The Official Catholic Marriage Prayer

The Catholic archbishop of Minnesota has released a prayer that he wants recited at mass for the next year, as our state approaches a vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage.  Here’s the prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Through the powerful intercession of the Holy Family, grant to this local Church the many graces we need to foster, strengthen, and support faith-filled, holy marriages and holy families.

May the vocation of married life, a true calling to share in your own divine and creative life, be recognized by all believers as a source of blessing and joy, and a revelation of your own divine goodness.

Grant to us all the gift of courage to proclaim and defend your plan for marriage, which is the union of one man and one woman in a lifelong, exclusive relationship of loving trust, compassion, and generosity, open to the conception of children.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

Too bad for those heterosexual quadripalegics who want to get married but aren’t “open to the conception of children.”  They’re obviously not part of God’s “plan for marriage.”  In fact, I can think of some other examples of couples who are in a “lifelong, exclusive relationship of loving trust, compassion, and generosity,” but can’t conceive children.

To read my thoughts on this issue, see my $.99 ebook, There Are Two Marriages.

  • Frank

    Whether a husband and wife are prevented from having children due to biological abnormalities is irrelevant to the definition and purpose of the institution of marriage and family. Will you be just rehashing this irrelevant point over and over?

    • coryke

      Frank, I disagree. It is a very important part of the definition for the Catholic Church because they have chosen to include it as part of their definition.

      Several years ago there was a theological discussion within YoungLife pertaining to the issue of salvation. The issue revolved around whether someone had to “say so” in order to be saved (as in, “let the redeemed of the Lord say so”). YoungLife has a ministry to persons with disabilities called Capernaum. This immediately raised red flags for that particular ministry because many persons participating in that ministry cannot speak; they cannot “say so”. So the issue was whether or not they were saved. Many of these persons had expressed faith in God and Jesus, committed their lives to him but could not articulate the words.

      My point is that this is not about exceptions. It is about definitions. The definition of the Catholic Church excludes certain groups from being part of what they consider the marriage plan, just as YoungLife’s definition excluded certain persons from their definition of the saved. YoungLife eventually went back and revised their definition in order to make their definition as inclusive as they wanted/intended. I doubt the Catholic Church is interested in revising the part regarding “open to the conception of children.”

      • Frank

        Its an important part of the definition because its an important part of Gods creation.

        The argument about couples who are unable to conceive is a straw man argument and does not hold any weight at all because we are talking about the institution not any one marriage. And anyways its sin that ultimately is responsible for failed biology not the person or the institution.

        • Scot Miller

          Frank, I’m not sure you understand what a straw man argument is. A straw man is a misrepresentation of an opponent’s position; coryke is pointing out that the implication of the definition necessarily excludes marriages of heterosexual couples who are incapable of reproducing (which is absurd). So coryke’s argument is really a reductio ad absurdum, which is a good argument.

          On the other hand, it’s nice to know that you are not interested in the “exceptions,” only the general “institution” of marriage. Apparently you believe that someone who is married only has to believe in the definition of the “institution” of marriage, even if that couple is incapable of reproducing according to God’s overall, general plan. (That’s how infertile heterosexual couples can be “married” and not have children and be “married.”) Obviously, then, your understanding must include same-sex couples who affirm the definition of the “institution” of marriage, since they, like infertile heterosexuals, cannot produce children.

          • Frank

            I understand quite well what a straw man is as I see so many here it’s not hard to become an expert. In fact there is one in your post. See if you can find it.

            The definition of marriage in no way excludes husbands and wives who are biologically incapable of having children due to physical abnormalities. You have to have the right equipment, it does not matter if it all works.

            So will you all continue to bring up this fallacious and irrelevant argument again? Probably so as grasping at straws is very common here.

      • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

        Exactly my point.

  • Charles

    It’s a disgrace that the Catholic Church continues to marginalize groups. I truly do not understand their continuing distortion of what it means to love one another, be compassionate and be generous. The seem to be contradicting the common definitions.

    • Frank

      Where are they distorting or preventing anyone from loving anyone else? Yet another tired and fallacious point.

      • Charles

        Go bark up some other tree, you’re getting boring and monotonous.

        • Frank

          I could say the same thing to you. If you don’t like what I post you are free to ignore me.

  • peter allen

    this is not a prayer, this is a haughty statement-of-position disguised as a prayer. it’s similar BS to The Fellowship’s statements where they say their motivations aren’t about gay ordination. does God need to be told what God’s definition on something is in a prayer? do we need to ‘defend’ God’s definition of anything?

    • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith DeRose

      I’m guessing that God just *loves* it when those who pray to Him are thoughtful enough to throw in those extra clauses to explain to Him what his views, positions, plans, desires are — in this case, what His plan for marriage is.

      • http://tonyj.net Tony Jones

        Keith, I’ve heard that God, in her old age, is getting a little forgetful. I think it’s super nice of the archbishop to remind God about these things once in a while.

      • Frank

        The bible is clear about Gods plan for marriage. It’s others that are trying to introduce their own plans into God’s thoughts

  • Basil

    It’s just classic “smear the queer” by the Church hierarchy, to try and distract attention from the serial child rape, and international scale cover-up, that is unfortunately endemic to the Catholic Church.

    I don’t really care if a bunch of men in dresses want to preach bigotry and homophobia, but I oppose their bigotry being further enshrined into civil law. It needs to stay inside the walls of their church.

    If the Church is just going to be right-wing political action committee, then they need to start paying taxes. They should not enjoy an unfair monetary advantage in the political campaign

  • Chris

    Single Catholics not welcomed; as the Lord commanded. (tongue in cheek)

  • Chuck

    Fortunately God does not hear the prayers of a Bishop.

  • Kiotihere

    @Frank, I wonder if you’ve ever read the Bible? God’s first best “plan for marriage” was polygamy. And King David, the great hero of Judeochristian history, described as “a man after God’s own heart,” was an adulterer and murderer, ie, God does not disclose a “clear” plan for marriage in the Bible.
    The gospels get close with Jesus’ words about a man and a woman becoming “one flesh” but he’s not really even talking about marriage, his point was about the sinfulness of divorce.

    • Scot Miller

      I think Frank prefers to speak for God rather than bother actually looking at what the Bible says. Not only are you correct that the Old Testament assumes polygamy, but it also regards a wife as a piece of property controlled by males. And in the New Testament Paul specifically says that “it is good for a man not to marry” (1 Cor 7:1, and 1 Cor 7:7-9). So, anyone who actually bothers to read the Bible would have to conclude that there is no single pattern for “marriage” in the Bible.

    • Frank

      God created male and female, declared them very good and told them be fruitful and multiply. Then sin entered the picture and we start seeing other expressions of coupling.

      Jesus and Paul both affirmed this.

      I see the straw grasping continues.

      • Scot Miller

        Like I said, Frank ignores what the Bible — the ENTIRE Bible — actually says.

        Keep up the selective reading, Frank!

        • Frank

          Scot since you seem to think the bible supports your position please post scriptural support that God condones and blesses homosexual unions. For a scholar like yourself that should be not problem for you. We all will be waiting.

          • Scot Miller

            Nice try to shift the burden of proof. My claim is that there is no single biblical position on marriage, but multiple positions. You are the one who claims to speak for THE biblical position on marriage. You conveniently ignore the scriptures that do not simply support your position.

            The Bible does not condone or bless homosexual unions. Period. The Bible does support slavery, polygamy and infanticide, however (none of which you seem to want to address.)

            You want me to cite chapter and verse to defend homosexual marriage in the same way that slave-holders asked abolitionists to cite chapter and verse to defend the abolition of slavery. The biblical support for slavery is explicit; the biblical support for abolitionism is not. But the abolition of slavery is consistent with the larger message, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

            In the same way, the biblical objection to homosexuality is explicit, but the biblical support for same-sex unions not. But I do know that the message of the gospel is that “In Christ there is no male or female, slave or free, straight or gay.”

            In addition, I have no problem in saying that the Bible is a historically conditioned document, and reflects many practices (e.g., pro-slavery, anti-homosexual, pro-p0lygamy, pro-infanticide) that can be best explained by reference to the historical context that gave rise to the text. It is misunderstanding of scripture to say that “slavery is permissible” and “homosexuality is wrong” are timeless truths when they are historically conditioned expressions of a people of faith trying to grow into deeper understanding of God.

          • Frank

            Scot I really hope you are not in any position to teach scripture to anyone or reading comprehension either. I re-post for your benefit:

            God created male and female, declared them very good and told them be fruitful and multiply. Then sin entered the picture and we start seeing other expressions of coupling.

            Jesus and Paul both affirmed this.

          • Scot Miller

            Frank, it is very tempting to employ ad hominems and insults against you the way that you employ against your opponents, but I’ll refrain. Since you seem to think that repeating your unsupported dogmatic assertions amounts to an argument, and since you avoid the evidence that the Bible actually endorses positions that contradict your dogmatic assertions (e.g., polygamy, the superiority of celibacy to marriage), and you either can’t understand or refuse to respond to the analogy that your use of the Bible is like the use of the Bible by slave holders , it’s clear that you are not interested in serious discussion.

          • Frank

            Scot seriously do you really believe the bible endorses those positions? I mean really? No wonder you are so lost!

            • Jacob Pride

              Frank, thank you for this beautiful prayer. It is sad that there is so much hatred expressed toward you, but I commend you for standing up for the Truth. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Mt 5:10.


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