Sunday, 4 November 2012

Pray for a Priest

It is the year 30 AD and let us imagine for a moment that Our Lord Jesus Christ is walking with His Apostles around what we now know as the Holy Land. Let us imagine that at this time in history such a thing as same-sex marriage existed in civil law at a time in which only religious law was in operation concerning such matters.

Forgive me, a theologically illiterate person and a simpleton for not knowing whether Our Lord had already called the twelve at the point of the Wedding at Cana at which He turned water into wine, as Scripture tells us. He and His Blessed Mother and His Apostles are invited to a wedding, but not a wedding as we naturally understand it, between a man and a woman.

Let us imagine that Our Lord, His Blessed Mother and His Apostles are invited to a same-sex marriage or, at least, to the celebration afterwards.

Pray, 'Fr AS', does Our Lord turn the water into wine on this great occasion, at this marriage between two persons of the same gender?

And if not, why not? What is Our Lord's response in this situation, and what is that of His Blessed Mother and the Apostles?

Let us suggest that the celebration to which they have been invited has run 'out of wine'. Does His Blessed Mother tell those organising the celebration to 'do whatever he tells you'?

Now you know that, if St Peter and the Apostles were present at this kind of a wedding, that their response, in harmony with the Divine Lord may be one of disapproval at this time, but regardless of the religiosity of the time, let us imagine that they disagreed with the whole affair simply on the grounds that there is an objective truth about marriage that it is between a man and a woman to be discovered in the natural law and the Apostles decided that what they were present at was a not wedding of any kind that they understood and was not considered by them to be marriage. If the Wedding of Cana took place at the start of Our Lord's ministry, then the Apostles, though understanding Jewish law concerning marriage, would not have yet heard Our Lord's words about man and woman leaving mother and father and becoming 'one flesh'.

'Out of wine'?
Our Lord and His Blessed Mother and the Apostles are invited to a same-sex wedding and the guests have run out of wine. What is the response of Our Lord? What is the response of His Blessed Mother?

Upon learning that this is a same-sex wedding, does Our Lord get up and leave? What does He do? We know that Our Lord loves sinners.

Does he overlook the whole thing and turn water into wine anyway? Does He try to change the minds of other guests at the 'wedding' that this whole affair is not marriage and that 'same-sex marriage' is not marriage at all? Does He say that, in fact, homosexual relationships are wrong, but that He loves sinners? Does He remain silent? What do the Apostles do? What do they say?

If the answer to these questions is that neither Our Lord, Our Lady nor the Apostles behave in the same way that we are told they did behave at the Wedding at Cana, then there must be something inherently defective in 'same-sex marriage'.

If there is something defective in same-sex marriage or objectively wrong about same-sex marriage then it cannot be that the Catholic Church, led by the Successor of St Peter, Pope Benedict XVI and the Bishops, Successors to the Apostles can remain indifferent to it, nor aloof from a change in the law concerning even a change in the definition of marriage even at civil level, but, quite the opposite, that they have a duty to preserve the institution of marriage and bear witness to the truth, even if it gains the Church unpopularity or persecution for doing so.

For if the behaviour of St Peter and the Apostles, of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother would be as one imagines it would possibly have been then, why, pray, should the Successor of St Peter and the Successors to the Apostles behave in a way which is any different now since the whole point of the Succession of the Papacy and the Episcopate is that it is seamless and Apostolic and that the truth handed down by Christ to His Apostles and from His Apostles to us now is timeless?

If this is the case, then is it not the duty of all Catholic Priests, ordained by their Bishops, to whom they are bound to obedience to teach the Faithful the truth concerning marriage and to even campaign against its redefinition by the State?

Surely, while I am a largely unemployed and unqualified layman, theologically unread as I am, a Catholic Priest is employed by Jesus Christ Himself in His service and it is to Him that he will have to render an account, more so, even, than other men who are not called to an office in the Church so holy and inestimably high?

Is it not therefore the duty of a Catholic Priest to be of the same mind as Our Blessed Lord, as St Paul said and for the whole Church to be of 'one mind' on this matter? Is it not, therefore, the case, that the 'Bigot of the Year' is just doing his job in his service of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Could it not be that Cardinal O'Brien has, in fact, in the Lord's eyes, just won the 'Employee of the Year Award (UK Division)'?

I eagerly await your reply, 'Fr AS'. I am praying for you. I encourage other readers to pray for 'Fr AS' also.

I put it to 'Fr AS' that a Priest who believes that if the opinion of Our Lord Jesus Christ at such a 'same-sex wedding', the opinion of His Blessed Mother and His Apostles were to be that this was not a marriage, but the very opposite of a marriage, an attack upon the integrity of marriage, then that Priest either does not believe that Jesus Christ is both man and God, or believes that God 'changes His mind' on matters of marriage in accordance with the vagaries of the age.

If a Priest believes either of those two things, then that Priest is, indeed, not just a dissident, but an heretic or even an atheist, since it would be manifest that he did not believe that Jesus Christ is both Man and Lord of Heaven and Earth while pertaining to hold and teach the Catholic Faith.


pelerin said...

I wish I were as 'theologically illiterate' as you Laurence!! I too was surprised to see that comment from a Priest. It did seem rather uncharitable but perhaps he had had a particularly difficult day.

Richard Mount said...

I suppose Tina has called Catholic bishops of the E&W to disobedience.

I wonder what General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Mgr Andrew Summerskill, would advise them to do when the CDF seems to want to muscle in on their patch?

She does after claim the support of at least one bishop and seems to expect at least some to answer her call.

The Bones said...

I am sure Mgr Summerskill, as General Secretary of the Bishops Conference has nothing but utmost respect for 'bureaucrats from Rome'.

After all, Mgr Summerskill had to deal with these bureaucrats before, during and after the Papal visit.

Augustine said...

Mgr Summersgill (not Summerskill by the way!)is not the General Secretary to the Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

He stepped down from that position well over two years ago when he was asked to co-ordinate the preparations for the Holy Father's Visit to Great Britain.

He is now a Parish Priest in his home diocese - and is probably rather pleased that he can now do the pastoral work that he was ordained for and always wanted to do.

The Bones said...

Sorry, I always get the name wrong because of Ben Summerskill from Stonewall.

Summersgill. Thanks for the correction.

blondpidge said...

Pelerin. Hear hear. I wish I were that theologically illiterate also.

My husband gave me a beautiful icon of the miracle at Cana on our wedding night. :-)

Lazarus said...

I'd have thought that this blog was a prime example of one of the good things to emerge from Vatican II: active, faithful and enthusiastic lay participation in the mission of the Church. More than a little rum (in effect) to be told to shut up and listen to your betters. (Mind you, sounds as though the Pope and CDF and San Diego University are theologically illiterate as well -so you're in good company!)

Lynda said...

Dear Mr England, you are anything but unemployed and unqualified. You are a natural educator, and badly needed in these times when so many priests and Bishops, official theologians, etc., renege on their solemn duty to educate people in the Faith and in Morals. You are very modest, and have obvious gifts of insight, perspicaciousness, perseverance, fidelity and a very strong faith. I implore you to keep up your great service to the Church and all people.

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