Founded in 1981, the Institute on Religion & Democracy has been a voice for transparency, for renewal, and for Christian orthodoxy.
By Maggie Gallagher
Over at First Things, George Weigel argues that the Catholic Church should refuse to cooperate with the government in states where marriage has been redefined, by refusing to act as agents of the state in signing marriage certificates.
I don’t see why priests signing or refusing to sign the marriage certificate for the state is such a great witness. Some will read as a sign of retreat and withdrawal by the Church, and many people won’t even notice.
Here’s the more important question Weigel is not addressing: If a priest cannot in good conscience cooperate with the state in creating a marriage, can a good Catholic?
If he supports an actual withdrawal of Catholics from the public and civil institution of marriage, it’s not a gesture; it’s a huge endeavor that would require the creation of alternative means of enforcing the civil aspects of the marriage commitment (or leaving women and children unprotected).
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