=DavidFilmer;13181733] 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).
I know this is the main thrust of your thread, and I will respond to it. But you also said:
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)
Obviously, I don’t consider our Eucharist as sacrilege. Neither does a rather prominent Catholic:
I count among the most important results of the ecumenical dialogues the insight that the issue of the eucharist cannot be narrowed to the problem of ‘validity.’ Even a theology oriented to the concept of succession, such as that which holds in the Catholic and in the Orthodox church, need not in any way deny the salvation-granting presence of the Lord [Heilschaffende Gegenwart des Herrn] in a Lutheran [evangelische] Lord’s Supper.
Cardinal Ratzinger claims it to be “the salvation-granting presence”. The context and wording are significant. The context is a letter written to a German Lutheran bishop, so this isn’t a comment of patronizing niceness, since he would have known would the recipient, Bishop Hanselmann, would not be so deceived.
As for the wording, it is significant that he says,“the salvation-granting presence of the Lord…”, as opposed to even “a” presence.
In any event, this does not sound like he considers it a sacrilege, if it is the salvation-granting presence. After all, how could it be both?
Vatican II’s The Decree on Ecumenism says, “Our separated brothers and sisters also celebrate many sacred actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each church or community, and must be held capable of giving access to that communion in which is salvation.”
To which The USCCB responds,
** If the actions of Lutheran pastors can be described by Catholics as “sacred actions” that “can truly engender a life of grace,” if communities served by such ministers give “access to that communion in which is salvation,” and if at a eucharist at which a Lutheran pastor presides is to be found “the salvation-granting presence of the Lord,” then Lutheran churches cannot be said simply to lack the ministry given to the church by Christ and the Spirit. **
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?
Therefore, it is not a double standard at all, even if, with good reason BTW, one considers same sex marriage to be a sacrilege.