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Jun 15th 2013 new
I really, really don't want to agree with you here...but I'm very much afraid you are right... sad
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Jun 15th 2013 new
(quote) Joan-529855 said: Now we certainly don't want an empty church; that would mean an empty collection basket. Can't have that.
One has to wonder if so many people fail to follow God's Laws if there might be a near empty Heaven?

Most distressing is the Mass Reading that says something like "I do not know you" ... how many people want to hear that?

Had a friend years ago whom I'd ask "Why are you going?" just asking his plans for the rest of the day. He'd reply "I'm going to Hell if I don't change my ways".
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Jun 16th 2013 new
(quote) Joan-529855 said: Dave, I read your post twice and am struggling with what you are trying to say. Could you please translate in lay-woman's terms? I do have a graduate degree but in "education", not in political science or the like. THANKS
Joan, I will be glad to explain. Could you please let me know what you did not understand?

There are two aspects here: Economic and Political, but these are related. To many "conservatives" today, these aspects have no significant effect to our social and moral lives. I disagree, and I understand a few people like Chesterton and Belloc, who lived towards the beginning of last century also disagree.

America was founded not just to free man from the Crown, but also to free him from him the Church. It is the worlds first truly secular state. (The founders did say a few prayers, but if you look at their lives, most of them had no faith. They would have been atheist, had it not been too unpopular at their time.) In the founders credit however, they recognized that without a notion of right and wrong, the state would disintegrate. Being secular, they did not have recourse to religion. Hence, they settled on a system of what I term as "mechanized morality" encoded in the legal framework.

This does affect social life. You will hence find people talking about a certain action being "legal" or not, instead of "moral". Morality loses its meaning in the minds of people, because nothing in the real world is based on it. The Church may make various attempts at remedying this problem of promiscuity among our unmarried laity, but until morals play some role in regular life, I think it would be a failure.

In this regard I like the Muslim world. Despite all the criticism of the barbarity of Sharia Law, it is more natural to man than the secular state that we have today. At the minimum they have the ability to prohibit problems like Gay Marriage, something that a secular state is powerless to prohibit.

Capitalism does have its own problems that affect this social question, but from your post, I assumed that you had problems with only the political part.

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Jun 16th 2013 new
I think a lot of it comes down to catechesis. A lot of people honestly don't know what they are doing is wrong. I know tons of people that never knew that birth control was wrong.

I think the other part is parents and grandparents. I know TONS of people that want their kids to get married in the church and the kids are no longer practicing. Or the parent/grandparent is a high donor of the church and doesn't want to look bad. So the parents pay for it all and the kids sit through the class.


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Jun 16th 2013 new
(quote) Dave-915458 said: Joan, I will be glad to explain. Could you please let me know what you did not understand?
There are two aspects here: Economic and Political, but these are related. To many "conservatives" today, these aspects have no significant effect to our social and moral lives. I disagree, and I understand a few people like Chesterton and Belloc, who lived towards the beginning of last century also disagree.
America was founded not just to free man from the Crown, but also to free him from him the Church. It is the worlds first truly secular state. (The founders did say a few prayers, but if you look at their lives, most of them had no faith. They would have been atheist, had it not been too unpopular at their time.) In the founders credit however, they recognized that without a notion of right and wrong, the state would disintegrate. Being secular, they did not have recourse to religion. Hence, they settled on a system of what I term as "mechanized morality" encoded in the legal framework.
This does affect social life. You will hence find people talking about a certain action being "legal" or not, instead of "moral". Morality loses its meaning in the minds of people, because nothing in the real world is based on it. The Church may make various attempts at remedying this problem of promiscuity among our unmarried laity, but until morals play some role in regular life, I think it would be a failure.
In this regard I like the Muslim world. Despite all the criticism of the barbarity of Sharia Law, it is more natural to man than the secular state that we have today. At the minimum they have the ability to prohibit problems like Gay Marriage, something that a secular state is powerless to prohibit.
Capitalism does have its own problems that affect this social question, but from your post, I assumed that you had problems with only the political part.
Dave,
Thank you for the clarification. As a reader of Chesterton myself, I know where you are coming from.
I agree, our country was founded on the ideal of "religious freedom", the freedom to profess any religion or no religion. Like you pointed out we are the first country founded for the purpose of religious freedom (including atheism). If our country had been founded by a religious sect, requiring everyone living within its borders to profess said religion would we be better off? I think not. Look at the numbers of religious wars that have been fought, and/or still fighting. I don't think "wars" are the answer to morality, even fighting for religious morality.
In a lot of ways I agree with you and I wish governing morality could be so simple, but unfortunately it is not. For a secular government to control morality it removes mans "free will", which God gave man when he created him (remember the Garden of Eden). Of course we have secular laws to protect us from harm but I don't think it is the governments place to police us with moral laws. Again, I REALLY wish it could be done as it would remove alot of heart ache and pain from people's lives but I don't believe it is what God intended for His people.
Again, thank you very much for responding to my post with your wonderful insight. I really appreciate it. You really have me thinking now and I hope you have others thinking as well.
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Jun 16th 2013 new
Perhaps this is partly treating the symtom (but not entirely)...

I don't think that the Pre-Cana leader, deacon or priest should allow those couples obviously living together (e.g. if they admit it or if they list the same address on the forms) to proceed with Pre-Cana instruction. I would basicly tell the couple to come back when they changed their living situation. I think that proceeding with instruction, while cohabitating, is mocking the Catholic Church and it's teachings. I do know one priest in particular that would not marry couples that would not stop cohabitating (before marriage). If we want people to take these things seriously, then they need to understand the seriousness of the situation. The same can be said for "pre-marital" sex.... although any such consequeces would have to rely almost entirely on the honest responses from the couples (as it is not obvious in the same way that it is if two people have the same address).

My point of view probably wouldn't be very popular with the "85%" of couples.

Just my thoughts.

Ed
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Jun 16th 2013 new
When our niece and her fianc were going to get married, they went to see the priest at her parish. Well, the priest asked if they were living together and she said yes. Well, he would not marry them in his parish. So, they went to another church and the priest married them after they attended a Pre-Cana weekend. Obviously, if you are willing to give an envelope, the priest will marry you at this church.
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Jun 16th 2013 new
I am going to put my thoughts in on this and risk it....

Honestly, I think that things that are addressed in pre-cana and other marriage prep courses should be addressed EARLIER than when preparing for marriage. It needs to start earlier.... like high school. When I was a teenager, nothing was ever said except that engaging in pre-marital sex was wrong. Don't move in with your boyfriend before because that looks wrong. That's it. College and such I considered myself a Catholic but was a pick and chooser. It wasn't until I went to pre-cana that a lot of my morals and understandings of the church started to change. For the first time, I actually start to understand the Church's views were as they were.

If the church wants to deter people from engaging in pre-marital sex and co-habitation, I believe they need to present this information to people FAR before people start dating and such. MAYBE if it is presented and explained much earlier, maybe it will decrease the numbers that we are seeing. I also think that so many people feel unwanted and want to feel accepted and will often start these behaviors early on to feel better about themselves and that they are loved. Could be totally off base but how I feel......
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Jun 16th 2013 new
When it is a matter of morality, this is another heavy but worthy subject. I remember having a similar conversation when we got married 25 yrs. ago with the priest that was in charge for the archdiocean pre-cana retreat that we attended with other couples. When I think back to prior to our marriage, we we're that couple in that 85% portion in that stage of 'romantic' love. We considered ourselves good Catholics, then this subject came up, it was of course clear to us at that time that this is the one person that we'll be together for the rest of our lives, right. There was however this 'liitle Church rule' that we tried to justify to ourselves, because we were different, we're in love. What could we have done differently at that point in time, I don't know? We were lead by our own 'will' rather than God's plan for our marriage.

Like many 'moral' topics the answer for many of us is so obvious after reflection, but as was stated earlier by Dave or Joan, where we fail as man/woman is that 'free will' that God gave us or to use the negative or Cathechism term 'orginal sin'. It doesn't change the fact that we sin, but isn't that is why the Church is on earth, for us not to condemn one another but to love which will lead to our salvation? This topic struck me as not something new but just a continuation of what man/ woman struggle with since the Graden of Eden. Even this Sunday's gospel (Lk 7:36 -50) has the same line of either judging or loving one another as Jesus was teaching in this example. What does he do, when the 'fallen' woman comes to him & bathed his feet in tears out of love. The easy way out was to judge that person like the Pharisee's or to love that person like Jesus does & still does for each one of us today even when we fall or not do God's will.
No one on this earth has THE Answer, only with God's grace can we find the answer. How do you reguate that act of co-habitation/ fornication from the pulpit (church) or enforce a state staute (secular) & not cast judgement? By casting stones at the 85% of us that sin in this manner or like in Jesus' example to forgive the sinner but not the sin. By condeming the action on moral principals, but still showing the love & to support one another that leads us to God's forgiveness. Again I don't have the 'right' answer either, but together in this one body of Christ we can find the truth & the way to find that answer that we all long to hear. Thanks for the original question.
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Jun 16th 2013 new
(quote) ED-20630 said: Perhaps this is partly treating the symtom (but not entirely)...

I don't think that the Pre-Cana leader, deacon or priest should allow those couples obviously living together (e.g. if they admit it or if they list the same address on the forms) to proceed with Pre-Cana instruction. I would basicly tell the couple to come back when they changed their living situation. I think that proceeding with instruction, while cohabitating, is mocking the Catholic Church and it's teachings. I do know one priest in particular that would not marry couples that would not stop cohabitating (before marriage). If we want people to take these things seriously, then they need to understand the seriousness of the situation. The same can be said for "pre-marital" sex.... although any such consequeces would have to rely almost entirely on the honest responses from the couples (as it is not obvious in the same way that it is if two people have the same address).

My point of view probably wouldn't be very popular with the "85%" of couples.

Just my thoughts.

Ed
I have sung at a few weddings where the couple was already living together. It made me very sad. I agree with you that they should be told to set things right before they are allowed to move forward. If we Catholics do not confront and educate on the seriousness of a sacrament then it is our fault..(The priest (or person)who is teaching preCana.) Or have Catholics been too eager to get them married? Probably.... We have sought that as a rememdy for the sin..
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