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Morning Catholic must-reads: 02/07/13

A daily guide to what’s happening in the Catholic Church

By on Tuesday, 2 July 2013

John Paul II prays before John XXIII's tomb in 1993 (AP)

John Paul II prays before John XXIII's tomb in 1993 (AP)

Cardinal members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints are voting today on whether to approve miracles attributed to Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII, according to Italian media reports.

A video apparently showing the beheading of Syrian priest Fr François Murad probably isn’t authentic, according to the Daily Telegraph.

An Italian monsignor arrested for reportedly smuggling €20m (£17m, $26m) into the country has told investigators that he was simply trying to help his friends.

The New York Times suggests that newly released documents confirm that Cardinal Timothy Dolan tried to shield Church assets from abuse claims when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee.

Rocco Palmo offers a primer on Pope Francis’s first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, which will be released on Friday.

John Allen reports on yesterday’s Vatican bank resignations.

And canon lawyer Edward Peters argues that it would be a bad idea for the Church to “get out of the marriage business“.

Follow me on Twitter @lukecoppen for updates throughout the day

  • NatOns

    ‘And canon lawyer Edward Peters argues that it would be a bad idea for the Church to “get out of the marriage business“.’

    ‘Many Catholics enter, with the Church’s approval, not Matrimony (as in the sacrament), but marriage only (as in the natural union). To suggest that we deal from now on only with Matrimony leaves Catholics in marriages (not Matrimony) with no recognition or support. Every way you look, this is a bad idea.’

    To ditch all marriage – even that entered upon solely as a private or state registered civil contract – would be wrong, no doubt. And wrong for the specific reasons that the canon lawyer in Edward Peters most ably presents: that in general marriage is part of moral reasoning applicable to all – not a Sacrament alone to unite souls in Christ. Yet – although I am not canon lawyer – I cannot help disagreeing with him .. for the simplest of reasons, that is, where marriage as marriage has been redefined by the state in a manner contradictory to the requirements of moral reason (here, the ethical purpose of marriage) this is not only contrary to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony sic (which is entered into by the contracting parties themselves, not they with a priest or the Church) rather it rejects the moral reason in marriage; and that rejection of moral reason cannot ever be part of Catholic Truth, least of all that lived out by the Catholic Church.

    Moral Reason is not a particular facet of this or that society, let alone of its legislators and judges, it is a universal capacity to reasoning beings in general with a specific (if flawed) application in its individual human expression. Marriage, in regard to moral reason, must have a reasonable purpose (with many component parts, not all absolutely necessary for each instance); it is these basic component parts that marriage for man and man, woman and woman requires undoing. And this does not rest on social convention, which might preclude incestuous marriage, polygamy or polyandry, or age-related disapproval or even marriage after widowhood; all these, after all, may involve loving union, lifelong commitment, mutual desire, binding promise, sexual fecundity – parts of any marriage – but marriage, as marriage, even Holy Matrimony, requires quite reasonably and morally that the husband partner be a husband and the wife partner be a wife.. AKA a man and his woman .. or not be a marriage (least of all in the eyes of Holy Mother Church).

    P.S. Matrimony holy and otherwise refers to lawfully bound mothering (parenting) of a child or children (naturally conceived, legally adopted etc); concubinage can offer an unholy form of this maternity, and polygamy an un-Christian form – irrespective of moral reason. Holy Matrimony may refer only to the Sacrament of marriage, whether it is blessed by the Catholic Church before priest and people or registered by a civil authority for husband and wife outside the Church. Such civil marriage cannot be deemed Holy Matrimony if either partner breaches the limits of impediment – consent, capacity, consanguinity et al (even if the state changes its definition of marriage) for only a papal dispensation can permit this sort of breach and then only for the most serious of moral reasons within the Catholic communion.

  • buckingham88

    ‘Rocco Palmo..’ Well worth the read.