian marriage” to replace the Yahwist institution.

Some try to make the wedding at Cana (John 1.1-11) somehow sacramental because Jesus worked his first miracle there. But that was clearly a Jewish wedding, like any other Jesus might have attended, and the miracle, by its superabundance of wine, is meant to show the disciples that the Messianic time has come. The great Johannine scholar Father Raymond Brown emphasizes this, and concludes of the passage: “Neither the external nor the internal evidence for a symbolic reference to matrimony is strong. The wedding is only the backdrop and occasion for the story, and the joining of the man and woman does not have any direct role in the narrative.”

Full report, New York Review of Books

PAUL COLLINS. Marriage equality – some thoughts for the perplexed. | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations

Throughout human history all types of arrangements have evolved to nurture children, of which a common form is a reasonably stable relationship between woman and man. Whether or not this was seen as marriage varied widely.  So, use of the term “traditional marriage” is a misnomer.  What the Catholic hierarchy is presenting as “traditional” is really a romantic, bourgeois understanding of marriage. 

Over the last five years, the Australian Catholic Church has experienced its worst crisis in its 200-year history.  The catastrophic fall-out from the evidence presented at the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse, the charging of “Australia’s most senior Catholic” with historic offenses, the 2.6% drop in the number of Australian Catholics between the 2011 and 2016 Census, the collapse in the number of younger people adhering to or practising Catholicism (among Catholics aged 25 to 34 only 5.4% attend Mass) and the continuing decline of general Mass attendance (it is now down to between 8% to 10%), is all evidence of a profound malaise effecting Catholicism.  The church’s proclamation of Christ’s Gospel has taken a series of body blows and Catholic moral authority is in tatters.

Full report at :  John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations

PAUL COLLINS. An Open Letter to Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher 

Dear Anthony,

Like many Australian Catholics, I am disturbed by your identification of your personal views on marriage equality with those of the Catholic Church. No one questions your right to hold such views, but many are concerned when you identify them—or allow others, such as journalists—to identify them with the teaching of the Church. You must be aware that, as Archbishop, journalists will take what you say as authoritative and as pitching “the Catholic Church in a heated battle against Labor and key backers of the Yes campaign”, as reported in The Australian on 14/8/17. You may be involved in a “heated debate” with the Labor Party and the “yes” campaign, but most Australian Catholics are not.

Yes, I know that similar views to yours were expressed in the 2015 pastoral letter of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference entitled Don’t Mess with Marriage. It has been widely rumoured that you were the substantial author of this document. Be that as it may, it is significant that the pastoral contains only one reference to scripture, simply referring to the two becoming “one flesh”. I would have hoped that you would have trawled through the bible to provide some basis for your views on marriage. The scriptures are normative for us as Catholics, surely?

The theological content of the Don’t Mess document is negligible and it fails to recognize that marriage historically has taken several forms within the Christian era and that the church only became involved in the marriage business in the late-eleventh century.  Prior to that it simply followed societal norms, which were largely based on inheritance of land and clan ties, and the remnants of Roman civil law.

Full letter published at :  John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations

Australian Archbishop Walks Back Church Worker Remarks – Bondings 2.0

It seems the center of Catholic LGBT news right now is Australia, where a non-binding plebiscite over marriage equality has ignited an intense debate in which Catholics are heavily involved.

archbishop-tim-costelloe
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe

Earlier this week, Bondings 2.0 reported that Melbourne’s Archbishop Denis Hart had threatened to fire church workers who entered same-gender civil marriages, should marriage equality be legalized in the future. Now, a fellow archbishop has clarified the archbishop’s comments.

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission, claimed Archbishop Hart’s comments had been misreported. Costelloe said individual bishops would decide how to handle such cases should marriage equality become legal. He continued, according to The Christian Post:

“Normally such issues would be addressed, in the first instance, in discussions between the staff member concerned and the local leadership of the school. The aim would be to discover a way forward for the school and the staff member that preserves the Catholic ethos of the school.”

Full report: – Bondings 2.0

‘We care about people’: Melbourne church wants to be first in Australia to marry same-sex couples

It took Uniting Church Reverend Ric Holland only about two minutes to place  a rainbow-coloured marriage equality sign out the front of St Michael’s Church in Melbourne’s CBD.

By the time he had finished, a crowd of more than a dozen people had gathered at the gates of the Collins Street church.

Standing in the middle of the crowd was a young gay man who asked the reverend: “So, do you reckon you could marry me?”

“I couldn’t help myself, I told him ‘Of course, it would mean a tremendous amount to me to marry you’,” Reverend Holland said.

Full report: The Age

Dublin archbishop outlines themes to prepare for World Meeting of Families

The church must witness within society to what fidelity means and ‘show young people that long-term fidelity leads to a deep fulfilment’

The president of the 2018 World Meeting of Families stressed that “there is no such thing as the ideal family” but that “there is an ideal of family,” which is what the church is seeking to promote through the international gathering of families in Ireland.

In his homily delivered to a packed basilica at Knock Shrine in County Mayo, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said while there is no family that is ideal, there are “families who struggle, at times heroically.”

He also asked, “How do we help our young people to encounter the path of faithful love as the only truth path toward human happiness? How do we teach fidelity in a world where everything is disposable?”

Full report:  The Tablet

Australien: Kirchen vereint gegen Ehe für alle

Die beiden großen Konfessionen Australiens haben sich im Kampf gegen die Öffnung der Ehe für gleichgeschlechtliche Paare zusammengetan: Die anglikanische Diözese und die katholische Erzdiözese von Syndney haben am Montag gemeinsam mit homophoben Lobbygruppen wie der “Australian Christian Lobby” (ACL) und der “Marriage Alliance” die “Coalition for Marriage” gegründet. Sie wollten damit für die “schweigende Mehrheit” sprechen, die am Ehe-Verbot für Schwule und Lesben festhalten wolle.

 

Source: queer.de

India’s top court: Instant divorce among Muslims unlawful | Religion News Service

NEW DELHI (AP) — India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday (Aug. 22) struck down the Muslim practice that allows men to instantly divorce their wives as unconstitutional.

The bench, comprising five senior judges of different faiths, deliberated for three months before issuing its order in response to petitions from seven Muslim women who had been divorced through the practice known as triple talaq.

Indian law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on NDTV that since the court deemed the practice unconstitutional there is no need for any further legislative action by the government.

Full report: Religion News Service

Pope Congratulates, Blesses Gay Couple on the Baptism of Their Adopted Children – Bondings 2.0

Pope Francis, through an aide, has sent his congratulations and apostolic blessing to a legally married Brazilian gay couple on the occasion of the baptism of their three adopted children.

According to Business Monkey News (the only immediately available English language news story), Toni Reis and David Harrad received a letter from Monsignor Paolo Borgia, advisor to the Secretary of State Vatican, which read in part:

“Pope Francisco wishes you congratulations, calling for his family abundance of divine graces, to live constantly and faithfully the condition of Christians.”

Read more:  Bondings 2.0

Time has come for gay marriage: Queensland priest | Cootamundra Herald

One of Brisbane’s leading priests says it’s time for Australia’s politicians to “step up to the plate” and do their jobs by legislating for marriage equality.

St John’s Anglican Cathedral Dean Dr Peter Catt will on Saturday address a marriage equality rally, where he’ll be one of several speakers calling for the federal government to hold a free vote for gay marriage.

Noting he encounters some opposition from conservatives within his church, but also much more support, Dr Catt said it made no sense to withhold marriage from same-sex couples.

“This is the next evolution,” he said. “Marriage has become more and more of a celebration and a commitment of the love between two people.”

“I think society is more than ready for that expression of marriage and the polls back that up.”

Read more: Cootamundra Herald