Reply To: Witnessing a marriage

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Thanks Benedict for answering you had clarified my questions about Catholic practice. I have one unanswered but that is due to my muddled question. I said:

[quote:3ewoyfjf]Still, does context define the application of your practice (concerning baptized believer marrying an un-baptized believer) in the Catholic Church today?[/quote:3ewoyfjf]

Essentially what I’m trying to express is my desire of knowledge regarding:

-how much, or better put, to what [i:3ewoyfjf]extent[/i:3ewoyfjf] does the Catholic church allow cultural and contextual experience (Gunkel’s [i:3ewoyfjf]sitz em liben[/i:3ewoyfjf]) to bend (relax) some of their stipulations (such as the sacrament of marriage for example)?

I’m not putting forth any statement of certainty here but what if, for example, the seperation of a Catholic from a family member who is not a practicing Catholic over a sacrament (marriage) causes more damage than good?

We are told in Scripture that [i:3ewoyfjf]one[/i:3ewoyfjf] way of handling a situation involving sin in the local body is to confront the sin privately, next openly, and then if it is rejected sill, to throw him/her outside the community so that the loss of community will point him/her back towards the body of Christ. Of course this could be taken literally, as in the actual membership of the church rather than implicitly, as in the situation of marriage. However, it does make me a little uncomfortable in showing little to no support for a family member. Just a comfot issue, I’m not sure of the right practice really.

Another way of saying what I’m thinking is that I’m uncomfortable with the idea that an institution (papal or presbyterical or anything else) can exercise such practice, dispensation, especially with one who was baptized into the community of faith.

Where are the notions that a believing wife/husband would be able to win the ubelieving spouse to the Lord?

There are too many variables and too many unknowables involved with such a sensitive issue as marriage that I sense this is a dangerous or risky move -dispensation.

Myself, I’m rooted in Anabaptism. Perhaps many Catholics are unaware of the number of similarities between Anabaptism and Catholicism, despite the mutual bitterness towards Luther and Zwinlgi! In my childhood congregation an answer such as yours would have made alot of Anabaptist clergy quite happy.

One more quick questions, you said:

[quote:3ewoyfjf]What Joanlee’s sister has to do in order to marry this man is either follow the rules set forth by the Church (obtaining a dispensation for her marriage to an unbaptized man, marrying outside a Catholic church, etc) or renounce her membership in the Church, thus removing herself from the Church’s jurisdiction (so to speak).[/quote:3ewoyfjf]

You capitalized “Church’s” jurisdiction. Is it still common practice (not [i:3ewoyfjf]tradition![/i:3ewoyfjf]) in the Catholic church to assume that being completely disconnected with the Cathlic Church results in spiritual disconnection with the Kingdom of God (i.e., failure to obtain saving grace)? As I have encountered, the Catholic Church has been making a lot of changes (Ratzinger behind this?) and I don’t think a lot of your scholarly Catholics would be comfortable anymore with the idea that their is a loss of faith with a loss of [b:3ewoyfjf]Catholic[/b:3ewoyfjf] identity.

Oh, Joanlee, if you’re reading this I hope you don’t take this personally. I honestly believe that as a Catholic your conscience must guide you according to the way you have been taught. In other words, you must follow your congregation’s (as directed by your bishop) command as long as you are convinced it’s biblical, in which I think Benedict’s representation of the Catholic faith/practice is not off the mark (I just like to debate). As for me, I’m free of the Catholic charge so I am asking these questions to have a better understanding of Catholicism, not to meddle in personal affairs. Yours just happened to hit the spot in my authoratative/theological appetite for discussion.