First Published in ‘The Catholic Voice’, Ireland, July 2015
Two Claimants to Jurisdiction over Marriage
In looking at authority, we have seen that in any given situation, or place, or time, there can be only one ultimate authority. We have also seen that a clash inevitably arises where more than one person or group claim to be that ultimate authority. We also know that in Ireland, there have been two claimants to jurisdiction concerning marriage for quite some time now, and that the recent referendum which re-defined marriage as the state knows it, has seen the claim of the Church vanquished in favour of the claim of the State.
So what are the consequences of this referendum for the Catholic Church in Ireland?
Whom do You Choose to Serve
Well, as in all cases of this kind, cardinals and bishops, priests and religious, ordinary men and women are once again faced with the eternal question, “whom do you choose to serve?”. There are those who think that, now that the referendum is over, we can all just get on with our lives. However this is not the case. Life in Ireland has changed permanently, and it has not changed for the better. We are witnessing the final stages in a battle of wills, hearts and minds in which those who disagree with the prevailing opinion, that same-sex couplings are equal to and synonymous with the relationship between husband and wife, will be suppressed and pressurised to conform to the new law.
As the congregation for Doctrine and Faith noted in 2003, under then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger;
Opposition to Same-Sex Relationships is a Moral Duty
“In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.”
Catholics will be Excluded from many Professions
What this means in effect is that Catholics are now excluded from the judiciary of this country, for all judges make a declaration that they will uphold the constitution of Ireland and Catholics can no longer make this declaration. Catholics are now excluded from the office of president, for the president must make a similar declaration. Catholic civil servants will not be able to process same-sex marriage licences and therefore they will be forced from their jobs. Catholic teachers will not be able to teach the new secular curriculum to children which will teach that there is no difference between two homosexual men living in a sexual relationship and a heterosexual couple, and will therefore lose their jobs. Newspapers, such as this one, will be forced to comply with the new thinking or will be suppressed for promoting hate speech. This is just the beginning, for Irish society has now been turned upon its head.
The Constitution of Ireland now promotes a Lie
The recent referendum has inserted a lie into our constitution. In order to be able to uphold a lie as law, it is necessary for the state to suppress those who seek to speak the truth against the lie, and by force if necessary. But the situation in Ireland is yet more grave still, for our constitution begins:
“In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,”
Therefore, not only has a lie been inserted into our constitution but this lie is claimed in the name of the Most Holy Trinity! This is Blasphemous. Mark well that God will not be mocked.
The State’s Pressure Tactics include withholding of Funds
The state has many means at its disposal in order to force compliance with the new legislation. States are reluctant to use the force of arms and so they begin with more subtle forms of pressure. Once the state has set itself in opposition to the Catholic Church, a common tactic for gaining control and exerting pressure is to make Church bodies dependant on the State for finance. In Ireland we see this with ACCORD, the Catholic Church’s Marriage Agency which receives state funding. We see it with CURA, the Catholic Church’s Crisis Pregnancy Counselling Service which also receives State funding and we will see it in our Catholic schools which the state is now desperately trying to take over. Just before the same-sex relationships referendum, the State cut funding to ACCORD as a warning to our bishops that they were jeopardising their funding in making noises of opposition to the government. The meaning and timing of this bully boy decision were obvious, despite protestations to the contrary.
The Creation of Farcical Offences such as Hate Crimes
Another common tactic is to enact legislation that will seek to criminalise those who oppose same-sex marriage with corresponding jail terms. This legislation will probably label traditional marriage supporters as promoting hate speech or some other made up and farcical offence. Use will also be made of anti discrimination legislation with those who refuse to perform same-sex ceremonies being accused of denying people their constitutional rights and being jailed or suppressed on account of this refusal.
We Must Choose
But what matters ultimately is individual choices. Jesus tells us that no one can serve two masters and therefore each one of us must make a choice. Are we willing to resist the tyranny of the State in the area of same-sex relationships and are we willing to stand up for Jesus and to defy this corrupt and corrupting state? There are those who have already compromised. I am thinking in particular of prominent Catholic priests and religious who called for a ‘yes’ vote. There will be those who will compromise in the future, here I am thinking of those who will co-operate with the State or come to some arrangement in order to save their job or to keep funding for their organisations.
But thankfully there will also be those who will stand firm, loyal servants of Jesus Christ who will keep the flame alive regardless of the cost to themselves. Torch bearers for a generation yet to come.
We Have Identified the Problems, now we need to formulate the Solutions
And so in these articles to date we have looked at marriage from the point of view of scripture, we detoured briefly to look at family prayer and then we looked at marriage through the eyes of the magisterium. Recently we have looked at the problems internal to the Church and at the fact that Church teaching on marriage has not been upheld in its entirety in Ireland since Humanae Vitae in 1968. We next need to look at the solution to the many problems we are faced with and to begin preparing ourselves to implement those solutions.
© John Lacken 2015
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Author: John Lacken
Founder: Legio Sanctae Familiae – The Legion of the Holy Family