State can't set doctrine - Catholic Courier

State can’t set doctrine

To the editor:

With respect to Mike Latona’s reporting (Catholic Courier Weekly, July 15), “Catholics decry same-sex bill”, and as a Lutheran who reads the Catholic Courier, I appreciate this opportunity to offer a modified perspective.

My wife and I, having been married by a Roman Catholic bishop, have a Catholic marriage. And we respect Church teachings with regard to the sanctity of marriage. I see marriage as a religious— not civil — gift.

Certainly the Church, of all institutions, knows a thing or two about inner motivation,taught to us through the Gospels, as opposed to externalmotivation — enforcement mechanisms of the state.

Having a civil commitment does not and should not weaken the religious state of marriage.

I assume that most Catholics living in America accept that, for better or worse, we are a pluralistic society wherein not everyone is Catholic.

So, given that marriage is inherently a God-given sacrament and that, as it turns out, we do not have a fusion of church/state in our country, I propose the following:

If one is Lutheran, marriage is between a man and a woman. This may change, as what havoc that fellow Luther has caused – -the Lutheran Church has its own fragmentations.

If one is Roman Catholic, marriage is strictly heterosexual. But if one is, say, United Church of Christ, gay marriage is sanctioned. As with Lutherans and Catholics, neither the United Church of Christ nor even our Episcopalian friends have yet authorized the American president — nor state governor — to determine religious doctrine. Thanks be to God!

To sum up: if Catholic, make sure your intended is of the opposite sex.

As a Lutheran who believes that all benefit when the RC Church does well and remains steadfast in Her love of Christ and all of His people, I appreciate this opportunity to share my thoughts with readers of the Catholic Courier.

Mark D. Stewart

Courtright Lane


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