By Greg Sheridan, The Australian.
The Presbyterian Church will halt all co-operation with the state on the matter of marriage if same-sex marriage is legalized.
It will refuse to conduct any state marriages and some of its pastors will encourage Presbyterians to live outside the legal institution of marriage. They would live in de facto relationships as far as civil law is concerned.
In one of the most radical actions taken by a mainstream Christian denomination in Australia, the Presbyterians will divorce themselves from the state, and institute ecclesiastical marriages instead, if its General Assembly accepts the recommendations of a church committee charged with reviewing the issue.
The Reverend Darren Middleton will present a report to the Presbyterian General Assembly in September.
“We will recommend to the General Assembly that no Presbyterian Church of Australia minister would solemnize any marriage under the new Marriage Act,” Mr Middleton said.
He has already had talks with the Attorney-General’s Department about the formalities of handing back the church’s official marriage licence. If the General Assembly takes that decision, it will apply to all Presbyterian ministers in Australia.
Under Middleton’s proposal, the church would establish its own independent register of ecclesiastical marriages, which would have nothing to do with the state. The ecclesiastical marriages would have no legal standing but be recognized by the church itself. It would be up to individual couples whether to also to go through a registry process to have their marriage recognized by civil law.
“I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone, but I can see why a lot of people would choose to do so, for social reasons or property reasons,” he said.
“The church and state have traditionally shared a common understanding of marriage so it’s been sensible to have co-operation between.”
If same-sex marriage is legalized, there will no longer be a common understanding and so co-operation no longer makes sense, he believes.
And so the issue goes back out to those who wish to marry two men. They go out to civil unions which has been an option for couples for receiving government benefits as committed persons to each other regardless of the combination’s characteristics or practices.
FWIW … this is always the way its been done in Europe, but its interesting to see an entire denomination protest against ‘culture’.
The Presbyterian church of Australia better watch out or De La Rosa will go over and prance around their HQ’s acting like he speaks for all us!!
Just as in the wendy’s story, James H using his favortie homophobic word in talking about the director of the PMA.
No, just the truth. As long as you and your ilk use our money and misuse the PMA for a bunch of anti business and left wing causes, then yeah..prancing it is
James-In fairness to West, your legitimate points are sometimes overshadowed by what seems like gratuitous swipes at the targets of your criticism.
De La Rosa had no business using the PMA and dragging us (pcusa) into this fray at Wendy’s HQR’s, this in your face style that the louisville sluggers have adopted is going to at some point backfire, and probably already has. I’m just one of many that has directed my tithes to non pcusa entities for now. I don’t t trust that the mission dollars would go where they are supposed to, given that he seems more concerned about social justice, than missions.