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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Mike Gehlhausen on October 21, 2020, 01:26:26 PM

Title: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Mike Gehlhausen on October 21, 2020, 01:26:26 PM
A Politico article reports comments from Pope Francis backing same-sex civil unions.

https://www.politico.eu/article/pope-francis-backs-same-sex-civil-unions/

I do not know how to react to this actually.  Homosexuality is no more or less a sin than any other sin.  Those tempted by that sin must struggle with it as we struggle with all other sins, and they should be treated compassionately regarding that struggle.  The forgiveness of Christ is available to all.

This seems affirming of homosexuality however.  I honestly do not know if this is a significant change in the Pope's attitude, or I just have been unaware.

What do others here think?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 21, 2020, 02:07:40 PM
The Pope gets it right.  In general I think the church or any church for that matter should get out of the “business” of performing marriages, period.  It would place the issue of natural order back into where it belongs and in this case with the State.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 21, 2020, 02:33:25 PM
A Politico article reports comments from Pope Francis backing same-sex civil unions.

https://www.politico.eu/article/pope-francis-backs-same-sex-civil-unions/

I do not know how to react to this actually.  Homosexuality is no more or less a sin than any other sin.  Those tempted by that sin must struggle with it as we struggle with all other sins, and they should be treated compassionately regarding that struggle.  The forgiveness of Christ is available to all.

This seems affirming of homosexuality however.  I honestly do not know if this is a significant change in the Pope's attitude, or I just have been unaware.

What do others here think?

I don’t believe the Pope affirms homosexuality or approves same-sex coupling as if it fell under the issue of a sacrament or even a natural order as an estate per se.  The civil authorities by themselves can and do create a space in which legal partnership can develop.  Think of legal liability corporations set up through the civil order.  Those do not possess any divine commitment to operate as an estate issue however.  LLPs are created with legal standing before the public eye with benefits and liabilities.  The natural order of the estate of marriage is a configuration created by God in which only thus man and this woman can occupy.  There is no natural order of estate for same-sex couples.  Although a civil union for it can be established under having no divine recognition that it is an order or estate in itself.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Weedon on October 21, 2020, 03:49:42 PM
George,

I would say that the Church’s business is in blessing marriages, through which the “great mystery” of Christ and His bride, the Church, may be revealed. She prays that the taking of this “earthly element” - so to speak - into Christ, will be used of the Triune God to manifest the Gospel itself through the Bridegroom’s laying down His life for His beloved, and the bride’s joyful submission to her Bridegroom. And I love that in the classic marriage rite of our Church from Martin Luther, the closing prayer isn’t just for the bride and groom. Rather:

O God, who hast created man and woman and hast ordained them for the married estate, hast blessed them with fruits of the womb, and hast thereby typified the sacramental union of thy dear Son, the Lord Jesus, and the church, his bride: We beseech thy groundless goodness and mercy that thou wouldst not permit this thy creation, ordinance, and blessing to be disturbed or destroyed, but graciously preserve the same; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. AE 51:115.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: James_Gale on October 21, 2020, 04:19:42 PM
The Pope gets it right.  In general I think the church or any church for that matter should get out of the “business” of performing marriages, period.  It would place the issue of natural order back into where it belongs and in this case with the State.


Whether or not the pope’s comments “get it right,” I am confident that he would dissent from the rest of your post; it may well be consistent with the Lutheran understanding of marriage but strikes me as very much inconsistent with the RC treatment of marriage as a sacrament.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 21, 2020, 04:58:59 PM
Before we Lutherans affirmed same-sex marriage within the church, or at least some of us did, we favored civil laws or regulations that would allow same-sex couples the privileges and benefits of marriage. Seems to me that’s what The pope is doing 
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on October 21, 2020, 05:30:55 PM
There have been stories over the years of a high-level Vatican cabal of homosexuals.  Pope Francis was accused of being under their influence.  I have no idea if that is true or not, but it seems a very strange thing for the Pope, head of a Church that is very strong in parts of Africa, Latin America and Asia to do.  Of course, he's also playing footsy with the Chicoms as they persecute our brothers and sisters.  It all makes me think he is out of his depth.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 21, 2020, 06:25:16 PM
Why would there  have to be a high-level cabal of anything behind this? Maybe the pope just thinks that people who don’t accept the Catholic teaching on marriage should still have the right to form a family under civil law.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 21, 2020, 06:56:36 PM
Time will tell where this goes. Approving of civil unions for homosexuals is not the same as approving of same-sex marriage much less bringing that into the church.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 21, 2020, 06:58:23 PM
There have been stories over the years of a high-level Vatican cabal of homosexuals.  Pope Francis was accused of being under their influence.  I have no idea if that is true or not,

Then why would you post it?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 21, 2020, 07:14:18 PM
What exactly is the point of civil unions? Why couldn't three people have a civil union? Why couldn't a brother and sister? We don't issue licenses for best friends. Why issue licenses for homosexual lovers?

The idea that the state recognized marriages stemmed from the obvious fact that the state had an interest in making sure children were born into stable environments. Moreover, the traditional family usually created an economic dependent out of the woman, who needed the larger society to hold her husband accountable to provide for her and the children lest he choose to ditch them. None of those things apply to gay couples. Why should the state take an interest in who lives with whom?

If the state simply stopped recognizing marriage at all, the only people who would suffer would be traditional families. They are the people around whom the whole concept of legally recognized marriage was developed, and the only ones who actually need it.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Pr. Terry Culler on October 21, 2020, 08:10:15 PM
There have been stories over the years of a high-level Vatican cabal of homosexuals.  Pope Francis was accused of being under their influence.  I have no idea if that is true or not,

Then why would you post it?


well the Revs. Austin and Stoffregan can post all sorts of wild speculations, why can't I?  Certainly I have no way of knowing what the internal activities of the RCC might be, but some of the people who have made such charges possibly do so, including the former papal envoy to the US
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 21, 2020, 08:22:04 PM
The civil realm can do what it wants.  Humans can make civil unions happen.  Doesn’t mean that God recognizes or blesses these unions.  There is no estate as in estate of marriage in the civil union process.  There just isn’t.  We can fool around with jargon all day and civil unions created by the State don’t make marriages and don’t make estates.  The estate of marriage is preserved for this man and this woman through God’s creative and preserving activity. 

And yes to the matter of the church blessing the estate following marriage through the State.   This should put to rest any suggestion that marriage could be a sacrament.  Much of Europe outside the RC communion has done this in forever, it seems.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: RogerMartim on October 21, 2020, 08:25:12 PM
Raymond Arroyo over at EWTN must be pulling his hair out tonight.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: DCharlton on October 21, 2020, 08:26:30 PM
I would say that the Church’s business is in blessing marriages, through which the “great mystery” of Christ and His bride, the Church, may be revealed.

This is the crucial issue for me these days.  It is the question of which kind of union I am authorized to bless as a Lutheran pastor.  I am authorized to bless the marriage of a man a woman by Scripture itself.  In fact, when I bless a marriage I am repeated the blessing that God has already given in His Word.  On the other hand, if there is not a word of God that sanctifies same sex unions, how can I as a pastor bless such a union?  As Luther says in his Confession concerning Christ’s Supper:

For these three religious institutions or orders are found in God’s Word and commandment; and whatever is contained in God’s Word must be holy, for God’s Word is holy and sanctifies everything connected with it and involved in it.  (LW 37:365)
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 21, 2020, 08:30:59 PM
What would be missing in the element of civil unions established by the State is the matter of the estate.  In the theological understanding of natural order regarding marriage, marriage establishes a God-granted arena (hence, the estate) within which this man and this woman enter and they alone inhabit that arena.  No one takes each’s place or are each exchangeable or replaceable.  P. Melanchthon in some of his writing on the law speaks as much to this.  There are hints of this in the Apology although the matter at that time did not merit elucidation or highlight in an extensive way.

The common denominator in all this should be a discussion about the natural orders alone, God-created and preserved, along with discussion about estate. 


Once again there is no such thing as estate of marriage for this man and  this man, or any other combination outside of this man and this woman.


I truly believe the Jesuit Pope understands all the distinctions involved here.  After all he is a Jesuit.


Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Weedon on October 21, 2020, 08:35:43 PM
Or, said another way, what is missing is the institution and blessing of God. Like with the tree in the Garden, one cannot give thanks for what He has not given (so the fall plunged us into lives of thanklessness - Romans 1!); for what one has simply taken without His blessing there is no blessing and thanking of the Giver. And so blessings of such civil unions cannot be brought into the Church, which literally lives in thanksgiving as she continually receives and rejoices in what God GIVES.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on October 21, 2020, 08:52:27 PM
Does EVERYONE have a right to be in a family? I guess that is what I'm wondering as I read the statements. What does it mean and how is this done?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 21, 2020, 08:53:27 PM
Or, said another way, what is missing is the institution and blessing of God. Like with the tree in the Garden, one cannot give thanks for what He has not given (so the fall plunged us into lives of thanklessness - Romans 1!); for what one has simply taken without His blessing there is no blessing and thanking of the Giver. And so blessings of such civil unions cannot be brought into the Church, which literally lives in thanksgiving as she continually receives and rejoices in what God GIVES.

Perhaps.  My concern is a renewed recognition  of the God-given estate as discussed under the “rubrics” of natural order or orders of creation.  Lutherans could teach the rest of the church on this matter of the estate...maybe via Melanchthon through Althaus.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 21, 2020, 08:57:12 PM
Raymond Arroyo over at EWTN must be pulling his hair out tonight.

 ;). Indeed.  The conservatives in that communion will be up in arms.  Lol
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 21, 2020, 09:04:10 PM
Does EVERYONE have a right to be in a family? I guess that is what I'm wondering as I read the statements. What does it mean and how is this done?

Here is another issue which is raised by this: the family.  Dad, Mom and the kids, if any.  Opens up a whole can of worms as well in how family is defined if it  can be defined beyond Dad, Mom and the kids.  Indeed. 
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on October 21, 2020, 09:19:18 PM
Does EVERYONE have a right to be in a family? I guess that is what I'm wondering as I read the statements. What does it mean and how is this done?

Here is another issue which is raised by this: the family.  Dad, Mom and the kids, if any.  Opens up a whole can of worms as well in how family is defined if it  can be defined beyond Dad, Mom and the kids.  Indeed.

If one loses one's family, does one have a right to a replacement family? How would that be arranged? Would the state fulfill this right or someone else?

I'm not trying to be absurd, just trying on the idea that everyone has a right to be in a family.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 21, 2020, 09:23:09 PM
Everyone is in a family. Honor your father and mother. Everyone has one of each. Not everyone replicates that by becoming a husband or wife. But the design is husband and wife, not simply two people who love each other.

If there are benefits attached to being in a civil union, all that will happen is that people will abuse it for the benefits, much like they already abuse liberal divorce laws to use marriage for immigration purposes without any intention of actually forming a marriage. College roommates can have their relationship called a civil union in order get health care benefits or whatever for both once one of them gets a job. Once the idea of the permanent, organic union of male and female is lost, the whole thing devolves into a pointless sham. 

There is nothing comparable to the two becoming one in marriage. It is not just the male and female body parts; it involves the whole lives, time and possessions and everything. They literally form one flesh. They belong to one another. Two men cannot replicate that. Nor can three people. It is a unique aspect of creation. There is no point in codifying imitations. Let gay couples be gay couples, but why license it? They do not and cannot become one flesh.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Tom Eckstein on October 21, 2020, 09:25:15 PM
What exactly is the point of civil unions? Why couldn't three people have a civil union? Why couldn't a brother and sister? We don't issue licenses for best friends. Why issue licenses for homosexual lovers?

The idea that the state recognized marriages stemmed from the obvious fact that the state had an interest in making sure children were born into stable environments. Moreover, the traditional family usually created an economic dependent out of the woman, who needed the larger society to hold her husband accountable to provide for her and the children lest he choose to ditch them. None of those things apply to gay couples. Why should the state take an interest in who lives with whom?

If the state simply stopped recognizing marriage at all, the only people who would suffer would be traditional families. They are the people around whom the whole concept of legally recognized marriage was developed, and the only ones who actually need it.

Some who argue for same-sex "civil unions" say they want some the same benefits as marriage - such as medical or financial power of attorney.  But people can get those without a "civil union" or "gay marriage" - so I don't see the point of "civil unions" for those in same-sex relationships, except as a stepping stone to force others to see their unions as actual "marriage."
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 21, 2020, 09:47:52 PM
What exactly is the point of civil unions? Why couldn't three people have a civil union? Why couldn't a brother and sister? We don't issue licenses for best friends. Why issue licenses for homosexual lovers?

The idea that the state recognized marriages stemmed from the obvious fact that the state had an interest in making sure children were born into stable environments. Moreover, the traditional family usually created an economic dependent out of the woman, who needed the larger society to hold her husband accountable to provide for her and the children lest he choose to ditch them. None of those things apply to gay couples. Why should the state take an interest in who lives with whom?

If the state simply stopped recognizing marriage at all, the only people who would suffer would be traditional families. They are the people around whom the whole concept of legally recognized marriage was developed, and the only ones who actually need it.

Some who argue for same-sex "civil unions" say they want some the same benefits as marriage - such as medical or financial power of attorney.  But people can get those without a "civil union" or "gay marriage" - so I don't see the point of "civil unions" for those in same-sex relationships, except as a stepping stone to force others to see their unions as actual "marriage."

Exactly.  However the business is to explain that the estate makes a marriage and same-sex couples do not qualify in this matter of the estate.  There is the benefit that God recognizes the estate as only that which this man and this woman enter.  While God does not recognize that estate-quality for other types of civil unions.  God truly recognizes marriage as His boundary-drawn order in nature while other social configurations which look like the estate of marriage do not exist or only exist in the collective human consciousness, if there is such a thing.  Of course society can construct all types of consociation along with the benefits.  But the connection to God's recognition of an order/consociation, like the order of family, or merchant-buyer, or the fact that I am the first born son of my parents and my brother could never exchange into that or that somehow I could be replaced in the unique configuration among my dad and my mom and me is as a result of God's creative nature and not a figment of collective human consciousness somehow put into play through a legislative process.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: James J Eivan on October 22, 2020, 02:12:49 AM
There have been stories over the years of a high-level Vatican cabal of homosexuals.  Pope Francis was accused of being under their influence.  I have no idea if that is true or not,
Then why would you post it?
well the Revs. Austin and Stoffregan can post all sorts of wild speculations, why can't I?  Certainly I have no way of knowing what the internal activities of the RCC might be, but some of the people who have made such charges possibly do so, including the former papal envoy to the US
Welcome to my world Pr Culler ... not only am I frequently victimized by the Johnson snark, like you it is quite apparent that he shields and encourages the behavior of those you have eluded to.

While the media is so eager to report the pope is accepting of the GLBT agenda, it is quite apparent that the pope is preserving and defending the difference between the Biblical concept of one man/one woman marriage and the civil concept of anything goes civil ungodly unions. 

It appears the pope continues the love the sinner ... hate the sin concept by refusing to commingling marriage relationships and the secularly sanctioned alternatives ... so smoothly done the MSM hasn’t figured it out yet.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2020, 04:09:56 AM
Tom Eckstein writes:
Some who argue for same-sex "civil unions" say they want some the same benefits as marriage - such as medical or financial power of attorney.  But people can get those without a "civil union" or "gay marriage" - so I don't see the point of "civil unions" for those in same-sex relationships, except as a stepping stone to force others to see their unions as actual "marriage."

I comment:
You do not have to “see the point” because it does not affect you.
As for a “stepping stone to force others,” really? How are you being forced concerning marriage? You do not have to call what happens between “them” marriage. You do not have to have anything to do with them.
And if civil law - under whatever term - grants gay couples what your marriage gives you under the law, does that infringe on your rights or force you to deny your faith in any way? It does not.
BTW children put up for adoption do not have anything but a biological father and mother until they are adopted. And the biology means nothing in terms of real life fathering and mothering.

Peter writes:
Everyone is in a family. Honor your father and mother. Everyone has one of each. Not everyone replicates that by becoming a husband or wife. But the design is husband and wife, not simply two people who love each other.
I comment:
You say this but everyone doesn’t. And is your “design” the only one that can be recognized by Civil law? Why?
You say “let gay couples be gay couples, but why license it.”
We know the civil benefits of doing so, and I do not see how recognition would hurt you.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on October 22, 2020, 08:00:31 AM
If everyone has a right to be in a family, how come priests can't marry?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2020, 09:20:46 AM
Priests can marry. Under certain circumstances, Roman Catholic priests can be married. But you know that. And you know that certain things are matters of church discipline, where those wishing to be in the church vocation voluntarily give up some of their rights the sake of their vocation.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on October 22, 2020, 09:42:30 AM
Priests can marry. Under certain circumstances, Roman Catholic priests can be married. But you know that. And you know that certain things are matters of church discipline, where those wishing to be in the church vocation voluntarily give up some of their rights the sake of their vocation.

The only circumstance for married priests that I was aware of is when a married minister from another church body is ordained in the RCC. That is a tiny number of priests. Are there other exceptions?

I'm simply testing the logic of Francis's statement.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: John_Hannah on October 22, 2020, 09:56:23 AM
Priests can marry. Under certain circumstances, Roman Catholic priests can be married. But you know that. And you know that certain things are matters of church discipline, where those wishing to be in the church vocation voluntarily give up some of their rights the sake of their vocation.

The only circumstance for married priests that I was aware of is when a married minister from another church body is ordained in the RCC. That is a tiny number of priests. Are there other exceptions?


Yes, there are. Uniate Rite Catholics (Eastern Orthodox groups which have pledged loyalty to the Bishop of Rome). 

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Weedon on October 22, 2020, 10:08:13 AM
I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination). There is also, as indicated, economia practiced toward pastors of various other confessions that convert to Rome. The reading today in Treasury for the Book of Concord, had me in Apology XXIII: Sacerdotal Marriage.

I found these statements of particular interest:

This love of one sex for the other is truly a divine ordinance. (Ap XXIII:7)

The Jurists have said wisely and correctly that the union of man and woman is by natural right. Now, since natural right is unchangeable, the right to contract marriage must always remain. (Ap XXIII:9)

Natural right is really divine right, because it is an ordinance divinely stamped on nature.... As we said, we are not talking about sinful lust but about the desire which is called “natural love,” which lust did not remove from nature but only inflamed. (Ap XXIII:12, 13)

Paul says (1 Cor. 7:2), “Because of the temptation to immorality, each man should have his own wife.” This is an express command, directed to anyone not suited to celibacy.... Paul’s command...binds all those who are not truly continent. It is up to each man’s conscience to decide this matter. (Ap XXIII: 14, 17)
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Julio on October 22, 2020, 10:12:38 AM
Priests can marry. Under certain circumstances, Roman Catholic priests can be married. But you know that. And you know that certain things are matters of church discipline, where those wishing to be in the church vocation voluntarily give up some of their rights the sake of their vocation.
The only circumstance for married priests that I was aware of is when a married minister from another church body is ordained in the RCC. That is a tiny number of priests. Are there other exceptions?
Yes, there are. Uniate Rite Catholics (Eastern Orthodox groups which have pledged loyalty to the Bishop of Rome). 

Peace, JOHN
So the RCC allows an exception in deference to EO belief and practice.

By in large, the RCC prohibits the marriage of RCC priests once they have made their vows. These few and far between anomalies do not negate the stated beliefs and practices of the RCC
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: John_Hannah on October 22, 2020, 10:18:51 AM

I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination).


That is correct. Marriage must take place before ordination. That is true also for non Latin Orthodox. Allowance for marriage is not universal for Uniate Rite Catholics. For example the Ukranians may not.

Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Julio on October 22, 2020, 10:25:18 AM

I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination).
That is correct. Marriage must take place before ordination. That is true also for non Latin Orthodox. Allowance for marriage is not universal for Uniate Rite Catholics. For example the Ukranians may not.

Peace, JOHN
So marriage is allowed as a ‘pre existing condition’ ... allowed because it would be a violation of marital vows to terminate the marriage because a man became a priest.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Coach-Rev on October 22, 2020, 10:43:27 AM
You do not have to “see the point” because it does not affect you.
As for a “stepping stone to force others,” really? How are you being forced concerning marriage? You do not have to call what happens between “them” marriage. You do not have to have anything to do with them.

Unless you are a baker who is forced by the courts to bake a cake for something they object to on religious and moral grounds...
Unless you are a florist who is forced by the state to provide flowers for a ceremony you object to on religious and moral grounds....
Unless you are a fire chief who shared his views with a select group of firefighters, but was fired for doing so despite his own personal religious convictions...
Unless you are a congregation of the ELCA that disagrees with the 2009 actions, but only receives gay or lesbian candidates for the office of pastor that violate the church's position (yes, it has happened many times)...
and coming soon to a church near you (if things keep going the way they are in this country), unless you are  a church that is forced to perform gay weddings by the state...

Those with ears to hear, let them hear (and see) just how false the quoted statement really is.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 22, 2020, 10:52:03 AM
The only reason to have a license in the first place is to FORCE people to recognize a certain status. If you consider yourself an acceptable good driver it doesn't matter. It matters whether the state considers you good enough to give a driver's license to. Same with any kind of license. It isn't what you say about yourself, it is what the society says about you. And everyone in society has to recognize it. If someone is licensed to own a gun, I am forced to recognize that license whether I think they should have a gun or not; I can't insist they not carry one around me in public places.

So with civil unions. They don't change anyone's relationship. They change how everyone else in society as a whole is required to treat that relationship.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: James_Gale on October 22, 2020, 11:02:10 AM

I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination).


That is correct. Marriage must take place before ordination. That is true also for non Latin Orthodox. Allowance for marriage is not universal for Uniate Rite Catholics. For example the Ukranians may not.

Peace, JOHN


Doesn’t this rule (prohibiting marriage after ordination) also apply to deacons? 
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2020, 11:09:13 AM
Pastor Cottingham’s expected response has virtually nothing to do with the legality of same-sex marriage. It has to do with discrimination and equality under the law. But we’re not going down that old rugged road again I hope.
If two gay people are married, you do not have to recognize their “marriage,” because you do not consider their relationship a marriage. However you do have to recognize that under the civil law they have a certain standing.
And civil society has the right to determine that those people have a certain legal relationship and to say how how those couples are treated.
I once knew an 88-year-old woman who, by any logical measurement, should not have been behind the wheel of the car. But the state gave her a driver’s license.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Steven W Bohler on October 22, 2020, 11:16:01 AM
The only reason to have a license in the first place is to FORCE people to recognize a certain status. If you consider yourself an acceptable good driver it doesn't matter. It matters whether the state considers you good enough to give a driver's license to. Same with any kind of license. It isn't what you say about yourself, it is what the society says about you. And everyone in society has to recognize it. If someone is licensed to own a gun, I am forced to recognize that license whether I think they should have a gun or not; I can't insist they not carry one around me in public places.

So with civil unions. They don't change anyone's relationship. They change how everyone else in society as a whole is required to treat that relationship.

Well, not the ONLY reason.  There is also the revenue to the state for licensing fees.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: David Garner on October 22, 2020, 11:55:36 AM

I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination).
That is correct. Marriage must take place before ordination. That is true also for non Latin Orthodox. Allowance for marriage is not universal for Uniate Rite Catholics. For example the Ukranians may not.

Peace, JOHN
So marriage is allowed as a ‘pre existing condition’ ... allowed because it would be a violation of marital vows to terminate the marriage because a man became a priest.

Not quite.  It is allowed because the discipline is no marriage after ordination.  In the Orthodox Church, bishops may not marry (some of us feel that may change over time), but priests may remain married if they were married before ordination.  Essentially, it is a discipline, not a dogma, and so the Church is free to change it in either direction, either forbidding married priests (which I do not think will ever happen) or allowing married bishops (which might).

The reason for it, though, has to do with the development of the priesthood over time and, probably more pertinent to this board, the sacramental understanding of both marriage and the priesthood, as well as two practical concerns I'll touch on now -- ability to oversee the Church and concerns for lands held by bishops being transferred to heirs of bishops instead of the Church.  Because I know very little about the history of both concerns, I'll just leave them here and let you all look into it as you will.  I will also say celibacy carries with it another practical issue -- economics.  Put simply, it is hard to support a priest and his family on what most parishes can pay.  That, thus far, has not weighed against all the benefits to having married clergy in the Orthodox Church.  I doubt it will.

As to the sacramental understanding, however, the call to the priesthood is considered a "higher" calling.  Not that the priest himself is higher, but rather that the call to Holy Orders is beyond that of matrimony.  It carries with it higher spiritual responsibilities.  Some of these concerns led to the Latin rite practice of having only celibate priests.  Because we share the concerns, but not the discipline, we allow priests to remain married if they already are, but do not allow them to become married once they enter the priesthood.  For the same reason, a married priest who is widowed is not allowed to remarry, nor is his wife allowed to remarry if he predeceases her (because she by virtue of her marriage to him is a part of his priesthood, though she herself is not a priest).  Similarly, a priest who divorces his wife, whether through his fault or hers, is defrocked, since the sacrament of nuptials is then broken.  It would be like renouncing his baptism or disdaining communion.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: mj4 on October 22, 2020, 11:57:25 AM
I thought I’d share this video of popular podcaster/youtuber Matt Fradd. He expresses the frustration of traditional Catholics who want the bishops of the church to speak up and teach or clarify what the church believes regarding sexuality. His work to promote the Catholic faith, he believes, is undercut (my term) by the silence or confusing statements of the church leadership. Does this bring back any memories, members or former members of the ELCA?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLXcrrnpNCs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLXcrrnpNCs)
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: David Garner on October 22, 2020, 12:06:14 PM

I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination).


That is correct. Marriage must take place before ordination. That is true also for non Latin Orthodox. Allowance for marriage is not universal for Uniate Rite Catholics. For example the Ukranians may not.

Peace, JOHN


Doesn’t this rule (prohibiting marriage after ordination) also apply to deacons?

Among us it does.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Randy Bosch on October 22, 2020, 12:13:28 PM
The Roman Catholic Church determined that priests are forbidden to marry through actions taken at the First and Second Lateran councils in 1123 and 1139  (The Economist).  There were a number of reasons and obviously much prior discussion surrounding that issue.  Apparently, some regional church bodies demanded that married priests then must be celibate or somehow abandon their wives -- there is probably someone here who has a handle on the history and can shed ight on it that might share some insights into parts of the contemporary discussion.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: John_Hannah on October 22, 2020, 12:20:22 PM

I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination).


That is correct. Marriage must take place before ordination. That is true also for non Latin Orthodox. Allowance for marriage is not universal for Uniate Rite Catholics. For example the Ukranians may not.

Peace, JOHN


Doesn’t this rule (prohibiting marriage after ordination) also apply to deacons?

Yes, I believe so.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: John_Hannah on October 22, 2020, 12:22:58 PM

I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination).
That is correct. Marriage must take place before ordination. That is true also for non Latin Orthodox. Allowance for marriage is not universal for Uniate Rite Catholics. For example the Ukranians may not.

Peace, JOHN
So marriage is allowed as a ‘pre existing condition’ ... allowed because it would be a violation of marital vows to terminate the marriage because a man became a priest.

Not quite.  It is allowed because the discipline is no marriage after ordination.  In the Orthodox Church, bishops may not marry (some of us feel that may change over time), but priests may remain married if they were married before ordination.  Essentially, it is a discipline, not a dogma, and so the Church is free to change it in either direction, either forbidding married priests (which I do not think will ever happen) or allowing married bishops (which might).

The reason for it, though, has to do with the development of the priesthood over time and, probably more pertinent to this board, the sacramental understanding of both marriage and the priesthood, as well as two practical concerns I'll touch on now -- ability to oversee the Church and concerns for lands held by bishops being transferred to heirs of bishops instead of the Church.  Because I know very little about the history of both concerns, I'll just leave them here and let you all look into it as you will.  I will also say celibacy carries with it another practical issue -- economics.  Put simply, it is hard to support a priest and his family on what most parishes can pay.  That, thus far, has not weighed against all the benefits to having married clergy in the Orthodox Church.  I doubt it will.

As to the sacramental understanding, however, the call to the priesthood is considered a "higher" calling.  Not that the priest himself is higher, but rather that the call to Holy Orders is beyond that of matrimony.  It carries with it higher spiritual responsibilities.  Some of these concerns led to the Latin rite practice of having only celibate priests.  Because we share the concerns, but not the discipline, we allow priests to remain married if they already are, but do not allow them to become married once they enter the priesthood.  For the same reason, a married priest who is widowed is not allowed to remarry, nor is his wife allowed to remarry if he predeceases her (because she by virtue of her marriage to him is a part of his priesthood, though she herself is not a priest).  Similarly, a priest who divorces his wife, whether through his fault or hers, is defrocked, since the sacrament of nuptials is then broken.  It would be like renouncing his baptism or disdaining communion.

Thank you; well stated.  Peace, JOHN
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2020, 12:24:55 PM
And there is the good ol' "follow the money." In the 9th-12th Century the monasteries accumulated great wealth. The Abbots of the monasteries were like Lords of the Manor and they were passing the great wealth down to their sons. Celibacy was - among other things - a way for the larger Church to be the beneficiary of the monastery wealth rather than the offspring of abbots and priests.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Randy Bosch on October 22, 2020, 12:46:38 PM
And there is the good ol' "follow the money." In the 9th-12th Century the monasteries accumulated great wealth. The Abbots of the monasteries were like Lords of the Manor and they were passing the great wealth down to their sons. Celibacy was - among other things - a way for the larger Church to be the beneficiary of the monastery wealth rather than the offspring of abbots and priests.

Is that when the Vatican began to amass the incredible wealth still seen today in its physical and investment holdings?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2020, 12:47:03 PM
If everyone has a right to be in a family, how come priests can't marry?


They are considered married to the church. That's to whom they have made their vows.


The few married priests who have come in from other traditions, being a married priest is seen as less of an issue than divorcing the wife in order to serve as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. However, should the wife die, they are not allowed to marry.


Lutheran and other missionaries made the same concessions in Africa when a man with multiple wives was converted, he was allowed to keep all his wives rather than divorce all but one.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2020, 12:54:16 PM

I believe Rome expresses the matter like this: it is a discipline of the Latin Rite. The Byzantine Catholics, using the Eastern rite, are permitted the Eastern discipline of marriage for the priests (I believe, only before ordination).
That is correct. Marriage must take place before ordination. That is true also for non Latin Orthodox. Allowance for marriage is not universal for Uniate Rite Catholics. For example the Ukranians may not.

Peace, JOHN
So marriage is allowed as a ‘pre existing condition’ ... allowed because it would be a violation of marital vows to terminate the marriage because a man became a priest.


Generally, this rule applies to converts from another denomination, outside of Rome's rules, who were married and ordained and then wished to become a Roman Catholic priest. Those who grew up under Rome's rules are not allowed to marry and then be ordained.


Similarly, the Roman Catholic church will recognize the marriages of non-Catholics that did not take place in their Church, because those individuals are not under Roman regulations. They do not recognize the weddings of their own members that take place outside of their church.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 22, 2020, 01:08:58 PM

If two gay people are married, you do not have to recognize their “marriage,” because you do not consider their relationship a marriage. However you do have to recognize that under the civil law they have a certain standing.
And civil society has the right to determine that those people have a certain legal relationship and to say how how those couples are treated.
I once knew an 88-year-old woman who, by any logical measurement, should not have been behind the wheel of the car. But the state gave her a driver’s license.
Exactly. Their marriage changes precisely nothing about their relationship. It changes how everyone else must treat their relationship. That is the only point of it.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2020, 01:30:59 PM
It does change, Peter, how that relationship is dealt with in the civil realm. Why don’t you get that? And what is wrong with that? A marriage  license doesn’t change anything about the relationship between a man and a woman either. Does it?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 22, 2020, 01:38:38 PM
It does change, Peter, how that relationship is dealt with in the civil realm. Why don’t you get that? And what is wrong with that? A marriage  license doesn’t change anything about the relationship between a man and a woman either. Does it?
We agree. There is no point in civil union apart from what it forces other people to recognize. That was what you originally objected to upstream.

There is a reason society needs to recognize marriage in the traditional sense, and that reason pertains the design of humanity and procreation. There is no reason society needs to care which two men live and sleep together.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2020, 01:51:10 PM
Let me ask one more time. Peter, why do you care if two men living together under a civil union or a marriage (which you don’t have to consider a marriage) have the same standing in society as a heterosexual married couple? What does it matter to you? What is wrong with society recognizing that kind of relationship and giving that kind of relationship the same benefits, privileges and responsibilities it gives to a heterosexual married couple?
Are you totally unable for some reason to recognize a civilly licensed union of two people?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2020, 01:53:34 PM
It does change, Peter, how that relationship is dealt with in the civil realm. Why don’t you get that? And what is wrong with that? A marriage  license doesn’t change anything about the relationship between a man and a woman either. Does it?
We agree. There is no point in civil union apart from what it forces other people to recognize. That was what you originally objected to upstream.

There is a reason society needs to recognize marriage in the traditional sense, and that reason pertains the design of humanity and procreation. There is no reason society needs to care which two men live and sleep together.


It is also about inheritance, hospital visitation and decision-making, health insurance, joint tax returns, etc. There are also issues about adoption. When a lesbian couple I know adopted their first child, at the time, Arizona only allowed one of them to be named as the parent. Should that one die, the other one had no legal rights to the child she had helped raise all her life.


I believe that a friend said that there were about 3000 benefits that are given to married couples that unattached people don't have. At the time, she was in a "registered domestic partner" relationship in California which gave her and her partner the same state benefits as married couples; but not the federal benefits.

Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 22, 2020, 02:00:57 PM
The Pope naturally can and does speak for himself and as the head of a very large Christian denomination. Since it doesn't happen to me mine, I have less at stake in parsing what he says means.


There are a number of legal ramifications to recognizing same-sex partnerings. Having it formalized as a legally recognized union can, if the government wishes and establishes it to be so, can provide that the couple so designated can file income tax jointly which can provide some financial benefits depending on the situation. They can claim each other on insurance like married couples do now, also access during hospitalization and other situations where visitation may be restricted. It also provides some legal protections if the couple split or otherwise prove faithless. It can also affect legalities with children. Finally it has inheritance implications.


Whether or not I personally approve of same-sex couplings it makes a certain sense to make provision for couples that do not conform to the traditional married couple paradigm but nonetheless have formed a committed couple and extend to them as many of the same benefits and protections granted to traditional married couples. We live in a pluralistic society and we need to live alongside people who are different than we are and accord to them the respect and dignity that we expect them to grant to us.


Nothing in that demands that I call their arrangement "marriage" in the religious sense that I work with marriage as a God ordained estate.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 22, 2020, 02:13:10 PM
Let me ask one more time. Peter, why do you care if two men living together under a civil union or a marriage (which you don’t have to consider a marriage) have the same standing in society as a heterosexual married couple? What does it matter to you? What is wrong with society recognizing that kind of relationship and giving that kind of relationship the same benefits, privileges and responsibilities it gives to a heterosexual married couple?
Are you totally unable for some reason to recognize a civilly licensed union of two people?
Because it something false being declared true, and everyone being forced to acknowledge it.

By the same token, why is it so important to you and many others that society recognize gay relationships as somehow official?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Rev. Edward Engelbrecht on October 22, 2020, 02:14:51 PM
Priests can marry. Under certain circumstances, Roman Catholic priests can be married. But you know that. And you know that certain things are matters of church discipline, where those wishing to be in the church vocation voluntarily give up some of their rights the sake of their vocation.

The only circumstance for married priests that I was aware of is when a married minister from another church body is ordained in the RCC. That is a tiny number of priests. Are there other exceptions?


Yes, there are. Uniate Rite Catholics (Eastern Orthodox groups which have pledged loyalty to the Bishop of Rome). 

Peace, JOHN

Thanks, John. I had forgotten about the Uniates.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: D. Engebretson on October 22, 2020, 02:22:02 PM
Apparently the quote from the pope that is garnering all the attention reflects thoughts and convictions of the pontiff going back at least a decade, or more. However, in stark contrast, the previous pope, in his then position at the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote:
The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions…. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behavior, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself.

The author of the article referenced below then notes: "That is indeed the perennial teaching of the Catholic Church. And the Pope is now on the record dissenting from that teaching, publicly and unambiguously."

Again the author also notes: "So, let’s be very clear: One of the first principles of Catholic social teaching is that immoral acts must not be given legal sanction. That’s why the Church plainly teaches that abortion (CCC, 2273) and pornography (CCC, 2354) should be prohibited by law. We as Catholics believe that civil authorities must not condone vice, even implicitly."

The entire article, a quick read, is worth it, in part, as evidence of the continued widening gap between the current pope and the more traditional and conservative members of his church.  This author believes, and I suspect a number of others within the ranks of the RC church, that Pope Francis "is dissenting from the Church."

Whether this will simply blow over and be forgotten, or will cause a growing crisis of confidence in the leader of this church among some followers, remains to be seen.  However, the author does note that it will embolden the more 'progressive' wing of the church that will now use the pope's words against them as a kind of moral bludgeon. 

Despite the fact that this author firmly believes he cannot follow where Francis leads in this instance, he appears yet to be a loyal son of the church.  His concluding words are a prayer:
Pray for our Holy Father, who needs our prayers now more than ever. If you love him, stand your ground. Please God, he’ll turn away from his error someday. Then we, the faithful remnant, may lead him back home.

https://www.crisismagazine.com/2020/where-francis-leads-we-cant-follow (https://www.crisismagazine.com/2020/where-francis-leads-we-cant-follow)
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2020, 02:28:29 PM
Peter:
By the same token, why is it so important to you and many others that society recognize gay relationships as somehow official?

Me:
For the legal, personal, and financial reasons mentioned by Brian just upstream. It can be considered a matter of justice and equality before the law.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Julio on October 22, 2020, 02:46:04 PM
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 22, 2020, 03:18:32 PM
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.
Julio, are a member of the same denomination as Pr. Austin? The same synod? The same congregation? He is a member of a denomination that recognizes same-sex unions as morally equivalent as heterosexual unions. Thus his opinions are in line with those who have ecclesiastical supervision over him. It is up to them to supervise his faith and life. Within his denomination, his opinions are not considered out of line with God's law.


Now, I like you, believe that they and he are wrong in this. It is, I think, perfectly legitimate to state my opinion and my denomination's opinion as to what God's will and God's law states on this matter and to dispute their ideas in this matter. But it is not my place to accuse Pr. Austin personally of disobeying God or showing bad faith in his Christian walk.


I think that these discussion go better and are more productive when we stick more to disputing ideas and theological positions and keep away from opining about the spiritual health of others, especially those who are not subject to the same ecclesiastical disciple that we are.


I very much disagree with Pr. Austin about same-sex marriage and a great many other things. Where that places his faith and his faithfulness to God is up to him and God to work out, with a look in from his ecclesiastical supervisor if necessary. It is especially not my place in the impersonal media of a discussion forum to do so.


You might want to consider Romans 14:4, "Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand." In this, it seems to me that Pr. Austin is the servant of another, who are we to pass judgment on him?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 22, 2020, 03:26:34 PM
Let me ask one more time. Peter, why do you care if two men living together under a civil union or a marriage (which you don’t have to consider a marriage) have the same standing in society as a heterosexual married couple? What does it matter to you? What is wrong with society recognizing that kind of relationship and giving that kind of relationship the same benefits, privileges and responsibilities it gives to a heterosexual married couple?
Are you totally unable for some reason to recognize a civilly licensed union of two people?

Good God.  It may not matter to me personally if two men are sleeping with one another.  But ths marriage thing civilly recognized between persons has to do with public recognition and policy.  There is a HUGE difference.  And the impact goes beyond my personal acceptance or rejection of it.  Of course, if it agrees with you personally, no problem:  the public agenda is in sync with your private opinion.  But with many of us it is NOT in sync.  And no matter of persuasion will change my opinion, in this case.

Also when the issue is raised for the public in general then the issue of the estate enters into as well.  One cannot talk about estate unless there are two individuals involved:  a public matter and not a private matter at that point.  None of us lives alone with our own personal preferences.  The neighbor is always affected when it comes to public matters.  How difficult is that for you to hear?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2020, 03:30:18 PM
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.


If you do any work on the seventh day, you are breaking God's law (Exodus 23:12; 34:11). If you are a farmer you are not to harvest grain or grapes or olives on the seventh year. That's God's law (Exodus 23:10-11). God's law also tells us to put to death anyone who works on the sabbath (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36).


I would venture to guess that there are many of the 613 commands in the Torah that you regularly ignore.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 22, 2020, 03:33:51 PM
Let me ask one more time. Peter, why do you care if two men living together under a civil union or a marriage (which you don’t have to consider a marriage) have the same standing in society as a heterosexual married couple? What does it matter to you? What is wrong with society recognizing that kind of relationship and giving that kind of relationship the same benefits, privileges and responsibilities it gives to a heterosexual married couple?
Are you totally unable for some reason to recognize a civilly licensed union of two people?

Good God.  It may not matter to me personally if two men are sleeping with one another.  But ths marriage thing civilly recognized between persons has to do with public recognition and policy.  There is a HUGE difference.  And the impact goes beyond my personal acceptance or rejection of it.  Of course, if it agrees with you personally, no problem public agenda is in sync with your private opinion.  But with many of us it is NOT in sync.  And no matter of persuasion will change my opinion, in this case.

Also when the issue is raised for the public in general then the issue of estate enters into as well.  One cannot talk about estate unless there are two individuals involved.  In that case it is not a private matter.  None of us lives alone with our own personal preferences.  The neighbor is always affected when it comes to public matters.  How difficult is that for you to hear?


The homosexuals are my neighbors. It's likely that there are some who are members of the extended family. What does loving the homosexual neighbor as ourselves mean? What does treating them as I would like to be treated mean?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 22, 2020, 03:36:51 PM
Let me ask one more time. Peter, why do you care if two men living together under a civil union or a marriage (which you don’t have to consider a marriage) have the same standing in society as a heterosexual married couple? What does it matter to you? What is wrong with society recognizing that kind of relationship and giving that kind of relationship the same benefits, privileges and responsibilities it gives to a heterosexual married couple?
Are you totally unable for some reason to recognize a civilly licensed union of two people?
Because it something false being declared true, and everyone being forced to acknowledge it.

By the same token, why is it so important to you and many others that society recognize gay relationships as somehow official?

Yes.  I'd like to hear Pr. Austin's reply to the above question.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 22, 2020, 03:41:58 PM
Let me ask one more time. Peter, why do you care if two men living together under a civil union or a marriage (which you don’t have to consider a marriage) have the same standing in society as a heterosexual married couple? What does it matter to you? What is wrong with society recognizing that kind of relationship and giving that kind of relationship the same benefits, privileges and responsibilities it gives to a heterosexual married couple?
Are you totally unable for some reason to recognize a civilly licensed union of two people?

Good God.  It may not matter to me personally if two men are sleeping with one another.  But ths marriage thing civilly recognized between persons has to do with public recognition and policy.  There is a HUGE difference.  And the impact goes beyond my personal acceptance or rejection of it.  Of course, if it agrees with you personally, no problem public agenda is in sync with your private opinion.  But with many of us it is NOT in sync.  And no matter of persuasion will change my opinion, in this case.

Also when the issue is raised for the public in general then the issue of estate enters into as well.  One cannot talk about estate unless there are two individuals involved.  In that case it is not a private matter.  None of us lives alone with our own personal preferences.  The neighbor is always affected when it comes to public matters.  How difficult is that for you to hear?


The homosexuals are my neighbors. It's likely that there are some who are members of the extended family. What does loving the homosexual neighbor as ourselves mean? What does treating them as I would like to be treated mean?

For me the honest thing would be to share my opinion on the matter with them.  I force no one when I share my opinion using "I" statements alone.  It is their responsibility on how they will respond to me at that point.

Note:  this does not ignore the other as my neighbor.  It actually gives back to them their inherent dignity as a free agent before their neighbor as well as before God.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 22, 2020, 04:01:44 PM
I answered your question, George Rahn, a few postings before you asked it.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: readselerttoo on October 22, 2020, 04:43:02 PM
I answered your question, George Rahn, a few postings before you asked it.

Just saw that.  Thank you.

But the question was why ought the public be the arena in which we, all of us and not just those who are on board with gay relationships,
recognize gay relationships in general(in contradistinction to the estate of marriage issue, or the civil union issue, for that matter)?  The parenthetical items would need/or should be addressed along with the equality issue.  I wouldn't think you could talk about one without talking about the other.  Civil law about recognizing gay relationships in general borders on fascism, imo.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Commencement2020 on October 23, 2020, 10:29:57 PM
Francis may be worried that he is the Antichrist and is trying to not be one.

1. He kissed the feet of the leaders of South Sudan (The exact opposite of what you see in a Luther/Cranach cartoon)

2. He does not accept the title "Vicar of Christ" and considers it to be historical only.

3. He has railed against "neopelagians" -- a term intended for traditional Catholics: https://onepeterfive.com/the-protesting-pope/ (https://onepeterfive.com/the-protesting-pope/)

4. He pushed through communion for the divorced and remarried. Not forbidding marriage falls under 1 Timothy 4:1-3.

5. He has denounced altarage fees ("the Mass cannot be paid for"), in consternation to those beneath him who cite canon law. The concern about filthy lucre fits in with trying not to be Babylon the Great. Plus steep altarage fees for wedding masses in some places may discourage marriage and likewise fall under 1 Timothy 4:1-3

6. Now he is backing civil unions. Taken from a certain perspective, this is similar to the issue with #4 about 1 Timothy 4:1-3. Except the semantics term it "civil union" instead of "marriage"--but what is the difference?

7. Photo op with a Luther statue! https://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A700-Luther.htm (https://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A700-Luther.htm)

There is are a decent number of ordinary Catholics who are aware of the Prophecy of the Popes and how Peter the Roman comes at the end. So it isn't just anti-Catholics thinking that the pope is the Antichrist, there are devout Roman Catholics who sincerely believe that Peter the Roman will be the Antichrist and a pope at the same time. Depending on how you count them, Peter the Roman comes out to be Francis. People in general have a love-hate relationship with authority and the papacy is no different. There is a certain natural attraction for this prophecy due to this. So Francis has an extra burden to be un-Antichrist.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Julio on October 24, 2020, 03:26:02 AM
Some thoughts on Pope Francis Recently Reported Comments on Same Sex Civil Unions (https://issuesetc.org/2020/10/22/2962-pope-francis-recently-reported-comments-on-same-sex-civil-unions-pr-paul-mccain-10-22-20/) by one of our own.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Steven W Bohler on October 24, 2020, 09:49:32 AM
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.


If you do any work on the seventh day, you are breaking God's law (Exodus 23:12; 34:11). If you are a farmer you are not to harvest grain or grapes or olives on the seventh year. That's God's law (Exodus 23:10-11). God's law also tells us to put to death anyone who works on the sabbath (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36).


I would venture to guess that there are many of the 613 commands in the Torah that you regularly ignore.

Oooh, and don't forget the shrimp thing!  You ALWAYS mention that.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2020, 01:38:37 PM
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.


If you do any work on the seventh day, you are breaking God's law (Exodus 23:12; 34:11). If you are a farmer you are not to harvest grain or grapes or olives on the seventh year. That's God's law (Exodus 23:10-11). God's law also tells us to put to death anyone who works on the sabbath (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36).


I would venture to guess that there are many of the 613 commands in the Torah that you regularly ignore.

Oooh, and don't forget the shrimp thing!  You ALWAYS mention that.


I've mentioned it enough times so that I don't have to repeat myself anymore. I recommend the bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese that is served in Mazatlan - the shrimp capital of Mexico.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 24, 2020, 01:44:02 PM
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.


If you do any work on the seventh day, you are breaking God's law (Exodus 23:12; 34:11). If you are a farmer you are not to harvest grain or grapes or olives on the seventh year. That's God's law (Exodus 23:10-11). God's law also tells us to put to death anyone who works on the sabbath (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36).


I would venture to guess that there are many of the 613 commands in the Torah that you regularly ignore.

Oooh, and don't forget the shrimp thing!  You ALWAYS mention that.


I've mentioned it enough times so that I don't have to repeat myself anymore. I recommend the bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese that is served in Mazatlan - the shrimp capital of Mexico.
A recipe that I quite like is 007 Shrimp. Shrimp wrapped in bacon and marinated in a mixture of gin and vermouth and then smoked in a smoker.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 24, 2020, 01:49:15 PM

I've mentioned it enough times so that I don't have to repeat myself anymore.

May we quote you on this? You know, sort of like reminding Lindsay Graham of his "you should use my words against me" quip?  8)
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: James J Eivan on October 24, 2020, 03:43:58 PM
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.
If you do any work on the seventh day, you are breaking God's law (Exodus 23:12; 34:11). If you are a farmer you are not to harvest grain or grapes or olives on the seventh year. That's God's law (Exodus 23:10-11). God's law also tells us to put to death anyone who works on the sabbath (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36).

I would venture to guess that there are many of the 613 commands in the Torah that you regularly ignore.
Oooh, and don't forget the shrimp thing!  You ALWAYS mention that.
Unless  Rev Stoffregen informs this humble forum that his wife from his optionally monogamous marriage wears a hat in public at all times he has little right to lecture us on the 600 some odd bogus distractions he disingenuously introduces into a discussion on Christian monogamous marriage.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2020, 06:01:32 PM

I've mentioned it enough times so that I don't have to repeat myself anymore.

May we quote you on this? You know, sort of like reminding Lindsay Graham of his "you should use my words against me" quip?  8)


"Don't have to," doesn't mean I won't. :D

Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 24, 2020, 06:05:07 PM
It continues to be concerning how a pastor such as Rev Austin apparently is far more concerned with the sinful laws of man ... and continues to ignore God and his law.

It is said that we should obey God rather than man.  Rev Austin .. please try it sometime.
If you do any work on the seventh day, you are breaking God's law (Exodus 23:12; 34:11). If you are a farmer you are not to harvest grain or grapes or olives on the seventh year. That's God's law (Exodus 23:10-11). God's law also tells us to put to death anyone who works on the sabbath (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Nu 15:32-36).

I would venture to guess that there are many of the 613 commands in the Torah that you regularly ignore.
Oooh, and don't forget the shrimp thing!  You ALWAYS mention that.
Unless  Rev Stoffregen informs this humble forum that his wife from his optionally monogamous marriage wears a hat in public at all times he has little right to lecture us on the 600 some odd bogus distractions he disingenuously introduces into a discussion on Christian monogamous marriage.


Polygamy is not legal in the U.S. "Optionally monogamous marriage" is not an option.


Again, I ask, where are the verses where God commands monogamy? I've shared verses where God supports multiple wives.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2020, 01:32:23 PM
https://juicyecumenism.com/2020/10/23/episcopal-church-marriages/

This article chronologically links the decline in marriage generally with the rise of gay marriage and civil unions. The thesis doesn't explore all the possible reasons for the correlation, but I think a church and society that is so lax about fornication and divorce has stopped taking marriage very seriously, anyway, which leaves people with no particular reason to resist a redefinition of it.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2020, 05:28:29 PM
Peter writes:
This article chronologically links the decline in marriage generally with the rise of gay marriage and civil unions. The thesis doesn't explore all the possible reasons for the correlation...
I comment:
2003? That's when this guy thinks regard for marriage began to decline? I was ordained in 1967 and experienced, both as pastor and as friends of others, couples living together, "easy" divorce, and other things we might consider marriage "irregularities" practiced without much social disapproval. But is it "marriage," or is it "the Church" that fell out of favor, that lost its influence? People want marriage ceremonies, some of them "spiritual, but not religious," and there is an industry of "ceremony guides" who will craft and lead the rituals desired.

Peter writes:
but I think a church and society that is so lax about fornication and divorce has stopped taking marriage very seriously, anyway, which leaves people with no particular reason to resist a redefinition of it.
I ponder:
Just when was it that society - that is, the whole society, not just the polite minority church people - really really took marriage "very seriously"? Among our founders? Mistresses abound. In the days of the westward expansion? Marriages of convenience or non-marriages abound, partially because a lot of times there weren't clergy around to officiate. In the days of the "Roarin' Twenties"? You must be kidding. After both World Wars, when our formerly isolated citizens were exposed to laxer attitudes among our allies overseas? "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm; after they've seen Paree?"
I think we in the church were lucky in the 1950s when "family life" became a goal and we benefited.
Today, I think we benefit when, for the sake of love or family or even as responsible citizens in society, people formerly denied the privilege of official, formal, legal, church-recognized marriage are able to seek and find it.
And it is good when divorce need not mean the end of a career, a totally shaming scandal in the community, and life long misery - usually for the woman - because a marriage failed. 
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2020, 05:35:56 PM
Peter writes:
This article chronologically links the decline in marriage generally with the rise of gay marriage and civil unions. The thesis doesn't explore all the possible reasons for the correlation...
I comment:
2003? That's when this guy thinks regard for marriage began to decline? I was ordained in 1967 and experienced, both as pastor and as friends of others, couples living together, "easy" divorce, and other things we might consider marriage "irregularities" practiced without much social disapproval. But is it "marriage," or is it "the Church" that fell out of favor, that lost its influence? People want marriage ceremonies, some of them "spiritual, but not religious," and there is an industry of "ceremony guides" who will craft and lead the rituals desired.

Peter writes:
but I think a church and society that is so lax about fornication and divorce has stopped taking marriage very seriously, anyway, which leaves people with no particular reason to resist a redefinition of it.
I ponder:
Just when was it that society - that is, the whole society, not just the polite minority church people - really really took marriage "very seriously"? Among our founders? Mistresses abound. In the days of the westward expansion? Marriages of convenience or non-marriages abound, partially because a lot of times there weren't clergy around to officiate. In the days of the "Roarin' Twenties"? You must be kidding. After both World Wars, when our formerly isolated citizens were exposed to laxer attitudes among our allies overseas? "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm; after they've seen Paree?"
I think we in the church were lucky in the 1950s when "family life" became a goal and we benefited.
Today, I think we benefit when, for the sake of love or family or even as responsible citizens in society, people formerly denied the privilege of official, formal, legal, church-recognized marriage are able to seek and find it.
And it is good when divorce need not mean the end of a career, a totally shaming scandal in the community, and life long misery - usually for the woman - because a marriage failed.
Episcopal weddings are down 66% in a relatively short period. Instead of engaging in more invective, why not comment on the point of the article? Do you have a theory. Does it not strike you as important?   
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2020, 05:45:58 PM
The point of the article is to drum up opposition to the current leadership and positions in the Episcopal Church. I'm not very interested in doing that. The Institute on Religion and Democracy has been trashing liberal churches since the 1980s, often with lies and misleading articles, such as a Readers' Digest atrocity against the World Council of Churches back in those days. Unfortunately, the generally more sensible (though often wrong) Richard John Neuhaus was tight with them for a while.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2020, 05:58:37 PM
The point of the article is to drum up opposition to the current leadership and positions in the Episcopal Church. I'm not very interested in doing that. The Institute on Religion and Democracy has been trashing liberal churches since the 1980s, often with lies and misleading articles, such as a Readers' Digest atrocity against the World Council of Churches back in those days. Unfortunately, the generally more sensible (though often wrong) Richard John Neuhaus was tight with them for a while.
So you're not interested in the point of the article. Don't post about it then.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2020, 06:06:57 PM
Actually, Peter, I did post about the article. And about the topic in general. You would like it if people could just throw up these far right crazy columns and we would let them stand unchallenged. I don’t think that should happen.
Do you have any answer my questions about the timing of those “glorious days“ when everybody respected marriage and practiced it the way you think it should be practiced?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2020, 06:34:57 PM
Actually, Peter, I did post about the article. And about the topic in general. You would like it if people could just throw up these far right crazy columns and we would let them stand unchallenged. I don’t think that should happen.
Do you have any answer my questions about the timing of those “glorious days“ when everybody respected marriage and practiced it the way you think it should be practiced?
Actually, I posted it because I think it is a serious problem in my own congregation as well. When I first became a pastor, weddings were a pretty regular weekend thing. When I became senior pastor for the first time, about twenty years ago, I had something like 12 weddings in 11 weeks. Now I virtually never do a wedding. Between the two of us we might do a handful in a given year, generally off site. I think the younger generation's view of marriage has completely changed. If you would do something other than default to defend your side in a culture war, you might find interesting things to think about that don't relate to the virtuous left and evil right.

I think social acceptance of premarital sex plays a big role. People aren't sure they're ready for marriage even if they're sleeping together regularly. There is also economic uncertainty that makes people postpone major decisions. The two-income model in a mobile job market is also hard to pull off. And something mentioned at the end of The Social Dilemma hit home to me. One of the effects of the social media age is that a huge number of people are making it to adulthood without ever having gone on a date or had a romantic relationship of any kind. The idea that marriage is nothing different between what two men who love each other have also removes any sense of moral urgency to the decision.

As long as you keep posting WaPo and NYT, no amount of far right crazy columns will counter-balance them. Rest your little head. 
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Richard Johnson on October 25, 2020, 07:31:55 PM
The article Peter posted is indeed interesting, though it suffers from the "woe is them" attitude that often afflicts "Juicy Ecumenism" stuff. I thought a more sober (and helpful) analysis was the Living Church blog cited by the JE column, which you can find here (https://livingchurch.org/covenant/2020/10/19/facing-episcopal-church-decline-the-latest-numbers/).

I also experienced, subjectively thinking about it, a decline in the number of weddings I did over the years. Curious about my memory, I actually went back and took a look. In my first 15 years or so of ministry, I averaged about one wedding a month--the fewest in one year was 7, the most was 18. In the last dozen years of ministry, I averaged about 2 or 3 a year (in 2002, I did no weddings). It looks to me as if the tipping point was about the turn of the millennium. I did nine weddings in 1998; the most in any year after that was four, and usual it was only two or three.

Of course there are many factors that should be considered in thinking about this. One that occurs to me is that baby boomers were getting married in the 1960s and 1970s, so one would expect a higher number of weddings then; but those couples tended to have fewer children (and to marry later), which would mean a decline around the turn of the millennium. On the other hand, I suspect (but didn't keep this record) that even as the number of weddings I did was declining, the percentage of them which were second marriages for at least one spouse was increasing.

Factor into the analysis the reality that while once upon a time, even nominal Christians tended to seek a pastor to officiate at their wedding, now there are lots more options. (My pastor daughter was really ticked, when she was still in seminary, that her non-ordained brother officiated at a wedding before she did!)

And factor in also that in many churches (and especially, in my experience, and since that's what the article is about, Episcopal churches) there are very specific "rules" about what you can and can't do at a wedding relating to photography, flowers, music, schlocky add-on ceremonies, etc. In an environment where people have come to believe that "it's my day and I want it my way," sometimes they aren't at all interested in shackling themselves to the standards of the congregation.

A word about context: In my current parish, there is a pretty firm rule that only parish members can be married in the church. A previous rector told me this was because if he didn't make that rule, he would be doing weddings every weekend (quaint Victorian church in a picturesque destination town). That's an unusual situation, perhaps, but it might play into the statistics.

Bottom line, there are lots of factors involved in the "decline of marriages" in the church (not just the Episcopal Church, as Peter points out).
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 25, 2020, 08:08:13 PM
And factor in also that in many churches (and especially, in my experience, and since that's what the article is about, Episcopal churches) there are very specific "rules" about what you can and can't do at a wedding relating to photography, flowers, music, schlocky add-on ceremonies, etc. In an environment where people have come to believe that "it's my day and I want it my way," sometimes they aren't at all interested in shackling themselves to the standards of the congregation.


And some couples hire a wedding planner who tries to tell the pastor what he's supposed to do.



Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Julio on October 25, 2020, 08:16:01 PM
The point of the article is to drum up opposition to the current leadership and positions in the Episcopal Church. I'm not very interested in doing that. The Institute on Religion and Democracy has been trashing liberal churches since the 1980s, often with lies and misleading articles, such as a Readers' Digest atrocity against the World Council of Churches back in those days. Unfortunately, the generally more sensible (though often wrong) Richard John Neuhaus was tight with them for a while.
Rev Austin ... simply because you appear to be “tight with them” in no way indicates that you have any or more or less sense than RJN ... why judge the indefensible dead?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: James J Eivan on October 25, 2020, 08:23:23 PM
And factor in also that in many churches (and especially, in my experience, and since that's what the article is about, Episcopal churches) there are very specific "rules" about what you can and can't do at a wedding relating to photography, flowers, music, schlocky add-on ceremonies, etc. In an environment where people have come to believe that "it's my day and I want it my way," sometimes they aren't at all interested in shackling themselves to the standards of the congregation.
And some couples hire a wedding planner who tries to tell the pastor what he's supposed to do.
Yes ... sadly including communing the bride and groom only in the midst of the pastor’s address to the couple. 🤔
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2020, 08:24:03 PM
I’m not judging anything. Richard was an active participant in the work of  the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He and I discussed it many times. And he and I were on NBC’s “Today” show together discussing it following my story in the Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/1982/11/03/us/national-council-of-churches-faces-new-type-of-critic.html

And here RJN speaks for IRD
https://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/15/nyregion/new-church-group-assails-support-for-left.html
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Dan Fienen on October 25, 2020, 08:46:56 PM
What's the point anyway? Pr. Stoffregen seems intent to prove that traditional church teachings about marriage have little or no basis in the Bible (did they even have marriage back then?). And Pr. Austin is always telling us how the younger generation is rejecting every traditional church teaching so traditional understandings  about marriage will be extinct shortly anyway. With progressive Democrats about to be elected by a landslide - according to our local Humble Correspondent - so soon traditional Christian social teachings will be outlawed as hate speech and the progressive utopia will be ushered in. But then no doubt I am, again in the words of our local esteemed Humble Correspondent a couple of sandwiches, a quart of potato salad, and a blanket short of a picnic and sniffing dimwit dust.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2020, 09:03:25 PM
pastor Fienen:
And Pr. Austin is always telling us how the younger generation is rejecting every traditional church teaching so traditional understandings  about marriage will be extinct shortly anyway. Me:
I am not telling you that.

Pastor Fienen:
With progressive Democrats about to be elected by a landslide - according to our local Humble Correspondent - so soon traditional Christian social teachings will be outlawed as hate speech and the progressive utopia will be ushered in.
Me:
I’m not telling you that either. So what’s your point?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Julio on October 25, 2020, 09:26:13 PM
I’m not judging anything. Richard was an active participant in the work of  the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He and I discussed it many times. And he and I were on NBC’s “Today” show together discussing it following my story in the Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/1982/11/03/us/national-council-of-churches-faces-new-type-of-critic.html

And here RJN speaks for IRD
https://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/15/nyregion/new-church-group-assails-support-for-left.html
Any chance the audio and/or video or transcripts  are available on your interview with RJN?

By the way ... it was Julio who suggested you were judging the dead ... you are welcome for correcting you needlessly drawing the esteemed west coast moderator into this discussion.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2020, 10:04:09 PM
Julio:
Any chance the audio and/or video or transcripts  are available on your interview with RJN?
Me:
No.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 25, 2020, 10:15:27 PM
I’m not judging anything. Richard was an active participant in the work of  the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He and I discussed it many times. And he and I were on NBC’s “Today” show together discussing it following my story in the Times.

https://www.nytimes.com/1982/11/03/us/national-council-of-churches-faces-new-type-of-critic.html

And here RJN speaks for IRD
https://www.nytimes.com/1981/11/15/nyregion/new-church-group-assails-support-for-left.html
Interesting. In your 1982 article you write: In a pastoral letter, Bishop Armstrong said his interview with Morley Safer, a CBS News reporter, was ''disturbing'' because questions put to him seemed like ''judgmental editorial sentences.'' The Indiana Bishop said, ''It appears to me that the thrust of the program has been determined before the cameras did their selective work at the North Indiana conference or before Mr. Safer came to our home.'' A spokesman for CBS News, Ari Marabel said it was the network's policy not to comment on programs in preparation.

In your opinion, was the bishop simply dodging valid criticism by painting the press as biased, or was he a victim of a biased press?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Julio on October 25, 2020, 10:22:53 PM
Julio:
Any chance the audio and/or video or transcripts  are available on your interview with RJN?
Me:
No.
Thanks ... that must have been an interesting interview ... any recollection as to the exact date ... occasionally interesting things show up In archives. Thanks for your prompt response.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 25, 2020, 10:43:32 PM
Peter writes:
In your opinion, was the bishop simply dodging valid criticism by painting the press as biased, or was he a victim of a biased press?
I comment:
The bishop was not dodging “valid criticism,” because the questions were not “criticism.” They asked for an explanation of certain programs and actions. The programs - aid to certain relief and “liberation” groups - were controversial. They drew criticism, a lot of it inaccurate. IRD skillfully “took control” of the story, making use of the unfair and inaccurate Readers’ Digest hit job.
Some of the Church folk were ill-prepared to deal with the questions and got ridiculously defensive. They took any question, any effort to probe or clarify, as an assault. (Not unlike Someone we know today.)
Ironically, in light of today’s hoo-doing, we in the “major media” were called right-wing pawns out to “get” progressive religion. Some, like Readers’ Digest, were; but most of us weren’t.
(But you can ignore these comments, because they are from my experience and expertise in reporting the news.)
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: James J Eivan on October 26, 2020, 12:17:04 AM
In addition to the previously cited discussion of the Popes recent same sex statement by one of our own (http://alpb.org/Forum/index.php?topic=7632.msg491153#msg491153), Relevant Radio covered the Popes recent statement here (https://relevantradio.com/2020/10/popes-remarks-about-civil-unions-and-what-it-means-for-the-church/)

Please note that in both of these discussion that the idea that the pope is in anyway condoning the sin of same sex behavior is quite misleading and frankly a bogus lie. 

In the same manner as the divorce granted by Moses in no way was sanctioned by God, the Pope’s comments on these sinful unions is neither condoning them or indicate in any way that they are sanctioned, desired, or blessed by our just and merciful God in heaven.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 26, 2020, 02:30:53 AM
And factor in also that in many churches (and especially, in my experience, and since that's what the article is about, Episcopal churches) there are very specific "rules" about what you can and can't do at a wedding relating to photography, flowers, music, schlocky add-on ceremonies, etc. In an environment where people have come to believe that "it's my day and I want it my way," sometimes they aren't at all interested in shackling themselves to the standards of the congregation.
And some couples hire a wedding planner who tries to tell the pastor what he's supposed to do.
Yes ... sadly including communing the bride and groom only in the midst of the pastor’s address to the couple. 🤔

I had a couple quite angry at me when I refused to commune only the bride and groom. Unfortunately, my predecessor had done that with the another member of the bride's family. The compromise was they both drank wine from a chalice, but there were no words of institution and no bread. I called it a unity cup.

It was after I left (I didn't stay long at that congregation,) another of the bride's siblings got married in the church and they had communion for the whole assembly.


Another wedding battle was over wearing cowboy hats in the church building during the ceremony. I won that one, too. Real cowboys (and there were many of them in Wyoming,) don't wear hats in buildings.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 26, 2020, 04:12:26 AM
As noted far upstream, while portions of the Church were deciding on the matter of same-sex marriage, some of us - the LCA included - officially favored civil unions that could legally bind two people together and give them the same privileges as a married heterosexual couple. Doing this made no statement regarding marriage or homosexuality; it just favored creating those legal bonds affecting things like property, inheritances, adoption, health care and related matters.
Of course, the focus of the discussion was gay couples, and it was understood and that the bonds were to enable gays and lesbians to create a "marriage-like" union, whether the word, "marriage," was used or not, and generally that word was not used.
The fact that Pope Francis favors civil unions does not contain any doctrinal stuffing. Although it might reflect a pastor's concern for people on the margins of what some consider "normal" society.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 26, 2020, 09:03:38 AM
As noted far upstream, while portions of the Church were deciding on the matter of same-sex marriage, some of us - the LCA included - officially favored civil unions that could legally bind two people together and give them the same privileges as a married heterosexual couple. Doing this made no statement regarding marriage or homosexuality; it just favored creating those legal bonds affecting things like property, inheritances, adoption, health care and related matters.
Of course, the focus of the discussion was gay couples, and it was understood and that the bonds were to enable gays and lesbians to create a "marriage-like" union, whether the word, "marriage," was used or not, and generally that word was not used.
The fact that Pope Francis favors civil unions does not contain any doctrinal stuffing. Although it might reflect a pastor's concern for people on the margins of what some consider "normal" society.
The problem is that the "legal privileges" exist for a reason that doesn't apply to homosexual couples. All the civil union does is declare publicly that a homosexual relationship is the same thing as the two becoming one. But it isn't. 
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 26, 2020, 09:13:03 AM
Peter:
All the civil union does is declare publicly that a homosexual relationship is the same thing as the two becoming one. But it isn't.
Me:
But legally, in terms of the law, it is. Why can’t you say that?

Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: peter_speckhard on October 26, 2020, 10:34:42 AM
Peter:
All the civil union does is declare publicly that a homosexual relationship is the same thing as the two becoming one. But it isn't.
Me:
But legally, in terms of the law, it is. Why can’t you say that?
Because it isn't except by bogus fiat. A law that insists all left handed people be given the right park in handicapped spaces would indeed spread legal privileges to more people. But all it would do is confuse left-handedness with disability when they are unrelated. There is no reason to give left handed people the right to park in handicapped spaces, and there is no reason to give two men a license to be treated as husband and wife.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Charles Austin on October 26, 2020, 11:04:40 AM
Peter:
there is no reason to give two men a license to be treated as husband and wife.
Me:
Do you not recognize the legal and personal difficulties facing same sex partners? Or do you want them to be penalized for sharing their lives?
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 26, 2020, 11:23:51 AM
Do you not recognize the legal and personal difficulties facing same sex partners? Or do you want them to be penalized for sharing their lives?
Do you not recognize the legal and personal difficulties throuples face?  Or do you want them to be penalized for sharing their lives?

See what I did there? I strenuously objection to your framing (again).  Not granting same-sex marriage or civil unions is not penalizing them for sharing their lives.  In a free society (one that thankfully no longer criminalizes adult consensual sex), they are free to do whatever they want.

Of course, the way Obergfell has been decided by the courts has obscured the actual history of why traditional marriage exists (and predates government):  procreation.  Ignoring that, one can never obtain a reasonable answer.

Having said that, I disagree with Pastor Speckhard's premise here as well.  I think there was a legitimate legal reason for many jurisdictions to be required by the courts to offer civil unions for same-sex partners...which of course was subsequently demolished by Obergfell, because dignity or something incoherent.  But that's the lesson of Griswold v Connecticut, where the Supreme Court found a right of privacy meant married couples (only married couples) could not be forbidden to use contraception, and then subsequently extended that protection outside of marriage for no principled reason (even as I think government has no business regulating that in the first place, as a general legal matter).

I don't see anything wrong with civil unions, too bad it didn't stop there.  Emphasis on civil, as I don't believe it legitimate for government to conform to religious ideals, because the question inevitably devolves to which one?  Just ask the Mormons.  (Why the U.S. Constitution forbids a religous test for office holders...because the Founders couldn't agree on which Christian denomination to require.) 
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 26, 2020, 12:15:52 PM
Do you not recognize the legal and personal difficulties facing same sex partners? Or do you want them to be penalized for sharing their lives?
Do you not recognize the legal and personal difficulties throuples face?  Or do you want them to be penalized for sharing their lives?

See what I did there? I strenuously objection to your framing (again).  Not granting same-sex marriage or civil unions is not penalizing them for sharing their lives.  In a free society (one that thankfully no longer criminalizes adult consensual sex), they are free to do whatever they want.


Nope. Couples who live together are not free to do whatever they want. They do not have the benefits that married couples have, e.g., filing a joint tax return. Being on one's health insurance policy.

Quote
Of course, the way Obergfell has been decided by the courts has obscured the actual history of why traditional marriage exists (and predates government):  procreation.  Ignoring that, one can never obtain a reasonable answer.


People can and have procreated without marriage. Many of the offspring of Jacob that became the fathers of the twelve tribes did not come from a marriage relationship. Try again. Why does marriage exist?


Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 26, 2020, 12:48:58 PM
Nope. Couples who live together are not free to do whatever they want. They do not have the benefits that married couples have, e.g., filing a joint tax return. Being on one's health insurance policy.

You have the typical warped progressive view of freedom:  that people are not truly free unless the government gives them something they want.  Just like a single person can't file a joint tax return, because such person is not married, does not infringe on his freedom.  Not qualifying for an objective standard does not make one unfree.

In a few years, sooner than I want to think about, my oldest will no longer qualify to be on my health insurance when she turns 26 (if she doesn't have her own by then).  In your contorted language, she is no longer free.  That's because it's not about freedom.

Please stop with the nonsensical stream of consciousness posts.



Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 26, 2020, 12:55:49 PM
Nope. Couples who live together are not free to do whatever they want. They do not have the benefits that married couples have, e.g., filing a joint tax return. Being on one's health insurance policy.

You have the typical warped progressive view of freedom:  that people are not truly free unless the government gives them something they want.  Just like a single person can't file a joint tax return, because such person is not married, does not infringe on his freedom.  Not qualifying for an objective standard does not make one unfree.


You are emphasizing "free." My point was about "whatever they wanted."

Quote
In a few years, sooner than I want to think about, my oldest will no longer qualify to be on my health insurance when she turns 26 (if she doesn't have her own by then).  In your contorted language, she is no longer free.  That's because it's not about freedom.


Nope. My argument is no matter how much she or you want her to remain on your health insurance, she can't. Neither you nor her are free to do whatever you want


Quote
Please stop with the nonsensical stream of consciousness posts.


Please stop misunderstanding my posts.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 26, 2020, 12:57:23 PM
People can and have procreated without marriage. Many of the offspring of Jacob that became the fathers of the twelve tribes did not come from a marriage relationship. Try again. Why does marriage exist?
Sigh.  Nowhere did I deny that procreation can exist outside of marriage.  Stop being obtuse.  Marriage exists to constrain the fundamental human impulse for sexual relations to the heterosexual couple, because of the new life that will inevitably result in most cases.

One need only look at the socioeconomic wreckage that has resulted when this has not been followed in many contemporary communities.  Having children out of wedlock is a prime indicator of poverty.  In cultures that practice polygamy, not just any man can have multiple wives...he must be able to support them and all the children that inevitably result.

Try again.  Just because you don't like a reason doesn't prevent that reason from existing.

Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: MaddogLutheran on October 26, 2020, 01:11:46 PM
Please stop misunderstanding my posts.
I'm not misunderstanding your posts...you're misrepresenting mine, by playing your word games.  That was exactly my point mentioning the criminality of homosexuality.  In our past I previously referenced, homosexuals were not free to live with their partners and have sexual relations.  They faced the prospect of criminal punishment for doing so.  It was also generally not permitted to live with someone (not family) of the opposite sex if you were unmarried.  Hence the fiction of a rich man's "niece", or why unmarried couples would register at a hotel as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith".  Thankfully those laws have gone by the wayside.  No law prevents a gay couple from living together now, like it did then.  They do not require a marriage license, or a civil union certificate.

Stop being intellectually dishonest.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Brian Stoffregen on October 26, 2020, 01:19:12 PM
People can and have procreated without marriage. Many of the offspring of Jacob that became the fathers of the twelve tribes did not come from a marriage relationship. Try again. Why does marriage exist?
Sigh.  Nowhere did I deny that procreation can exist outside of marriage.  Stop being obtuse.  Marriage exists to constrain the fundamental human impulse for sexual relations to the heterosexual couple, because of the new life that will inevitably result in most cases.

One need only look at the socioeconomic wreckage that has resulted when this has not been followed in many contemporary communities.  Having children out of wedlock is a prime indicator of poverty.  In cultures that practice polygamy, not just any man can have multiple wives...he must be able to support them and all the children that inevitably result.

Try again.  Just because you don't like a reason doesn't prevent that reason from existing.


You wrote: Of course, the way Obergfell has been decided by the courts has obscured the actual history of why traditional marriage exists (and predates government): procreation.


I don't disagree that marriages exist and have existed before governments. I disagree that procreation is why marriages came into being. Even Genesis 2 talks about helping one another, a cure for loneliness; rather than the "be fruitful and multiply" that is found in Genesis 1 (a command that was also given to animals - who do not marry).
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: James J Eivan on October 26, 2020, 03:33:59 PM
People can and have procreated without marriage. Many of the offspring of Jacob that became the fathers of the twelve tribes did not come from a marriage relationship. Try again. Why does marriage exist?
Sigh.  Nowhere did I deny that procreation can exist outside of marriage.  Stop being obtuse.  Marriage exists to constrain the fundamental human impulse for sexual relations to the heterosexual couple, because of the new life that will inevitably result in most cases.

One need only look at the socioeconomic wreckage that has resulted when this has not been followed in many contemporary communities.  Having children out of wedlock is a prime indicator of poverty.  In cultures that practice polygamy, not just any man can have multiple wives...he must be able to support them and all the children that inevitably result.

Try again.  Just because you don't like a reason doesn't prevent that reason from existing.

I can assure you that unmarried tax payers are free to file jointly by simply doing so.  I prepared taxes for a nationwide tax preparer for a few years ... the only about the only question asked is how they filed last year because flip flopping between single and joint and married filing separately has consequences.
Title: Re: Pope Backs Same-Sex Civil Unions
Post by: Michael Slusser on November 08, 2020, 09:31:24 AM
Sorry if this has already been posted (I've been "away"); it contains what I think is an accurate interpretation of the often quoted words of Pope Francis:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/24/what-does-pope-francis-believe-about-same-sex-love/

Excerpts:
Quote
In context, especially listening to the rest of the clip, it seems the pope is discussing gay people’s family of origin, rebuking parents who reject their gay children.
Quote
And many Catholic priests and other leaders still assume that gay people’s biggest spiritual problem is lust, when in my experience the most common and deadly spiritual problem for gay Christians is despair.
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Alongside some heterosexual Christians, we are rediscovering forms of non-sexual love. Anything the pope says on this topic is of great importance to us, and it’s especially important to understand it in context.

Peace,
Michael