Saturday, May 24, 2008

LOS ANGELES: Pasadena church to treat 'all couples equally' in marriage

No, they are apostolic sacraments of a universal church.

In a May 21 letter to diocesan clergy and lay leaders, [Bishop] Bruno said: "There are canonical, prayer book, and pastoral questions which are raised and must be addressed. I will keep you informed and will act with all possible dispatch while attending to the canonical and pastoral issues the decision affect. "I remind you that pastoral acts are personal decisions between clergy and members of your congregation. In the meantime, please remain patient and prayerful."


Read it all.

15 comments:

Alan Rogers said...

"Apostolic sacraments"? HARDLY. The western church, both Catholic and Protestant has only been performing marriages since the 1500s.

HowardRGiles+ said...

Protestant sacraments is an oxymoron. They don't have them. Lutherans only have two: Baptism and Holy Communion. Anglicans, Romans and the Orthodox have seven and all three churches make it very clear in the dogmatic theologies that sacraments were instituted by Christ and handed on to His Apostles.

There were many instances in church history when local councils sought to 'regularize' the practice of sacraments, such as the Council of Trent in the 16th century when a priest was required to be present. Perhaps this is to what you are referring. We could fill the blog with long reference to Holy Matrimony being a sacrament, but here are two that I think are important.

St. Paul writes: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." A great mystery is a wonderful synonym for sacrament.

St. Augustine, in The City of God, writes: "But we, for our part, have no manner of doubt that to increase and multiply and replenish the earth in virtue of the blessing of God, is a gift of marriage as God instituted it from the beginning before man sinned, when He created them male and female,—in other words, two sexes manifestly distinct. And it was this work of God on which His blessing was pronounced." God pronounces His blessing on the marriage and the church can do no more or less than to participate with God's blessing.

Alan Rogers said...

Dear Howard
According to the BCP, the Anglican communion recognizes two sacraments- baptism and holy communion. The other five "sacraments" you refer to are known as "sacramental rites."

HowardRGiles+ said...

Roger,

A very good reference. Thank you for it.

The 1979 BCP does not speak for all Anglicans, so let's be careful writing that the BCP answers any Anglican question.

The 1979 Catechism is unique to the American Church and is a departure from the historic catechism, although it has some sound elements. One of which is its definition of Holy Matrimony, the topic of this post: "Q. What is Holy Matrimony? A. Holy Matrimony is Christian marriage, in which the
woman and man enter into a life-long union, make their
vows before God and the Church, and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows." (1979 BCP, P. 861).This is a sound teaching that has been abandoned by Bruno and All Saints, Pasadena.

Also in the BCP we find the 39 Articles, which is initially to where I thought you were referring. Article XXV. Of the Sacraments does not refer to Holy Marriage as a rite but as a Sacrament not of the Gospel. In other words, it is not necessary for Salvation. The Holy Scriptures clearly assert that chastity outside of marriage is a moral life to which many saints have been committed.

Leslie said...

May the inclusive love of Christ surround and support the Pasadena church.

HowardRGiles+ said...

Leslie,

The Lord's justice is inclusive, but lets be careful what we pray for:

"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Mt13:41-43)

Leslie said...

howardrgiles,
I agree. You should be very careful about what you pray for. Remember Christ's greatest commandment. There are no exceptions to this. Christ never spoke out against same sex unions or women and gays in the ministry. That is all your old fashioned interpretation to suit your needs.

Alan Rogers said...

I know I'm beating a dead horse here, Howard, but your church re-marries divorced people. I think the words of Jesus Christ about marriage being lifelong and permanent, should trump anybody else's words about it.

Your church, worldwide, decided to re-marry divorcees quite some time ago. On whose authority do you do this?

HowardRGiles+ said...

Alan,
Fornication, sex outside marriage, is itself a break of the marriage bond, a kind of de facto divorce.

"But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery" (Mt. 5:32).

I don't know to what you are referring when you say, 'my church,' since I have no church but am a servant of the Church of Christ. I strive to acknowledge and promote the apostolic teachings of the church, although imperfectly.

Alan Rogers said...

So it follows, then, that if you are unhappy in your marriage, just commit fornication. Then you will be free to re-marry in the church.

Howard, I am amazed how you missed the point.

HowardRGiles+ said...

Alan, I think that you are missing Jesus' point. It is not the offender who is free to seek divorce.

HowardRGiles+ said...

Leslie,

You wrote: "That is all your old fashioned interpretation to suit your needs." This is an ad hominem attack, and I must warn you against that on this blog; however, you do include a compliment that I would like to address.

The church always strives to be old-fashioned as St. Vincent writes in our other blog-stream, "what has Always been taught," is one element of the church's teaching.

In Ecclesiastes we read: "15: That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past" (Ecc.3:15).

Our God exists outside of time and space, as do His laws and His Grace. No one is more old-fashioned than He who created the universe and sustains it by His perfect will!

Leslie said...

Worry not Mr. Giles. I am finished commenting here.

Anonymous said...

Alan,
This Anglican D of SJ not only remarries divorced people, they allow them to prepare to be priests and deacons. Personally, I do not have a problem with it, but if they are going to take such a literal interpretation of the Bible... Well, I think you get my drift.

Alan Rogers said...

Precisely my point, anonymous! They take some portions of scripture literally, while picking and choosing from others.