Currently in Australia a marriage is between a man and a woman. If this changes I will be handing in my marriage licence. As an Anglican priest I cannot legally marry anyone without a licence, so I will simply stop marrying people. Without a licence the church, even if it had a mind to cannot force me to conduct same sex “marriages.”
In the last two years at our synod we have had “marriage equality” resolutions presented and passed, on both occasions the Archbishop has said he is unable to sign the resolution. This has created a huge gulf between the Arch and a number of senior clergy who supported the motion. He had telegraphed his opposition to the motion in his charge, but the numpties went ahead anyway. (it is after all, all about them!) The rumour mill says he would have supported it, but is constrained by the national church. Even so, senior clergy voting against an archbishop knowing he could not support a motion looks an awful like a rebellion.
#4—glad for your extremely firm confirmation!
3. You can take it to the bank that ++Foley Beach has not signed it.
Too bad we don’t hold Bill Clinton to a similar standard. My best guess is the difference is Clinton is a Liberal Democrat and Cosby criticizes the left wing educational establishment.
300+ have signed, from a brilliant swath of Christianity.
Even ‘Foley Beach, Archbishop of ACNA’ has affixed his name! (I assume this is a prank.)
At a guess, I’d say most state laws would run pretty closely with New York’s…because there is a huge effort to attempt to have laws on important subjects be similar from one state to another.
Wow. It would be pretty sad if the CoE caved to commercial pressures and stopped encourage people to come to worship on Sunday.
Popping into a church for a little quiet prayer mid-week is great. But it’s not the same as the gathering of believers coming together to worship and exalt Jesus.
May the Lord raise up those in the CoE who have the boldness to stand against the cultural zeitgeist.
Meanwhile, on a planet far far away, Rowan Williams was asked whether the Church of England had a case to make for keeping Sunday special when it was proposed that major out of town stores and DIY outlets were pressing for Sunday trading laws to be changed. None whatever Oystermouth articulated before clamming up again on this subject.
Now everyone is busy shopping and doing their DIY on Sundays, and the Church of England is telling us that Sunday is occupied and we have to move our services to other times.
A very helpful analysis and answers to some of the questions posed recently. It is very sad seeing the Christian links being rendered by the state in so many areas in our countries.
I wonder how typical the New York situation is of other States?
Don’t know if that is that radical a concept. Many Catholics here go to Mass on Saturday afternoon, to the point where at one church near where we live hires an off-duty policeman to help direct traffic after Mass. They get more folks on Saturday afternoon than on Sunday mornings.
“It provides tax benefits to many couples and opens up useful strategies for maximizing Social Security benefits. It is often necessary in private commerce for securing benefits such as health insurance.” In other words civil marriage is a benefit delivery device. There is no inherant reason why the Church should care what benes the secular state provides or to whom.
Several have requested the civil sphere be addressed. This from ACI’s legal expert, prepared for FT. A version will appear at our website.
in #63 and #65 above Stephen Noll raises interesting questions about possible consequences for clergy who decline to officiate at any marriages between persons of the same sex. INAL - I am not a lawyer - but I expect a good defense could be made in the USA in civil court based on the “free exercise” clause of the First Amendment. I think the pressure will be social and ecclesiastical pressure from bishops and congregations. I see a parallel in two changes in the practice of the Episcopal Church - the marriage of divorced people and the ordination of women. My guess is that anyone seeking ordination in any Episcopal church diocese who was opposed to either of these changes would not receive support from a bishop or in a Commission on Ministry. There may still be a few dioceses where less that enthusiastic support for the ordination of gay or lesbian candidates is not grounds for disqualification from the ordination process; I don’t know.
But as has been eloquently pointed out here and elsewhere, marriage is God’s creation, not the church, and not the state. The state provides some benefits and some penalties to people in a relationship the state defines as married. The church does the same.
As I understand it from my experience as interim rector in Smithfield, NC, the Roman Catholic church will baptize the children of those who have been married in church but will not baptize children of persons who have had a civil but not church marriage. A thriving Spanish speaking Episcopal congregation was formed when the Episcopal Church agreed to baptize anyone presented for baptism.
I don’t see any proposal in this conversation for us to adopt the Roman Catholic church’s baptismal discipline. Personally I find it inconsistent with the plain meaning of Holy Scripture. But for that and other reasons while I wish God’s blessing on my friends who have joined the Ordinariate I cannot in good conscience join them.
I think the Marriage Pledge is a mistake. The church needs to continue to witness for Christian Marriage. If the state wants to continue to regard the vows of Christian marriage as sufficient to establish the legal relationship of civil marriage that is the state’s business, not ours.
With all due respect to those who propose and support it, I have to regard the Marriage Pledge as, at best, unwise.
This report mentions the Rev. Rebecca Ragland, a St. Louis-area Episcopal priest who got herself arrested late last week. She was with a group of protesters who were blocking a street. They were told to disperse, and she turned around to face police instead, she said. She was arrested in spite of wearing an orange vest saying “Priest.”
I agree, Ad Orientem, but apparently the Supreme Court thinks enough people are confused. Or, perhaps, they are.
The two phrases you’re missing were also missing from Corpus Thomisticum when I went looking for this, but were quickly inserted after I pointed out their absence by comparison with the 1996 critical edition of Tocco’s Ystoria ed. Le Brun-Gouanvic. It appears that Tocco added the whole of the “Concede mihi” to the fourth “edition” of the Ystoria in the months leading up to the canonization of Aquinas on 18 July 1323, and Le Brun-Gouanvic considers it likely genuine.
Between “wisdom to find thee” and “and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee”, you need “conuersationem tibi placentem, perseuerantiam te fideliter expectantem” (something like “interaction[s] that please thee, perseverance to hope faithfully for thee”).
You cannot threaten someone in person.
You cannot threaten someone on the phone.
You cannot threaten someone by mail.
You cannot threaten someone by telegram (that was the original email for those not of a certain age).
Why would anyone believe that you can threaten someone on the internet and assume you will get a pass?
#77—my confusion. This sounded like what the ACNA has called for. One doubts that TEC will undertake a deliberative, consensual process vis-à-vis marriage pledge. Indeed, it is already actively trying to make marriage conform to the new cultural reality.
#76. I’m actually Rector at Christ Church, Accokeek, MD in the Diocese of Washington, TEC. Hence, the measured response and approach.
#75—we wish you well and ACNA on how to handle this.
While I have made no decision to sign or not sign this pledge, I will say that Professors Seitz and Radner have given me something I must respond to. But as Professor Noll points out, any decision must be in a deliberative, consensual manner. Thank you all for pointing the way to concrete, faithful action in these increasingly murky days.
It is quite interesting what else turned up on a google search including the Presiding Bishop’s approval and the way Kearon conducted himself as her paid stooge and to do her bidding as ACI pointed out
As already noted, we and others have written repeatedly about the numerous constitution and bylaw provisions being flouted by TEC in an effort to keep Bishop Ian Douglas on the Standing Committee.
It is hard to believe a word these people say.
It is worth remembering that Kenneth Kearon was, according to the press release at the time, Rowan Williams’ appointment in his capacity as “President of the Anglican Consultative Council.” It is not clear why this has been devolved to Tengatenga, leaving on one side how hopelessly conflicted he is and unfit as a resigned bishop and now a kept TEC pawn
#28 Dr Noll writes:
Archbishop Welby states: “The agenda for that meeting will not be set centrally, but from around the Primates of the Communion.”
I simply do not believe that.
Nor do I - Archbishop Welby said:
I have not called a Primates’ Meeting on my own authority (although I could) because I feel that it is necessary for the Anglican Communion to develop a collegial model of leadership, as much as it is necessary in the Church of England
What does Welby mean by ‘a Collegial Model of Leadership’? Well, not what you would think of the Primates having the agenda and the say, given the ‘Collegial Model of Leadership’ Welby is bringing into the Church of England.
By Collegial Model of Leadership in the Church of England, Welby means the manipulative indaba facilitated conversation model used in Synod to push through the Women Bishops legislation, now being extended to bring in sexual immorality through the Pilling Report facilitated conversations being rolled out in the English dioceses. Welby is a determined man in a hurry, confident of his and of his team’s ability to get their own way through the psychological warfare and group manipulation techniques they have pioneered in other areas at Coventry.
In England, with a few exceptions, people in Synod are unaware of what is being done to them, though there were protests in Synod that their role as a legislative body was what they were there for, rather than to engage in other activities and play-role acting. This is much as those few Primates who turned up at the Dublin Primates meeting including +Burundi were unaware that the childish exercise they were asked to undertake to list the sort of things the Primates Meeting might do was in fact a way of diverting them from the role and authority they exercised under the Windsor Process of managing the TEC and ACoC situation, into emasculating themselves into a council to make suggestions to the Archbishop of Canterbury. What appeared to be a participatory and collegial exercise of leadership was in fact controlled and cynical psychological manipulation. Welby of course was one of the Facilitators in this travesty.
Had Welby wanted to have collegial responsibility he could have called a Primates Meeting rather than travelling at vast expense round the world to grab each Primate in a grip session to try one on one to divide and rule.
So that is what I believe Welby means by a ‘Collegial Model of Leadership’ - anything but what you would imagine the words mean in ordinary usage.
There is no future for the Communion until the Primates take charge themselves, and put Welby back in his box as ‘first among EQUALS’ otherwise he and his TEC backers will manipulate, scheme and continue business as usual as Dr Noll rightly observes.
In my view there should be a Primates Meeting, with the Primates setting the agenda themselves, and by all means inviting Welby, as ‘first among EQUALS.’ The GAFCON and Global South Primates should get their heads together, with the unity they were able to display in their letter from Archbishop Beach’s Installation, putting aside the rivalries and jockeying which has bedevilled such a unity in the past. Otherwise, it will be divide and rule, as usual - business as usual, as Dr Noll observes.
And, what portion of this does not apply to North America?
“... let him request the Global South Primates’ Steering Committee to arrange and staff a meeting with NO input or funding from the ACO and its enablers…”.
I suspect versions of this will take place. I know the Chair is concerned above all to return to the logic of Dar es Salaam. This was stated publicly as well at Toronto in 2013.
Archbishop Welby states:
The agenda for that meeting will not be set centrally, but from around the Primates of the Communion.
I simply do not believe that.
Pageantmaster has noted (#23) that the Standing Committee of the ACC is busy picking the next General Secretary of the Anglican Communion Office. [Note: the ACC itself has no power outside the Standing Committee.] It is simply incredible to think that any “official” Communion meeting would not be initiated, scripted and funded by the ACO. When has such a meeting happened – ever – over the past 50 years? The only exception was Dar es Salaam 2007, when Peter Akinola wrenched the agenda out of their clutches – and we all know how that turned out.
If Abp. Welby wants a genuinely free Primates’ meeting that reflects the primacy of the Global South in the Communion, let him request the Global South Primates’ Steering Committee to arrange and staff a meeting with NO input or funding from the ACO and its enablers and to choose which Primates are welcome.
Such a move would indeed be courageous and sacrificial! Otherwise, it’s business as usual.
I see the journalist managed to find a spot for the word “progressive” in his article.
It’s an unlikely eventuality. But if Rome did move in that direction, my guess is that they would use the discipline of the Christian East as a model.
40 years on death row and innocent! How many cases like this do we need to see? Enough already.
#71—I made a similar point on the Dallas list-serve re: ‘render unto Caesar.’
Not knowing ACNA’s prayer book or canons it is difficult to know what may be required for a ‘holistic marriage policy’; the Pledge was developed—so long as Radner and I were concerned—with an eye toward TEC’s BCP and canons. The vast preponderance of signatories comes from a wider ecumenical mix.
RE: #68, I do not speak for ACNA. I do think it is constituted in such a way that it can, with due deliberation, adopt a holistic marriage policy.
RE: #70, I agree with your distinction between the conscientious duty of clergy as officiants of same-sex civil law and that of laity seeking a civil marriage license prior to a Christian rite. It occurred to me that the latter situation might be a case of paying taxes to Caesar, whereas the former would be enlisted as a publican.
I thought that the Indian Act was from 1876. The Canadian discourse on the Doctrine of Discovery has always had a conceptual handicap that it never had a place in Canadian law, which has tended to support a doctrine of cessation of sovereignty by treaty (with major exceptions of the land covered by the 1763 Royal Proclamation and British Columbia’s century-long attempt to ignore the legal presence of the First Nations). I always found it puzzling that the Primate and his roadies were trying to place it in the Canadian discussion, which is far more complex and subtle.
#65—these musings seem to us on target, re: civil realities. My defense of the BCP presentation of marriage in its integrity can be seen at #57. I also speculate about the realties coming soon in TEC national church developments, and elsewhere (ELCA).
#66. The Diocese of Dallas, e.g., has a clear marriage canon, as do others. But see #67. I do not know ACNA’s prayer book rites and canons so cannot comment on that. I gather you believe ACNA will make some kind of wide-scale decision.
Individual TEC clergy who sign the pledge know what they are in for. They are likely in that group who see what is coming down the road. Not signing pledges will change nothing on that score.
A thoughtful anticipation is that TEC GC 2015 will pass something like a ssb Trial Rite. (Newspapers will not differentiate between marriage and ssb rites; so the public sphere’s gratuities). This will throw the TEC development into a category where the discretion of Bishops and Dioceses to say No is clouded. It will also presage a formal BCP rite of some kind in the years to come. It is for these reasons and more that clergy who believe the rite in the present BCP constitutes a genuine marriage rite vis-à-vis alternative confections (civil and religious) should see the matter clearly. Anyone who signs the Pledge is unlikely to be immediately punished in some way because the juggernaut of revision is simply too grand. But the issue is far more important than Pledge-signing alone for those who are standing for the Christian faith and witnessing to it, to culture and to church, within TEC.
Chris (#64). No, I am urging TEC clergy to consider the implications of signing down the road.
I am also arguing that it is preferable if entire church bodies can take this stance consensually (e.g., ACNA). Clearly within TEC this is impossible as a whole, but is it not possible for dioceses to enact canons to that effect? That of course will probably put the dioceses in the same place as individuals who go against the flow in TEC, but wouldn’t that be better than allowing them to pick off individual clergy?
A further thought. In states (or the whole USA) where same-sex marriage is legal, I wonder what the civil liability is for a priest who refuses to marry a same-sex couple. I can see that a church which has clearly stated its objection to ssm may offer some protection to its clergy in declining to marry under the First Amendment, but what about a church that has approved such a blessing. Would the refusal to marry on that basis open the priest to a civil suit?
“woe to any TEC clergy who have signed the Marriage Pledge”—this makes it sound like you are counseling people not to sign the pledge so they won’t get into trouble. TEC clergy who sign this would do so precisely to take a stand of conscience, not to calculate whether they’d get into some fresh iteration of TEC harassment.
From what I have read there is no compulsion on a TEC priest to agree to perform a particular marriage. #58
As I have understood it, the priestly right to decline to officiate is a matter of pastoral discretion. For instance, if the priest concludes for some pastoral reason that the couple is not ready to marry, he could opt out as officiant. But I am not sure this right can apply to classes of people, e.g, if a priest declines to marry a mixed race couple on that basis. Once TEC has established that same-sex couples have a right to marry, it is likely it will also pass legislation forbidding clergy to decline to officiate on purported grounds of conscience regarding ssm. Maybe they will include a grandfather clause, but if not, woe to any TEC clergy who have signed the Marriage Pledge.
“...state law will require that the officiant sign and file the marriage license”—except that it won’t, if the Christian officiant has counseled the couple who want to be married by the state to have that undertaking done.
#59 Tom Righttmyer
You describe pre-1776 the situation which still applies in England - authorisation to get married by banns, read on three Sundays asking for any objections to the marriage to be given [under age, bigamy, marriage to a sibling etc] or alternatively by licence in various forms set out in the Marriage Act 1949, as amended quite recently. Wikipedia [which is always/mostly/sometimes right] has some of the history.
Fr. Tom, I think your historical review is quite correct. Many (most?) states now will issue an authorization to an individual to preside at a specific wedding, good for one day or one service, depending on state law. I can recall at least 3 weddings among our kids’ generation that fell into this category—sort of faux church service. One point I have insisted upon in this thread is that the canons of the Episcopal Church require that a TEC clergy performing a church wedding must comply with state law, and state law will require that the officiant sign and file the marriage license.
I’m working on a biographical directory of the 1500 or so clergy ordained in the Church of England who served in British America before 1785 when Bishop Seabury returned and began to ordain. As I understand it in England marriage was normally solemnized after the banns had been called for three weeks. Licenses were issued by the bishops for extraordinary circumstances - usually marriage out of the bride’s parish church. In Virginia and Maryland where the church was established by law marriages were registered in the parish register. In New England the Congregationalist Puritans denied marriage to be a sacrament and marriages were witnessed by a civil magistrate. In the middle colonies the royal governors exercised the royal ecclesiastical prerogative and collected the fees for marriages which could be solemnized by a magistrate or by a member of the clergy. One of the objections raised to an American Church of England episcopate was that a bishop could bring with him the English church courts and take from the royal governors the revenue from marriage licenses - and probate of wills. After the Revolution states required marriages to be registered with the Register of Deeds or other state official and generally required a state marriage license. Some court officials could legally witness a marriage. Clergy could also witness as could persons authorized by a Quaker meeting, etc. I have noticed recently in the Sunday New York Times that the officiant at some weddings is “a friend of the bride authorized by the state to officiate.” Others are “ministers of the Universal Life Church” and other people who qualify under the fairly elastic requirements to be a minister.
All Christian marriages that conform to the state’s requirements are civil marriages, and I decline to abandon the very old tradition that the Church witnesses and blesses Christian marriage. There are civil marriages that also conform to the state’s requirements, e.g., marriage between persons who have a living spouse, and recently marriages between persons of the same sex. The different churches have different rules about clergy officiating at some of these marriages. As I understand it the Episcopal Church requires the bishop’s permission for clergy to marry people who have a living spouse. The bishops I know give this permission freely for second marriages but impose conditions for third and subsequent marriages. In Western NC the bishop’s permission is required for clergy to officiate at marriages between people of the same sex.
Civil marriage since the 1790’s as required by France, Mexico, and other countries is an artifact of the godless French Revolution, and I am not about to give any support to that.
RE: “I suppose properly it would be United Church of Functional Diversity.”
By all means we should a version of the word “Unity” in there!
Because if there’s one thing we all clearly are is “unified!” . . . Because we’re in the same organization. . . . Which makes us Unified!
RE: ‘Every careless phrase in an interview is seen as a considered policy statement’ . . . a pretty obvious climb down from his comment on ACNA not being connected with the Anglican Communion . . .”
Actually I think Welby’s comment on ACNA not being a member province of the Anglican Communion was very considered, very methodical, and ultimately very planned. I think recognizing that is one smaller reason why the public relations pushback on that was so immediate and desperate [the larger being the internal issues within ACNA].
Quick Pb, publish your bright ideas!
Return to blog homepage
Return to Mobile view (headlines)