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Do we need to set aside the Word “Marriage” and use “Holy Matrimony” exclusively?
Archdiocese of Washington ^ | 6/27/2013 | Msgr Charles Pope

Posted on 06/27/2013 5:14:21 PM PDT by markomalley

In the wake of the supreme decisions of this week, I would like to return to a question I have Asked before: Are we coming to a point where we should consider dropping our use of the word “marriage?”

It is a simple fact that word “marriage” as we have traditionally known it is being redefined in our times. To many in the secular world the word no longer means what it once did and when the Church uses the word marriage we clearly do not mean what the increasing number of states mean.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines “Marriage” (i.e. Holy Matrimony)  in the following way:

The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament (CCC # 1601)

The latest actions by numerous states and the hat-tip that the Supremes gave Same sex unions mean that increasingly, the secular world’s definition of marriage no longer even remotely resembles what the Catechism describes.

To be fair, as we have previously noted, this is not the first redefinition of marriage that has occurred in America. The redefinition has actually come in three stages:

  1. In 1969 the first no-fault divorce law was signed in California. Within 15 years every state in this land had similar laws that made divorce easy. No longer did state laws uphold the principle which the Catechism describes as a partnership of the whole of life. Now marriage was redefined as a contract easily broken by the will of the spouses.
  2. The dramatic rise in contraceptive use and the steep drop in birthrates, though not a legal redefinition, amount to a kind of cultural redefinition of marriage as described in the Catechism which sees the procreation and education of offspring as integral to its very nature. Now the American culture saw this aspect as optional at the will of the spouses. Having sown in the wind (where we redefined not only marriage, but sex itself) we are now reaping the whirlwind of deep sexual confusion and a defining of marriage right out of existence.
  3. This final blow of legally recognizing so called gay “marriage” completes the redefinition of marriage which the Catechism describes as being a covenant, …which a man and a woman establish between themselves. Now secular American culture is removing even this, calling same-sex relationships “marriage”.

Proposal: So the bottom line is that what the secular world means by the word “marriage” is not even close to what the Church means. The secular world excluded every aspect of what the Church means by marriage. Is it time for us to accept this and start using a different word? Perhaps it is, and I would like to propose what I did back in March of 2010, that we return to an older term and hear what you think.

I propose that we should exclusively refer to marriage in the Church as “Holy Matrimony.”

According to this proposal the word marriage would be set aside and replaced by Holy Matrimony. It should be noticed that the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to this Sacrament formally as “The Sacrament of Matrimony.”

The word “matrimony” also emphasizes two aspects of marriage: procreation and heterosexual complementarity. The word comes from Latin and old French roots. Matri = “mother” and mony, a suffix indicating “action, state, or condition.” Hence Holy Matrimony refers to that that holy Sacrament wherein a woman enters the state that inaugurates an openness to motherhood. Hence the Biblical and Ecclesial definition of Holy Matrimony as heterosexual and procreative is reaffirmed by the term itself. Calling it HOLY Matrimony distinguishes it from secular muddle that has “marriage” for its nomen.

Problems to resolve – To return to this phrase “Holy Matrimony” is to return to an older tradition and may sound archaic to some (but at least it isn’t as awkward sounding as “wedlock”). But clearly a new usage will be difficult to undertake. It is one thing to start officially referring to it as Holy Matrimony. (Which, by the way I have done in my parish – we no longer prepare people for marriage, but for “Holy Matrimony”) But it is harder when, for example, a newly engaged couple approaches the priest and says, “We want to be married next summer.” It seems unlikely we easily train couples to say, “We want to enter Holy Matrimony next summer.” or even just to say, “We want to have a wedding next summer.” Such dramatic changes seem unlikely to come easily. Perhaps you, who read this blog can offer some resolutions to this problem.

Perhaps, even if we cannot wholly drop the terms “marry, ” “marriage” and “married” a more modest form of the proposal is that we at least officially discontinue the use of the word marriage and refer to it as the “Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.”

What do you think? Do we need to start using a new word for marriage? Has the word been so stripped of meaning that we have to use different terminology to convey what we really mean?

When I proposed this two years ago this very time, many of you we rather unconvinced and some were even perturbed that we were handing on over our vocabulary to the libertines. That may be, but we already know that “gay” will never mean what it used to, and it would seem that  “marriage” will never again mean what it did.

A secondary but related proposal is that we begin to consider getting out of the business of having our clergy act as civil magistrates in weddings. Right now we clergy in most of America sign the civil license and act, as such, as partners with the State. But with increasing States interpreting marriage so differently, can we really say we are partners? Should we even give the impression of credibility to the State’s increasingly meaningless piece of paper? It may remain the case that the Catholic faithful, for legal and tax reasons may need to get a civil license, but why should clergy have anything to do with it?

Frankly, I am uncomfortable signing DC Marriage licenses, and do so only because my Ordinary has indicated we should continue doing this. I am happy to obey him in this and defer to his judgment in the matter. There is a reason his is the Ordinary and I am not. That said, I have told him what I think. But for now, it seems clear we must stay the course and still sign them until the Bishop says, no more.

If we did stop signing civil licenses, we would surely need a strong catechesis directed to our faithful that reiterates that civil “marriage” (what ever that means anymore) is not Holy Matrimony and that they should, in no way consider themselves as wed, due to a (meaningless) piece of paper from a secular state that reflects only confusion and darkness rather than clarity and Christian light.

Here too, what do you think? Should the Catholic Bishops disassociate Catholic clergy from civil “marriage” licenses?


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: holymatrimony; homosexualagenda; marriage; matrimony; msgrcharlespope; ssm

1 posted on 06/27/2013 5:14:21 PM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Good article.


2 posted on 06/27/2013 5:19:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley

I think it is time that the good Cardinal put up or shut up and start excommunicating the many phony Catholics that infest the beltway.


3 posted on 06/27/2013 5:22:49 PM PDT by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: markomalley

+1


4 posted on 06/27/2013 5:24:01 PM PDT by WriteOn (Truth)
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To: markomalley
Are we coming to a point where we should consider dropping our use of the word “marriage?”

I don't know, but I do know the word "fiance" seems about beyond redemption.

5 posted on 06/27/2013 5:26:55 PM PDT by Jeff Winston
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To: markomalley

Yes, we should talk about holy matrimony, or unity covenants, or some other term which means a man and a woman coming together in such a union.

Since the meaning of marriage has now been changed, this seems like a good idea.

Ya, the homosexual community changed the definition of gay. Nobody uses the dictionary definition of gay anymore. Nowadays, gay means only homosexual. It just can’t be used to mean anything else anymore.

In the case of marriage, liberals will tell us it’s bigoted if we assume a married woman is married to a man. So perhaps it is time to use a term which by definition will be an opposite sex union, not a same sex union.


6 posted on 06/27/2013 5:27:23 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: markomalley

Better to have no state involvement in the area of marriage.


7 posted on 06/27/2013 5:37:25 PM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: markomalley

I like the thought process here....


8 posted on 06/27/2013 5:37:34 PM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: markomalley

Let it go, please let it go! The internet, the TV and the talk radio shows are all full of this DOMA crap. I’m tired of watching this squirrel. We have much more important political issues to pay attention to. The homosexuals can go marry chickens for all I care.


9 posted on 06/27/2013 5:37:45 PM PDT by jespasinthru (Proud member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.)
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To: markomalley
People who get married in the church should abandon the practice of making marriages legal by registering with the government.

If you have a church ceremony, you are morally married.

Dispense with the piece of paper, and the feral government has no further say.

10 posted on 06/27/2013 5:37:54 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who could have guessed that one day pro wrestling would be less fake than network news?)
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To: markomalley

IMO, good idea. Think I’ll start using that phraseology. Give them “marriage.” Let’s see how blasphemous the Left can become. After ringing the National Cathedral bells yesterday I’m curious...


11 posted on 06/27/2013 5:41:12 PM PDT by madison10
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To: jespasinthru

“Let it go, please let it go! The internet, the TV and the talk radio shows are all full of this DOMA crap. I’m tired of watching this squirrel. We have much more important political issues to pay attention to. The homosexuals can go marry chickens for all I care.”

OK, so you solves those “more important issues”. Now tell me how your let this crap fester and you’ll take care of it later? BTW, our sons and daughters will be subjected to homosexuality, rape, sodomy, sexual assault all the while. Hope you can live with yourself knowing that.

Homosexuals are mentally deranged and must not be trusted with children!


12 posted on 06/27/2013 5:42:22 PM PDT by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off. -786 +969)
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To: markomalley

The Church should - stop filling in and submitting documents to the state and then change the requirements for a person to receive Holy Matrimony in a Church.

People can then go and to a registry office to have the marriage sanctioned/recognized by the state if that is what they want.

They do this in places like Singapore. First they will do the legal wedding and then the Church service later.

Firstly though the Pope needs to make it clear to all clergy that anyone performing a service or “wedding” for homos will be forcibly excommunicated i.e. kicked out of the church - their living accommodation the full works. Not this “has “automatically excommunicated themselves but nothing is ever done rubbish”.

Mel


13 posted on 06/27/2013 5:42:36 PM PDT by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong.)
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To: markomalley

I think giving up a perfectly good word because judges, pols, or the voting public have such a hard time defining it is foolish. I mean we didn’t change the word because of civil divorce and remarriage. I don’t think we should let the people that have the problem make us change. No one suggests that we quit using the word priest because some wackadoos think they can be ‘women priests.’

If you want a concrete way to demonstrate the difference between what the Church knows marriage to be and the state, stopping acting as the state’s representatives for the civil side might be the way to go. Explain why the change is being made, show everyone that yes, it is a big deal. It’s not like the Church looks at the civil recognition as the determining factor to decide if someone is married or not anyhow if you consider civil divorce and remarriage.

Freegards


14 posted on 06/27/2013 5:44:15 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: madison10
IMO, good idea. Think I’ll start using that phraseology. Give them “marriage.” Let’s see how blasphemous the Left can become. After ringing the National Cathedral bells yesterday I’m curious...

Honestly, they'll put on their little whiny voices and cry: "it's not faaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrr that I can't have Holy Matrimony toooooooooooooooooooooooooooo"

15 posted on 06/27/2013 5:45:01 PM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley
yes... the word marriage has been defiled
16 posted on 06/27/2013 5:45:20 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: jespasinthru
Let it go, please let it go! The internet, the TV and the talk radio shows are all full of this DOMA crap. I’m tired of watching this squirrel. We have much more important political issues to pay attention to.

If that's so, why bother to read the thread, and then post on the thread?

17 posted on 06/27/2013 5:53:14 PM PDT by Albion Wilde ("Remember... the first revolutionary was Satan."--Russian Orthodox Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I agree with this statement


18 posted on 06/27/2013 5:57:38 PM PDT by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: markomalley
I would just set aside the notion of marriage.

Did it twice, can't recommend it.

19 posted on 06/27/2013 6:04:48 PM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: markomalley
B T T T ! ! ! ©

20 posted on 06/27/2013 6:13:50 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
I like the thought process here....

So do I. Instead of a “wedding”, you could have a “Celebration of Holy Matrimony”. That distinction could give the cake bakers a way around the onslaught being unleashed on them.
I suppose that priests and ministers would have to forgo signing the legal paperwork. A “Certificate of Union in Holy Matrimony” would be a separate document, like a baptismal certificate, issued by the church. We need to find more succinct terminology for all this, but I guess that is where it will have to go.

21 posted on 06/27/2013 6:18:15 PM PDT by beef (Who Killed Kennewick Man?)
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To: beef
I suppose that priests and ministers would have to forgo signing the legal paperwork. A “Certificate of Union in Holy Matrimony” would be a separate document, like a baptismal certificate, issued by the church. We need to find more succinct terminology for all this, but I guess that is where it will have to go.

That is already what happens (except the State license is signed as well). A certificate is given and the spouses' records in their respective baptismal registries are annotated with the date they received the sacrament.

But please bear in mind what I said in post #15: the sodomites will start whining that it's not fair that they can't have ___(whatever term you come up with____. Think I'm kidding? See this thread with an op/ed published by a sodomite shortly after the NY law was changed a couple of years ago.

22 posted on 06/27/2013 6:26:01 PM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

What about calling it hetero-marriage (vs homo-marriage)? As in, My hetero-marriage is a Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.


23 posted on 06/27/2013 6:26:06 PM PDT by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs stay silent.)
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To: beef

I agree with all of that, but I suggest that the cake bakers and the florists go ahead and accept all the gay wedding business...”the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous” after all......


24 posted on 06/27/2013 6:29:02 PM PDT by C. Edmund Wright (Tokyo Rove is more than a name, it's a GREAT WEBSITE)
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To: markomalley

I second that but, the words husband and wife are also being redefined.

Joe + Joe = husband and husband


25 posted on 06/27/2013 6:38:54 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Fai Mao

There are tax advantages, too, since our overlords have decided that legally married people should be punished financially.


26 posted on 06/27/2013 6:43:54 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who could have guessed that one day pro wrestling would be less fake than network news?)
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To: markomalley

I agree with you except that I think it is much more malicious than whining. They are going to try to legislate religious doctrine. We can only hope the SCOTUS draws the line there.


27 posted on 06/27/2013 6:45:16 PM PDT by beef (Who Killed Kennewick Man?)
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To: madison10
After ringing the National Cathedral bells yesterday I’m curious...

Remember, the National Cathedral is NOT Catholic, it's Episcopal, and those folks went crazy years ago.

28 posted on 06/27/2013 6:53:18 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: SuziQ

I remembered that the church is Epicopalian. Actually I’m not Catholic either, still curious as to how far they will go to spit in God’s face.


29 posted on 06/27/2013 7:14:45 PM PDT by madison10
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To: markomalley

What baffles me is the argument. 87 congress members and a president are racist because sodomizers have rights ?

The Chief Justice can set the rule of the the arguments of merit to the case before the court. It’s done every day it’s known as “the judge won’t allow”. Because the administration now favors “gay marriage” I wouldn’t expect what could be called a healthy defence from them. Sodomy wasn’t the issue . The issue was protecting the integrity and intention of a basic unit of society through a mechanisim known as marriage to encourage familys.

What should we expect from a political party which itself has gone through a marriage with one world socialist radicals known to many as communists who can’t even use the word God. They’ve hyphenated into Demo-Coms.

No just because a radical bunch have taken over and edicts changes in customs and values to conform to their idology should we set back and accept it. Time to stand up and be counted.


30 posted on 06/27/2013 9:02:50 PM PDT by mosesdapoet (Serious contribution pause.Please continue onto meaningless venting no one reads.)
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To: markomalley

This is a good idea. We Christians need to talk about Christian marriage. And those bakers and florists who are now getting sued for not providing for “gay weddings” need to make clear they only provide services for “Holy Matrimonies.”


31 posted on 06/27/2013 9:30:35 PM PDT by kaehurowing
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To: kaehurowing

“Holy Matrimony suggests that other Marriages are Un-Holy and makes those people fell bad. Thus the Catholic Church is Unconstitutional”. - Injustice Anthony Kennedy, some time in the next few years.


32 posted on 06/28/2013 7:29:27 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Catholic ping!


33 posted on 06/28/2013 3:06:38 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: markomalley

Hmmmm...What would we use to replace the verb, “to marry?”

(Also thinking about all the forms we have to fill out asking if we are single, married, etc...)


34 posted on 06/29/2013 4:57:15 AM PDT by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo....Sum Pro Vita - Modified Descartes)
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To: markomalley

“You must not give that which is holy to dogs”
-Matthew 7:6


35 posted on 06/29/2013 6:01:04 AM PDT by TradicalRC (Conservatism is primarily a Christian movement.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
People who get married in the church should abandon the practice of making marriages legal by registering with the government.

If you have a church ceremony, you are morally married.

Dispense with the piece of paper, and the feral government has no further say.


I'd love to see this happen, but I doubt we'll see any significant number of couples willing to forego all the state-issued goodies that civil marriage brings.
36 posted on 06/30/2013 3:19:39 PM PDT by highball ("I never should have switched from scotch to martinis." -- the last words of Humphrey Bogart)
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To: highball
I'd love to see this happen, but I doubt we'll see any significant number of couples willing to forego all the state-issued goodies that civil marriage brings.

Ever hear of the "marriage penalty?"

You get taxed less and receive more government largess if you are NOT married.

Why do you think there are so many "single mothers?" Single-motherhood is now right up there with sainthood.

37 posted on 06/30/2013 3:27:03 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who could have known that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional news?)
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To: markomalley

Then they will start using that term for themselves. There’s no limit to the ways the language can be enslaved and distorted.


38 posted on 06/30/2013 3:36:38 PM PDT by firebrand
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Single-motherhood is a separate issue.

Couples get benefits by being married, from visitation and medical authority in hospitals to inheritance to sharing insurance to preferential insurance rates. There’s a reason that gay couples want to marry rather than enter into separate individual contacts to get those bennies.


39 posted on 06/30/2013 4:00:13 PM PDT by highball ("I never should have switched from scotch to martinis." -- the last words of Humphrey Bogart)
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