IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
This opening paragraph quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; #1603: “The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws….God Himself is the author of marriage.”
Last October there was quite the “kerfuffle” created by the secular press when the 2014 Synod of Bishops on the Family was taking place. In their ongoing quest to ‘secularize’ the Catholic Church the main stream media (print & broadcast) was reporting (speculating is the right word) that, under Pope Francis, the ‘new’ church would soon be embracing homosexual marriage and unmarried cohabitation. They also anointed Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany as the Church’s “true voice of reason” because, in his keynote address to the Synod, he suggested that maybe it was time for the church to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to be allowed to receive communion.
The media never seems to grasp the fact that it takes more than a “suggestion” by one cardinal to change church teaching. They rarely if ever reported that this meeting of the Synod was only the first part and it would reconvene again a year later. They always seem to ‘pick & choose’ the narrative that fits their constant secular agenda. Let’s face it, the secular world is not interested in what the Church is, what its history and tradition is and certainly not in its dogmatic teachings. We, as a people, deserve more responsible and forthright journalism. The fact of the matter is NOTHING has changed regarding Catholic Church teaching on the subject of marriage.
Matrimony in the church is one of the seven Sacraments. Within the sacramental life it is meant for a man and a woman who love each other to join together creating a new family that ultimately continues the creation that God initially put in place. It is sacrosanct and inviolable. Furthermore, before Jesus Christ instituted this sacrament it existed under what we call Natural Law. Natural Law is given to us by God. (I also like to call it, “Common Sense”. Please use the link for a Catholic explanation of marriage and natural law.)
My initial reason for starting this essay was to ask the question, “What happened to the concept of marriage being only between a man and a woman? How did that concept seemingly evaporate in only several decades after centuries of acceptance by humankind as “Natural”? In the sophisticated, secular world of 2015 I can be branded an intolerant homophobe for believing that marriage is ONLY for a man and a woman. Let me try to share the world I come from and how most Catholics were raised in the pre-Woodstock era.
Marriage was considered, foremost, an integral part of Natural Law as handed down by God. A man and a woman would meet and fall in love. After a period of time, if they so chose, they would join together as husband and wife creating a new family. It was at this point in their lives when they moved in with each other and lived together. It was a vocation, a calling, and it was not for everyone. Most folks accepted this premise without question. Most folks did choose that path in life. Most were married in a church and most intended to be together “until death do us part”. Finally, most newly marrieds became parents continuing God’s plan of continuing the human race. And that was the way it was.
So, what happened? I suggest it started in 1969 at Woodstock. The now “hallowed” rock & roll jamboree that signaled the end of the 60’s ushered in the officially liberated era of “do your own thing”. We have moved onward since then another 45 years and today, living together BEFORE getting married is almost taken for granted. A matrimonial “test drive” seems a requirement prior to the actual nuptials taking place. No fault divorce makes it very easy to dissolve marriages dismissing vows that were freely taken when the words “until death do us part” were said by the bride and groom to each other. Homosexual marriage is being demanded as a choice and a right and if you disagree you are considered intolerant and a racist. God and Natural Law are being mocked. And that is the way it is. But not everywhere.
The way it was is still in vogue within the Catholic Church. And here is where I will end this essay. From January 5-9, the Confraternities of Catholic Clergy in the United States, Australia, Britain and Ireland unanimously reaffirmed their support for Church teaching on marriage and family rejecting any proposals at the 2014 Synod of Bishops that the Church alter pastoral practices and doctrine in this area.
In a statement issued at the end of a five-day conference they pledged their “unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines regarding marriage and the true meaning of human sexuality, as proclaimed in the word of God and set out clearly in the Church’s ordinary and universal magisterium.”
And that was the way it was and that is the way it is. Maybe they never heard of Woodstock.
copyright 2015 Larry Peterson