If churches are forced by law to conduct SS"M"

It appears that in Denmark, homosexuals have “won” the “right” to be “married” in the state churches. Given that people are constantly saying that the next step will not be reached, until it is, if it were to happen that the Catholic Church were to be in this position, what could the Chirch do? With the adoption agencies, they closed them down.

Can the legal aspect be separated from the religious aspect? Could priests simply stop being the agents of the state in marriages so that Catholics would marry by a JP and then have their marriages blessed by the Church? Or… well, how would that work out?

Just wondering…

The state can do that if the church is a “state” church. Fortunately the Catholic Church is not a state church, and would never put its core beliefs under the control of a secular agency, or else it would cease being the Church. The state will have no more success in exercising this kind of control than early Rome had in getting the first Christian martyrs to renounce their faith.

I think this kind of speculation is worse than pointless. It is actually destructive to faith for it invites contemplation of things that God has assured us will not happen - namely that He would leave us and withdraw His Holy Spirit from guiding us.

I don’t think that speculation is that pointless. You won’t see it next year neither in five nor in even 10 years, but if you consider the way that the SCOTUS has, since the 70’s slowly restricted more and more freedom of religion and has pushed secularism as the government’s religion, and the way the entire movement has developed since the 50’s, the possibility doesn’t sound that far from reality and given that all this has happened in front of Catholics eyes without them even realizing don’t be surprised if in 50 years they come up with something that may force churches to close.

As LeafByNiggle said, the Evangelical Lutheran Church is the Danish State Church (gosh, Luther must be turning in his grave right now!). No government could legally or otherwise force the Catholic Church to perform any marriage. However, what they could do, I suppose, is threaten the Church if She doesn’t comply, e.g. remove Her tax-free status or ability to perform State-recognised marriages, etc.

And they do so at the peril of their own souls. 50 years will be 2063 and I would be 88. I hope I am gone if that is the future of America and I don’t necessarily mean death. Maybe in another country where they still revere God and his church.



It would work out just fine. This is how it is already done in numerous countries.

Religious ministers, including Catholic priests and deacons are “licensed” by the state to conduct marriages…just as are judges etc.
If there were a law passed in the U.S. that said such a licensed person could not refuse to conduct a SS ceremony, I would see the Church simply renounce it’s license.
Under the new system, a couple would have a civil ceremony and then a sacramental one. This is already done in Italy and possibly other places.
Depending on how the law is set-up, it might even be possible to have a civil servant present at the sacramental marriage - thus only requiring one ceremony…
But the bottom line would be simply that the Church would no longer “marry” anyone in the civil sense…only in the sacramental…


Leaf by Niggle, this last comment of Jonathan Hill’s is what I was thinking: that the Church would lose or give up the right to perform state-recognized marriages. I never even considered the scenario you mention, and I guess that’s why I wasn’t so clear in my OP :o

And maybe sooner than five or ten years.

Who would have thought, in 2008, that the government would directly confront the Catholic Church and order its institutions to do something against conscience as the HHS Mandate does?

The current regime will punish the Church for not doing homosexual “marriages”, and soon. We just don’t know how they will do it.

This is exactly what I was thinking. Also, there have one a few cases already, not with regard to Catholics, but regarding other religions that have allow the State to prohibit certain religious practices or forced other religion to change a religious practice, these have been minorities religion so many people don’t know about them but they do set the ground for, in case that in a future Courts wish to do so, changing or prohibiting practices from certain religions. It is impossible to say which way they are going to try to push secular in the church but the danger is definitely there.

It happened in France centuries ago. Only the civil wedding counts. Since most religions require their married to be married in the eyes of the law there is no religious only marriage as the religions require the state certificate and marriage before they will perform a religious ceremony. What the Priest, pastor, Imam etc does is irrelevant as far as the state is concerned. Only the signature on the state certificate counts and no formal vow of any kind in some jurisdictions outside of France, it is the contractual language that matters.

Mexican law is pretty much the same as French law. Although civil authorities will let religious figures speak at their ceremony even if it is against the Mexican constitution of 1917. Call it a cease fire term of the Cristero war

I say, “Bring it on!” If there was ever a reason not to have to be legally entangled with the state, this is one. In my Protestant days I was looking into e everything I could to see if it was possible to get married without marriage license and why so many religious Pastors have to be agents of the same state that forces us more and more to decrease our religious freedom. If a minister with state certified license to perform marriages performed one without a marriage license from the couple he could lose his state license and go to jail. But if they never had one in the first place they have nothing to lose. Then couples who want religious marriage and civil marriage can have it & those who want
only religious marriage can have it.

One should also consider the scandal it is for the young, though. If marriage is deemed no better than sodomy by the government, and (as I am sure will continue to happen) sodomy is lauded widely in the media and by government, what are the impressionable to think of it?

There is a very simple solution to all this.

The state has contracts called Hippos that any two people can execute. Their relationship is then a matter of legal contracts and law. That takes care of property, child care, tax questions, etc.

Anyone who wants can also enter into a relationship governed by the rules of their chosen religion or philosophy. That can be called marriage.

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