Author Topic: Hypocrisy of the Catholic 'church' re Boris Johnson's marriage  (Read 155 times)

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Online eik

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A Diocese of Westminster spokesman confirmed: 'With regard to divorced persons, a baptised Catholic who has contracted a marriage recognised in civil law but without observing the requirements of Catholic Canon Law is not recognised as validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church.'

By such sophistry, Boris Johnson previously twice divorced, was entitled to 'marry' for a third time in Westminister Cathedral, a Catholic church. seemingly against its own rules. Whether the normal rules of the Catholic church are biblical is not the item for discussion here. They may be to an extent, in that it may be right to forbid official church recognition to the re-marriage of adulterous and guilty parties (1 Corinthians 5:11), but they may not be to the extent that it is wrong to completely forbid the re-marriage of a party whom has been wrongly divorced by another.

I suppose it really depends on whether the normal policy is designed to forbid re-marriage altogether or designed to set up a pecking order, i.e. to reduce re-marriages to the legal status of concubinage. If so such a policy may just involve political acts by the Roman church rather than inherently religious acts, as the apostles didn't recognize different categories of marriage.

But as to Boris Johnson's re-marriage as a recently baptized Catholic: it is surely hypocritical for the Catholic church to decline to recognize former marriages "just" because the individual wasn't a Catholic at the time of the first marriage. There can be no biblical authority for reducing the marital status of all non-Catholics to concubinage just because they were not Catholics at the date of marriage. Otherwise all Old Testament marriages would have to be declared as concubinage, including that of Joseph to Mary. There might be other political reasons to refrain from recognizing marriage where immorality is involved, but to decline to recognize a marriage due only to whether or not someone belonged to one's own church at the time of contracting the marriage seems to have no scriptural support.

For marriage is in the sight of God, not the church. As Christ said, Mark 10:9 "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

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Offline Serenity

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Re: Hypocrisy of the Catholic 'church' re Boris Johnson's marriage
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2021, 09:23:51 AM »
His first marriage was annulled, not sure of the 2nd one.  Possibly if not married in the Catholic or Anglican Church it was not recognised.
Also, there is the consideration that God 'did not' join together his previous marriage, so there was nothing to put asunder, as nothing was recognised.
Not sure of the concubine aspect of your post, or even polygamy as an extension of that (as both aspects are in the bible) in respect of the Catholic Church.
I can see why it has raised questions within the Church let alone outside, as Marriage is one  of the Sacraments  kind of pillars of the faith.
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Offline Deborah

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Re: Hypocrisy of the Catholic 'church' re Boris Johnson's marriage
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2021, 09:50:42 AM »
Although perfectly logical and permissible under the rules of the Catholic Church, it doesn't look consistent from the outside. And what of all of us who got married in non-Catholic churches - does God not recognise our marriages?

This is one of the perverse results of legalism: the rules are unbending and impractical, so people think up ways to get round them.

Funnily enough, most evangelical churches would marry a couple in such circumstances if they had become Christians since any divorce. The logic then would be that a line had been drawn under the sins and mistakes of the past, and they would be free to make a fresh start with a clean slate. No way of knowing if Boris has had such a conversion, of course.
"The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to Him, but His great anger is on all who forsake Him." (Ezra 8:22)

Online eik

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Re: Hypocrisy of the Catholic 'church' re Boris Johnson's marriage
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2021, 01:09:28 PM »
His first marriage was annulled, not sure of the 2nd one.  Possibly if not married in the Catholic or Anglican Church it was not recognised.
The question I posed was, did God recognize his earlier marriages?  I am sure that He did. For there is nothing in scripture about needing to get married in a church. In fact church marriage only arose many centuries after Christianity. Church marriage is associated with the concept of marriage as a sacrament (i.e. a promise of God), which was only officially recognized as a sacrament by the RC church at the 1184 Council of Verona.

The very idea of marriage as a sacrament is alien to the bible. Many protestants have objected to it. Why it should have been deemed so, only in 1184 is unclear. It seems that it was politically motivated, i.e. not strictly a matter of religious doctrine.

Indeed the idea of only recognizing marriages under one's own church is perverse: surely a political stunt to invalidate the religion of other churches.

Also, there is the consideration that God 'did not' join together his previous marriage, so there was nothing to put asunder, as nothing was recognised.
True. God may not "join together" the adulteress and the adulter in quite the same way. Yet in some sense, God does always join the parties together even where immorality is involved, 1Co 6:16, but may do to a person's damnation, and not to their blessing. Some marriages may be considered cursed.

However Johnson's marriage to his first wife seems to have ended upon her unfaithfulness.

So there is not really any reason to invalidate his second marriage, just by reason of it having happened apart from the Catholic church.

Not sure of the concubine aspect of your post, or even polygamy as an extension of that (as both aspects are in the bible) in respect of the Catholic Church.
The idea of oncubinage embraces several different political and religious concepts. The first and oldest is the idea of social status within the marriage, and social status before marriage. It accords women different ranks depending on primacy. So a man might have one wife, regarded as his social equal, and other concubines deemed his social inferiors and inferior to his wife.

Then there is a quasi-religious idea of conubinage but which is really still a political idea, aligned with church recognition. This posits concubinage as any union, formal or informal, that is not officially approved by the church. Such may be tolerated, i.e. Catholic priests with mistresses that have been tolerated for centuries, or proscribed.

Then there is the religious idea of concubinage as a scriptually illegitimate union, i.e. one which is opposed by scripture itself and so incapable of being rendered legitimate under any circumstances, e.g. the one in 1 Cor 5. Such also includes a marriage where one of the parties is guilty of adultery (Mar 6:18), until perhaps the other spouse dies.

So I guess I was referring to the second idea here: the idea of a union deemed politically unacceptable to the church, but which might be capable of church recognition providing only that certain formalities and procedures are performed (e.g. the priest relinquishing the priesthood if Catholic). It is perverse to think that this has anything to do with the bible, especially where vows have been exchanged and there is no other reason not to recognize the marriage.

I can see why it has raised questions within the Church let alone outside, as Marriage is one  of the Sacraments  kind of pillars of the faith.
So say Catholics, but so many protestants disagree on this issue of marriage as a sacrament, although I agree that sanctity within marriage is crucial for faith, and so is a pillar of the faith.

Online eik

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Re: Hypocrisy of the Catholic 'church' re Boris Johnson's marriage
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2021, 02:11:02 PM »
Although perfectly logical and permissible under the rules of the Catholic Church, it doesn't look consistent from the outside. And what of all of us who got married in non-Catholic churches - does God not recognise our marriages?
I think Catholics would have trouble answering your question, given that the question of who "God" is, is for Catholics a source of confusion vis-a-vis the alternative, which is the Pope.

This is one of the perverse results of legalism: the rules are unbending and impractical, so people think up ways to get round them.

Funnily enough, most evangelical churches would marry a couple in such circumstances if they had become Christians since any divorce.
I think that this is a problem with evangelical churches. There are some kinds of adultery that cannot be overlooked (e.g. Mar 6:18) where to recognize a marriage would be folly, irrespective of any purported conversion.

The logic then would be that a line had been drawn under the sins and mistakes of the past, and they would be free to make a fresh start with a clean slate. No way of knowing if Boris has had such a conversion, of course.
The logic is the thing, I agree. Yet it is illogical to suppose that transferring your allegiance from one church to another is synonymous with repentance. Rather it could be seen as a substitution for repentance.

Luk 16:18 "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

Seems to me the above would squarely apply to Boris Johnson, such that the Catholic church should not have recognized his new marriage.


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