Almost all words are written and spoken differently from one language to another. Sometimes a word we use in our own language is highly offensive to the ears of persons who hold a very different meaning for the word.
(e.g.: when the world’s largest automaker went to name the replacement for the Buick Regal and Century, it was more cautious. GM settled on an oh-so French moniker, LaCrosse, in hopes of conveying an air of sophistication about the sedan. But what GM didn’t initially realize is that in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec, LaCrosse is a common slang term for masturbation. So LaCrosse was given the name “Allure” in Canada.)
Past Encyclicals – especially Leo XIII ARCANUM – addressed the issue of governments changing the meaning of marriage as given by its author, God Himself. We never imagined the basic change of the meaning of marriage.
Long ago governments began to change the permanence of marriage between a man and woman by making divorce easier but the parties were still male and female. The legal destruction of the God-given meaning of marriage, in our day, of course is to remove the heart of marriage as a God ordained state of life between a man and a woman, and in effect, to expand the meaning of marriage to any sexual combination of people.
These laws codify that which God warned us about in Leviticus and Deuteronomy long ago as abominations. Even today, the sexual activities between same-sex partners are hushed under the awareness that they are abhorent to most people.
Society sterilizes unnatural sex as if icing a rotten cake with sweet images of loving partners. The physical results of disease – particularly AIDS – is forbidden to be even mentioned.
The Church and true Christians have been fighting the laws across the various states and nations and not unlike abortion, we keep losing to legislators and judges who join the “gay revolution.”
We understand that the performance of a marriage between two men or women on our altars would be an abomination of desecration; yet pastors have been persecuted already for refusal to do this whereas some entire denominations have caved in and are embracing homosexual marriage in their churches.
Our Church ennumerates 7 sacraments of which MATRIMONY is one. This is what occurs when the proper conditions are met freely by a man and woman in our Church. As a normal ancillary action, the priest or minister is authorized to conduct the secular legalization of the marriage in most governmental jurisdictions – usually only to sign a marriage license which has nothing to do with the sacrament of matrimony.
Since the state is formalizing gay marriage, it seems to me, that under separation of Church and State, the Church should renounce its legal authority to validate marriage licenses immediately. The couple would have to meet with a secular authority [such as a mayor] to fulfill any marriage requirements of the state. Even now, the couple must apply for the marriage license to the state. It may be an inconvenience to the couple but it ends any question of what the Church does in conferring the sacrament of Matrimony. We do not – and should not -perform a civil act.
Likewise, it would be well worth removing all Church references to marraige as much as possible, where there is any likely confusion about the Church’s part in blessing a couple.
The Church does not issue marriage licenses,it only confirs the Sacrament of Matrimony.
As a clear comparison, we are used to babies having Birth certificates from the state and Baptism from the Church – we do not issue Birth certificates.