Attending gay "wedding" compared to attending protestant communion service?

There’s another thread currently active asking if it is permissible (or sinful) to attend a gay “wedding.” So far, official Church teaching has proved elusive.

But I want to look at it from a different perspective. Michelle Arnold notes that this is a sacrilege against the Sacrament of matrimony (but stops short of saying that attending a gay ceremony is sinful or prohibited).

But aren’t protestant communion services a sacrilege against the Body and Blood of Christ? Yet we are allowed to attend (but not partake of) protestant communion services. (though for most of protestant history this was not so)

Isn’t it a double-standard to say that we should refrain from gay “weddings” because they are sacrilegious, but it’s OK to attend a protestant communion service, even though the nature of the sacrilege (against not only a Sacrament, but against the very Body and Blood of Our Lord) seems more serious?

It’s not a comparison I would make because it would damage relations with Protestants. We can have an understanding about what our different Communions represent.

Of course, GLBTQ folks deserve our love and respect as well, but non-Catholic opposition to gay “marriage” is generally documented higher than Catholics, with not many exceptions, I suspect.

I won’t go to a Protestant communion because to me it’s not the Eucharist, it’s a symbol, and I don’t want to provide scandal by somehow validating that.

Also, I don’t want Protestants to think it’s okay to come to our Communion without the necessary permission.

So my overall take is much more personal decision-making.

As far as gay “weddings"go, I believe apologist Michelle Arnold answered that "I cannot recommend attending for any reason”.

To be safe, I would suggest resolving doubt about attending a wedding ceremony thought to be invalid with a Confessor or priest. :yup:

With or without doubt, we really should not take that lightly. :dts: :nope:

It’s not a comparison that I would make as well.
People of other faiths may not have the same understanding of Eucharist, and as such, may be ignorant of what we teach and believe. There’s no intent to mislead or sin.
That’s a completely different scenario.
I don’t believe there is anything wrong or sinful in attending a Protestant funeral for example. We are called to pray for the dead, and offer comfort to those who mourn. It doesn’t say anything about this applying only to Catholics. I use this only as an example.
A gay “wedding” celebrates something that the Church forbids. Different thing, IMHO.


Not everyone thinks it ok to attend a protestants service, communion or otherwise…

I don’t think this is even a correct usage of the term “sacrilege,” which I understand to be violation of a sacred object or person. From our perspective Protestants are going through a ceremony which is symbolic only but they are doing so in a manner consistent with their particular tradition and with some degree of reverence or solemnity as they understand it. Would you feel that a wedding of two Protestants is a “sacrilege” against the Sacrament of Matrimony? A Protestant communion service involves bread and grape juice or in some cases wine, both unchanged. I don’t understand how this could be regarded as “sacrilege” against the true Body and Blood of Christ.

You spoke very well. Thank you.

Not necessarily. I was not expressing my own opinion in this regard, but that of Michelle Arnold regarding “gay” marriage - which has never been practiced by a Catholic minister.

A Protestant communion service involves bread and grape juice or in some cases wine, both unchanged. I don’t understand how this could be regarded as “sacrilege” against the true Body and Blood of Christ.

Both Anglican and Lutheran communions consider their communion service to be the Body and Blood of Christ. They reckon it differently - Anglicans are receptionists, while Lutherans are consubstantiationists. Neither recognize the doctrine of transubstantiation, but they both express a belief in a “real presence.”

Well said. Those Protestants who attend scripturally faithful churches (not churches that celebrate same sex “marriage”) are brothers and sisters in Christ to Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Orthodox. A same sex “wedding” is of the devil. No comparison.

Good for them. The Catholic Church considers their ‘communion’ to be nothing more than bread and wine, yet would consider two Lutherans (and while it’s sad I have to make this distinction, obviously of the opposite sex) married in a Lutheran church to be validly married. A “gay marriage” on the other hand is about the best example of a paradox one could likely come up with.

Has the word transubstantiation been defined as a dogma? Is it not an attempt to describe something that we cannot really describe or understand? The Orthodox would never use this word, yet they firmly believe in the Real Presence.

Opposition to gay “marriage” or homosexual behavior in general, is a natural virtue that is acquirable through human conscience & reason.

The knowledge of the Eucharist is completely unattainable through human conscience & reason, and is instead known solely via divine revelation through the Church.

Other faiths may practice & serve God as best as they understand it, and this includes separated protestant brethren where, for the most part, the Eucharist is a forgotten treasure of a foregone age. Perhaps, deep in their heart, there is a longing for the Real Presence, but it could never be known to themselves except by an actual conversion to the Catholic Church. Protestant denominations that even attempt to sort of resemble the Catholic Mass are a minority, and those congregations continue to dim.

Ironically, it is precisely as protestants grow more and more distant from the Church (say, your modern evangelical versus your traditionalist Anglican or Lutheran) that I think it becomes less awkward for a Catholic attending the service. Unlike the protestors in the early generations, they don’t even know what they’re protesting. They’re just “Christian” according to how they were raised in their family.

There is only this double standard because gay marriage is fairly new.
Wait just 50 years and gay marriage will be tolerated by Catholics, just like Protestantism is now. Probably then one of the next popes will add some gay weddings to an Assisi meeting.

Protestantism is out of the devil too, and is not scripturally at all, it is about twisting scripture.

I think a better analogy would be to draw a comparison between attendance at a gay wedding and attendance at a Mass held by a gay Priest.

From what I understand, yes, transubstantiation is a Dogma
***( CCC 1376*** The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."206

***( IS TRANSUBSTANTIATION DOGMA? Question from Leo Campion on 6/4/2002:***
Answer by Fr. John Echert on 6/4/2002:

**Absolutely! **Necessarily, words and theological/philosophical categories that we use will fall short of the full reality which they express, but they express infallible truth insofar as they express it. The fact that many Catholics do not understand or accept the reality of the changed Substance of the Holy Eucharist is rooted in many causes, including human skepticism, failed Catholic education, the hiding of the tabernacle in many Churches, pastors and liturgists who mislead the Faithful on such matters, as well as several other causes. How sad, for once belief in the True Presence of Christ is lost, the rest of the faith is a doomed ship without a rudder.

Thanks, Leo

Father Echert (COPYRIGHT 2015)

As for the Orthodox Church, I really do not know; however, with that said, I do know that the OC does recognize the change in the substance to that of the actual presence of the body and blood of Christ and that it was not a substantial sticking point for the Church during the Council of Trent (that’s not to say there wasn’t a lot of discussion/argument over this point and there are very strong words in the Canons issued about the belief/non-belief… but that would be way off topic to cover!). Thus, even if the OC doesn’t attempt to define the mystery, they are more in line with the RC than the protestant understanding.

I think a better analogy would be to draw a comparison between attendance at a gay wedding and attendance at a Mass held by a gay Priest.

Mass held by a priest with same-sex attraction, while not IMHO preferable, would still be valid between a Man and a Woman (given that all of the particulars have been seen to :slight_smile: )in so much as:

The Husband and Wife actually perform and perfect this sacrament. The Church official is the Church’s witness and blesses the Marriage to establish the validity of the act. (CCC 1623) The state of Grace of the Priest does not effect the validity of his properly performed office… it may however, confer upon him a greater separation from the Church and of the Father

More importantly, in this case; I, as a Catholic, could attend this wedding without causing scandal within the Church so far as such deals with the sacrament of Marriage.

Attending a “wedding” between two people of the same sex, is so much different that I don’t have enough letters in the post to begin to explain. But in short, the sacrament doesn’t exist here in that the substance is wrong, the normal celebrants are not present. It’s like trying to start a fire without oxygen and a fuel.

I as a Catholic would not attend the “Wedding” ceremony as doing so would appear to agree with the act. On the other hand, I would most likely attend their reception if they were close friends.

Hard teaching this and no-one wins here… sad.

Would that both sides could have agreed to have the Civil side establish the “Civil Union,” for all couples, and separate it from the Sacrament and title. However, such was not apparently the desire on the GLBT agenda… however, I digress.

Sadly, even a Church wedding, is more often than not, by those in attendance (yes, even a lot of Catholics at a Catholic wedding), view the ceremony (the Mass) as little more as a social obligation to a party with free food and drink.

This can be evidenced by asking someone to tell you about the last “wedding” they attended, and you are likely to find that “wedding” is interchangeable with “reception” rather than with a Mass, service, or ceremony.

Then you contradict the pope, who has repeatedly referred to Protestants as fellow Christians and true believers, or words to that effect. For example:

As far as gay “marriage” it is already tolerated by as many Catholics as it is by Protestants.

‘Protestantism is out of the devil’…?

I’m sure you meant something more respectful.


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