Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Catholic Church takes shotgun to weddings over gay marriage

The Gombeen Nation position on religion is that its adherents can do – or believe – what they like once they don't bother anyone else.   All too often, however, transgressing that boundary proves too big a temptation for many of them.

Religion, you see, is absolutist.  Each brand is sure it alone is right, and the others are mistaken.

The Christian phrase "Do to others as you would have them do to you" probably isn't a bad principle for running a society – but one that many a "heretic" must have ruefully considered as the flames licked around their ankles for maintaining that the Earth revolved around the Sun, and other such thoughts which ran counter to Catholic teaching.

More recently, I grew up in a time when priests and nuns were to be found outside divorce referendum polling booths campaigning for "no" votes.    A time when getting a rubber johnny required a doctor's consultation or a trip to the Dandelion Market... assuming you actually had reason to need the things.   A time when all sorts of abuse was being carried out on children by priests and nuns.

Thankfully, the battle against the Church's overpowering influence is more or less won - and the topic of the Catholic Church is something I can't really get worked up about now, as I did in the 80s – as it dictated, through the State, to me and other non-believers like me.

However, much of the Catholic Church's decline is not due to any epiphany on the part of the Irish public who, despite a newly-professed "secularism", can't beat a path up the chapel isle quickly enough when it comes to marriage.   The Catholic Church's decline is due to it repeatedly shooting itself in the foot with a high-calibre blunderbuss.

It cannot help itself, it seems.

And the blunder below should see yet more of its flock leaving the pen, if only because of the extra inconvenience encumbered.

"CATHOLIC CHURCHES in Ireland have said they would refuse to perform civil marriages as part of religious ceremonies if the constitution is changed to allow full civil marriage for same-sex couples – potentially forcing Catholic couples to have two separate wedding ceremonies."

The claim is in a submission made to the Constitutional Convention by the Irish Episcopal Conference, the group made up of the country’s Catholic bishops.
The submission says that the Catholic Church does not recognise “any other partnerships or legal unions as having an ethical or legal equivalence with marriage”, which the Church defines as being between a man and a woman. 

“Any change to the definition of marriage would create great difficulties and in the light of this, if there were two totally different definitions of marriage, the Church could no longer carry out the civil element,” it says. 

Move may mean couples need two wedding ceremonies
Because Irish law does not explicitly recognise religious weddings, and instead offers its own civil marriage, it instead gives religious bodies and their officials the ability to perform civil marriages, with powers similar to a State-employed civil registrar. 

As a result, a civil marriage is usually performed in the same ceremony as a religious one. In Catholic weddings, the civil marriage register usually signed after the religious Mass has ended and before the newlyweds leave the chapel. 

This means couples seeking a Catholic wedding, and who want their marriage to be recognised in law, only need to have one ceremony, despite having two separate marriages.
A directive from bishops to end this practice would mean that couples engaging in a traditional Catholic wedding ceremony would not legally be married – and would instead have to visit a registry office in order to have a legally recognised civil wedding performed. 

“Changing the Constitutional definition of marriage to include same-sex unions would, over time, inevitably influence how society as a whole understands marriage,” the bishops’ submission says. 

“Marriage would be reduced to an arrangement of the sexual relationship of any two people. It would cease to be the institution upon which the family, and therefore society itself, is founded.”

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popepony said...

I note with amusement that the Catholic Church here in Australia is launching its Truth Justice and Healing Commission today with its avowed intention of honestly and transparently investigating clerical child abuse in this country's past. Amusement, because this organisation and its representatives are hopefully and finally and unrecoverably in their "last gasp" stage and not even the election of a nice guy "one of us" type as pontiff can alter that unless of course he does actually have a massive auction and disburse the proceeds to the poor. I share all your feelings about this mob GM and have always allowed others to believe what they will unless they are the rabid evangelistic types who just won't remove their feet from the door until they've converted you but the older i become the less tolerant i am of, not what they actually believe in - that's always been rubbish, but intolerant of their inability to think for themselves especially given the broadening degree of scientific knowledge we have become party to since the days when thunder was interpreted as god's anger. Roll on the day when men getting around in expensively embroidered frocks will be seen for the hollow men they are and their pronouncements on who should spend whose life with whom are no longer heeded AMEN

The Gombeen Man said...

That's true, PB. And didn't Kepler start out trying to confirm the "divine order" of things but had to do a double take when he looked into things (namely his telescope and Tyco Brahe's observations). He still had to be careful expressing his findings however, to avoid persecution.

As you said yourself once, I think, the answer is in astronomy.

BTW, are you the only one who can work this new comment moderation, I wonder?

Ella said...

Hi GM, mmm, I think if people want to be legally married the regisration office is the place for that. They do that in many countries, eg. Luxembourg and Belgium. If catholics want to be married then in the eyes of the church, they "get married" for a second time, so to speak.

If this is published well then it seems I can manage the new comment moderation too!

The Gombeen Man said...

That's two of you who can master CAPTCHA word verification then, Ella.

The big thing is not to put a space between the two (words and letters).

Nenad said...

The irish catholic church: a bunch of sexually disturbed individuals! These guys are judging (homosexual) marriage while at the same time abusing altar boys? Well that's hilarious!

The Gombeen Man said...

That's it, Nenad. Their sense of irony (not to mention "morality") isn't terribly well developed.

limerickanon said...

Hi Gombeenman ,

A bit off topic , or maybe not!
Just saw an interview with Cormac Mcarthy , writer of post apocalyptic nightmare read "The Road" . His inspiration for the book was a visit to Ireland . Interesting ..

The Gombeen Man said...

Thanks for that, Limerickanon. I've been looking for a bit of cheery reading to distract me from the day-to-day here. ;-)

I'm sure Cormac's inspiration combined with his location cannot have been mere co-incidence.

Nenad said...

Jeez, I was watching the movie! It's one of those things you'll never forget. Very, very depressing ... but a good movie so far.

Anonymous said...

It shows a bit of gumption on the part of the Catholic Church. Clearly they are confident that people will opt for the religious ceremony, with the civil bit as the optional extra. Their confidence may come from knowing that civil ceremonies will cost you - Big Phil Hogan will be keen to charge you the maximum for the privilege, and sure maybe the guys who do the septic tank inspections on weekdays can do the civil ceremonies at weekends?

anna said...

I am out withour glasses, and squinting at screen , also trapped nerve, means i don't want to sit for long- so not looking up things in much detail- civil marriage fee seems to be around €200? and a cert is €20. BUT here's where church could shoot itself in the foot- Many hotels etc will marry you on the spot- in some beautiful old estate/ castle etc. AND that's legal, and save lot of runnign round on the day- so who will bother with the religious bit? even religious couples might just add that as an afterthought months or Years later in a cold church with just themselvea and 2 witnesss- after all not many people realise that the actaul religious ceremony is not formally recognised in law as a Legal marriage ceremony. And a I cna see all the above happening- as even many practising young catholics live together before marraige, so may opt for a time saving civil wedding on the hotel reception site- and save the religious service as afterthought!
So this bit of bullying- instead of discouraging ( homosexaul) 'immoral' unions could lead to an increase in many younf Practisign catholics having civil unions!

DC3 said...

"It would cease to be the institution upon which the family, and therefore society itself, is founded.” Eh, hate to be the one who breaks the bad news, but it ALREADY HAS...Ironically it's secularism which has allowed the pretence to exist.

"and would instead have to visit a registry office in order to have a legally recognised civil wedding performed". Why would they want a Catholic ceremony?

Anonymous said...

This post may be too late but I'll post it anyway. You cannot get legally married in a catholic or indeed any other religous church here in France if you have not been married legally in your "Mairie" or town hall first . The legal civil wedding is pronounced by the mayor or a member of the town or village council representing him. The cermony which is free of charge, costing nothing to the future spouses, lays out their duties and responsibilies to each other. Up until 2008 a full medical examination used to be required before marriage. (It was done away with because too costly to the French social security)Ireland will come in line with most European countries by obligation methinks.

The Gombeen Man said...

It's never too late for a good comment, Redneck.

You're yet another one of Gombeen Nation's "Wild Geese" by the looks of it – readers who had the sense to get the feck out of the place...