The Scottish Episcopal church has responded defiantly to de facto sanctions imposed on it by the global Anglican communion over its decision to allow same-sex marriages, saying “love means love”.
Responding to the move, Mark Strange, the bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness and primus of the Scottish Episcopal church, said he recognised that the decision to allow same-sex marriage was “one that has caused some hurt and anger in parts of the Anglican communion”.
Both bishops observe that this is not a survey on Church (sacramental) marriage but on civil marriage, marriage according to the law of the State. The question has no impact on church practices nor on our freedom of religion.
Bishop Vincent Long of Parramatta and Bishop Bill Wright of Maitland-Newcastle have effectively removed any “Catholic” arguments against supporting marriage equality and stress the responsibility of Catholics to discern carefully in determining their “vote”.
Christians must be very confused about how their religious beliefs should influence their views on the current marriage equality survey, officially described in the ABS mail-out as “Your Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey”.
Some so-called Christian positions seem to suggest that there is an inherent Christian exclusion of the possibility of civil same-sex marriage. The most careful and authoritative Christian analyses to date may have come from separate pastoral…
More (behind a paywall) at: La Croix International
THE Catholic Church is ramping up its involvement in the same-sex marriage debate, distributing information for inclusion in bulletins and leaflets urging parishioners to vote No.
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher sent hundreds of flyers to city churches and published articles available on many church websites encouraging worshippers to volunteer and donate to the Coalition for Marriage.
“Vote No in the Postal Plebiscite on Marriage,” reads an entry in this weekend’s bulletin at St Anthony of Padua Parish Clovelly. “A change in the marriage law has consequences for freedom of religion, including the ability of individuals to live out their faith in everyday life, for Priests to preach and Catholic schools to teach about marriage, and for faith-based charities to continue to take a pro-marriage stance.”
Pretoria – The furore over the Anglican church’s decision to reject same-sex marriage looks likely to intensify, with its Pretoria region the latest to voice its unhappiness with the decision.
The matter was an issue of heated debate among delegates during the three-day conference that began on Thursday. Pretoria region is among the biggest regions in South Africa.
Current political and economic crises in the country, including state capture and corruption, as well as social problems, were also raised at the conference.
The dissent by Pretoria comes almost a year after the Anglican Church of Southern Africa decided that it would not allow bishops to “provide prayers of blessing to be offered for those in same-sex civil unions”. Following that resolution during a debate in Ekurhuleni, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba expressed his disappointment at the move, saying he was “deeply pained by the outcome of the debate”.
“I was glad I wear glasses or the synod would have seen tears. I wanted to be anywhere but in the synod hall – I wished I was quietly home in Magoebaskloof,” he said at the time.
A MELBOURNE priest has come under fire for demanding his flock vote no in the upcoming same-sex marriage survey and for allegedly saying gay people should be shot.Parishioner Liz Tasiopoulos claimed the comments were made by the priest at a service she attended at a Greek Orthodox Church in south eastern Melbourne on Father’s Day.She told news.com.au the language used was especially hurtful as it came during a service which included a memorial for a woman who had committed suicide because she had struggled with her own sexuality.“The priest was screaming at us [that same-sex marriage] was blasphemy. The comments were so hurtful I couldn’t stop crying,” Ms Tasiopoulos said.
The Rainbow Catholics InterAgency for Ministry (RCIA), a coalition of LGBTI affirming Catholic groups and pastoral organizers, this past week released a statement of concern about harsh messages that have begun appearing in the lead up to the nation’s non-binding plebiscite on marriage equality this fall.
On last Thursday, Bondings 2.0 reported on a neo-Nazi poster bearing hate speech that appeared in Melbourne. The poster cited a Catholic priest’s discredited research that claims children with same-gender parents suffer disproportionately higher rates of abuse and addiction than those raised by heterosexual parents.
We also reported on Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart’s threat that he would fire church workers who entered civil same-gender marriages should that become a legal option. Archbishop Timothy Costelloe has since clarified those remarks, though not before a major Catholic healthcare provider released a statement affirming its LGBT employees.
Full report: Bondings 2.0
As the struggles for same-sex marriage were rolling out across the United States, a steady stream of opinion polls showed that despite the outspoken opposition from some Catholic bishops, ordinary Catholics were in fact in favour marriage equality – and to a greater degree than other Christian denominations. In other countries there were far fewer polls, but those that there were tended to show the same pattern, for example in the United Kingdom and in Argentina.
It comes as no surprise then, that the same pattern is shown in polling from Australia ahead of the pending postal plebiscite, where 58% of all “people of faith” were found to support equality. Somewhat more than that, two thirds, of Catholics were in favour.
A MAJORITY of Catholics, Christians and other religious people support gay marriage and will likely vote for it in the postal survey, according to a new poll.
The research shows 58 per cent of people of faith back the “yes” campaign, compared with 79 per cent of non-religious Australians.
Catholics and non-Christians were more likely to support same-sex marriage, with two thirds of both of those groups saying they were in favour.
The polling, commissioned by the Equality Campaign, was conducted last week by Jim Reed of Newgate Research who surveyed 1000 people online, Fairfax reports.
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.”
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
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