Monday, June 27, 2011

Ed Peters talks Canon Law and Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The Bishops of New York recently issued a statement concerning gay "marriage" bill just signed in that state:

Statement of the Bishops of New York State on SSM

June 24, 2011

The following is a statement from Archbishop Timothy Dolan and the bishops of New York State:
The passage by the Legislature of a bill to alter radically and forever humanity’s historic understanding of marriage leaves us deeply disappointed and troubled.

We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change, though we realize that our beliefs about the nature of marriage will continue to be ridiculed, and that some will even now attempt to enact government sanctions against churches and religious organizations that preach these timeless truths.

We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization.

Our society must regain what it appears to have lost – a true understanding of the meaning and the place of marriage, as revealed by God, grounded in nature, and respected by America’s foundational principles.”

Canon lawyer discusses questions surrounding Catholic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's actions
A little lesson in canon law from blogging canonist, Ed Peters concerning the actions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the recent approval of gay "marriage" in New York. 

Some may feel that it is none of the Church's business what Cuomo does.  It's true that he can make choices for himself, and he can choose to govern as he pleases. God has given all of us a free will.  But, the Church has a right, and even a duty, to offer clarity when those actions are not in harmony with the Gospel and Church teaching, lest others be led into scandal.  This is especially true, when one uses their Catholic status in discussions (the Pelosi-special) or is well-known to be a Catholic. This is explained by Dr. Peters.

In his footnotes, I especially like his drawing our attention to a 1962 case in which several lay people were dealt with for creating a resistance against desegregation of archdiocesan schools (see his footnotes).

Ed first starts out with a few points since the secular news media has misrepresented him and his position so many times. Do follow the link to read his full post to get a complete understanding. 

What canonical consequences might Andrew Cuomo face now?

Reminder: 1. This website offers my* commentary on the canonical implications of certain news events. 2. My regular readers are familiar with sound Catholic thought in such areas as, for example, the nature of marriage, the moral parameters of private and governmental decision-making, personal sin and public scandal, the theology of holy Communion, and the basic role of canon law in the Church, and so I do not lay the kinds of foundations in such matters that one engaged in, say, apologetics would otherwise have to provide. 3. If anyone finds himself insufficiently familiar with some of the Catholic terminology and concepts assumed in this discussion, I would urge study of the pertinent passages in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or consultation with the auctores probatos.

The Catholic Church, drawing upon the teachings of Jesus Christ and echoing Natural Law, holds that marriage is possible only between a man and a woman and, consequently, that only men and women who have undertaken to live in such a relationship should be recognized and treated as married. The male-female requirement for marriage is an unalterable teaching of the Church and, while it might be subjected to ridicule by some nowadays, it is not subject to revision by either Church or State. Moreover, unlike some teachings of the Church that have no practical implications in the civil arena, that teaching which holds marriage possible only between a man and a woman has vital ramifications for civil society and—long story omitted—for those Catholics privileged to be especially charged with caring for the common good through political institutions.

Continue reading: What canonical consequences might Andrew Cuomo face now?  See also his footnoes there.

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