Should an Archbishop be Censured for Performing a Same-Sex Marriage?

One of Canada’s most distinguished priests, the retired archbishop of Toronto, the Most Rev. Terence Finlay, has been stripped of his license to officiate at marriages because he presided at the marriage of a lesbian couple.  Such a marriage is legal in this country.  Nor was Archbishop  Finlay in any way coerced into officiating.  In fact, one of the partners is an old friend of the Archbishop.  He had known her since she was a little girl.

       Archbishop Finlay explained that out of a “long journey of love, friendship, support with this particular person and her partner” he came to the conclusion  “that their love for one another was part of God’s divine love and it was appropriate that it be deeply blessed.”

     Does that sound to you like someone who should be forbidden to marry people?

27 Comments »

  1. 1
    SUZANNE Says:

    What does his Church teach?

    I’m not an Anglican, and from what I can tell, you’re not either.

    Are we the right people to tell the Anglican Church what it should do?

    At any rate, Christianity, from the earliest times, has condemned homosexual behaviour.

    So a Church that wants to be faithful to traditional teaching should continue in that vein.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    It is curious you would assert that “Christianity, from the earliest times, has condemned homosexual behaviour.”

    As a matter of record, only in recent times, as a result of psychological studies, has homosexuality emerged as a salient issue.

    Furthermore many moral theologians (including Catholics) do not believe that the biblical passages cited in a condemnation of homosexuality, have anything to do with that subject at all.

    Is it your view that a loving God created upwards of 10 per cent of the human race to be intrinsically flawed with a penchant toward evil. Sound pretty ridiculous to me.

  3. 3
    SUZANNE Says:

    As a matter of record, only in recent times, as a result of psychological studies, has homosexuality emerged as a salient issue.

    So? Homosexual behaviour was condemned through the Torah, and in the Didache.

    Furthermore many moral theologians (including Catholics) do not believe that the biblical passages cited in a condemnation of homosexuality, have anything to do with that subject at all.

    You can get a moral theologian to approve of anything. The question is: what’s the evidence?

    What’s the evidence say about Christian attitudes of homosexual behaviour in the first three centuries of the Church?

    I am ready to bet a large sum of money you will not find a positive word on homosexual behaviour in any orthodox Christian record. As it is, the Romans were not that keen about homosexual behaviour.

    I know for a fact it was condemned by the Church. Whatever the psychology of the issue, it’s wrong, plain and simple.

    Is it your view that a loving God created upwards of 10 per cent of the human race to be intrinsically flawed with a penchant toward evil. Sound pretty ridiculous to me.

  4. 4
    SUZANNE Says:

    Is it your view that a loving God created upwards of 10 per cent of the human race to be intrinsically flawed with a penchant toward evil. Sound pretty ridiculous to me.

  5. 5
    SUZANNE Says:

    No, 100% of us are flawed. It’s just that the gay lobby thinks they’re exempted from self-control.

  6. 6

    “It’s just that the gay lobby thinks they’re exempted from self-control.

    Do we have any quantitiative evidence that heterosexuals from the age of 12 up exercise more self-control than gays do?

  7. 7
    SUZANNE Says:

    The general attitude of the gay lobby is that because they are born that way, that means their behaviour is acceptable.

    I am simply pointing out fallacious logic.

    Don’t you agree it’s fallacious? Just because you’re born a certain way doesn’t mean your behaviour is automatically acceptable or good.

  8. 8

    Your view that because gay people are born that way they are promiscuous is absurd.

  9. 9
    jim Says:

    1 Corinthians 6:9
    Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived;neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites (the word homosexual was first coined by Karl-Maria Kertbeny in 1869).Suzanne and Neil may want to soften their rhetoric otherwise the next thing we hear is that they have exchanged blows.

  10. 10

    Jim, I’m not sure what the significance is of your quoting St. Paul.
    Always dangerous to draw too much from one bibilical quote. Presumably sodomites should be shunned and adulterers (as the bible says elsewhere) should be stoned to death. Neither stricture makes much sense in 2006.

  11. 11
    jim Says:

    In Timothy 1 “practicing homosexuals are considered godless and sinful” How can a man of God bless the Godless.
    In Romans 1 “God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for the unnatural”….”males received due penalty for their perversity”. Now, where does Archbishop Finlay’s remark
    “that their love for one another was part of God’s divine love”, fit in with bible teachings. However in the greatest democracy of all time the Greek men had their little boys. They didn’t get married. But we must be kind and remember that there is deliverance from sin on the death bed as long as one is alone in the bed.Amen

  12. 12

    Just got back from Loyola where I listened to a long and boring speech from the controversial American theologian, George Weigel.

    All I can say to your Scripture quotes is Amen Halleluja>

  13. 13
    SUZANNE Says:

    Your view that because gay people are born that way they are promiscuous is absurd.

    I didn’t say that. I am countering the argument that because they are supposedly “born gay” they are entitled to act out their homosexuality.

    Always dangerous to draw too much from one bibilical quote.

    The question becomes: how did the people who wrote and sanctioned the Gospel, i.e. the Church, interpret that quote?

    Presumably sodomites should be shunned and adulterers (as the bible says elsewhere) should be stoned to death. Neither stricture makes much sense in 2006.

    The punishments of the Mosaic law no longer bind because they were created to establish law and order in the LAND of Israel. That doesn’t mean what they punished was not wrong. The sacrifice of Christ made ceremonial law, dietary law and the punishments obsolete for that reason. But it didn’t make morality wrong. And, by the way, the Noahide covenant is understood to prohibit homosexual behaviour.

  14. 14
    Alan Hustak Says:

    Of course an archbishop should be censured for conducting same sex marriages. Moral positions may be difficult to uphold, they are not difficult to understand. A solution to this situtation might be for same sex couples to go through a civil marriage, then, if sympathic, accomodating clergypeople so desire, they can bless the union or validate the relationship without making a mockery of what many people in the debate conveniently forget is a sacrament.

  15. 15

    Canadian law says that same-sex marriage is legal. Of course asame-sex couple can go to city hall and have a civil ceremony (which is not incidentally a sacrament).

    But if a clergyman wants to bless the couple and is not forced to do so, what in the world is the matter with that?

  16. 16
    SUZANNE Says:

    But if a clergyman wants to bless the couple and is not forced to do so, what in the world is the matter with that?

    It has to do with what a religion teaches. If you are ordained to be a priest in a given church, or a pastor in a given denomination, your job is to act according to that church’s teachings. And if you can’t, then don’t act on behalf of that church.

  17. 17
    alan hustak Says:

    Neil says Canadian law makes same sex marriage legal. Canadian legislators had nothing to do with that law. The courts, which did, dare I argue, “had hath not the competence to do it.” That of course is another debate. Suzanne should know that in spite of what their religion teaches, priests in any given church can be found these days to do almost anything.

  18. 18
    Matthew Cope Says:

    I think God must love gay men and women… like the poor, he made rather a lot of them.

    But if He does, the Bible didn’t tell me so:

    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/gay/long.htm

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. — Lev.20:13

    Genesis

    “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.”
    What did Ham do? Did he just look at his naked father or was there something more to it than that? Some commentators have suggested that Ham committed homosexual rape on his drunken father, and that this was why Ham’s descendants were eternally punished with slavery. 9:24

    This verse doesn’t say what the Sodomites did to make them such exceedingly great sinners, though most bible believers equate “Sodomite” with homosexual. (But see Ezekiel 16:49, which claims the sins of Sodom were pride, gluttony, sloth, greed, and failure to help the poor.) 13:13

    The two angels that visit Lot wash their feet, eat, and are sexually irresistible to Sodomites. 19:1-5

    God kills everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah. 19:4-5, 24-25

    What did Sarah see? 21:9
    Leviticus

    Homosexual acts are an abomination to God. 18:22

    If a man has sex with another man, kill them both. 20:13
    Deuteronomy

    Women are not to wear men’s clothing — it’s an “abomination unto the Lord.” 22:5

    God says not be bring any whore, sodomite, or dog into the house of the Lord. For “these things are an abomination to the Lord.” Sodomites and dogs are biblical names for homosexuals. 23:17-18

    1 Samuel

    “The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul … And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments … and his girdle.” 18:1-4

    “Jonathan … delighted much in David.” 19:2

    Saul is angered by his son’s homosexual affair with David and says, “do not I know that thou has chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion of thy mother’s nakedness?” 20:30

    David and Jonathan “kissed one another, and wept with one another” when they parted for the last time. 20:41
    2 Samuel

    David says to Jonathan: “very pleasant has thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of woman.” 1:26
    1 Kings

    God shows his homophobia by calling gay people “sodomites” and their sexual relations “abominations.” 14:24

    Asa “did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD” by expelling homosexuals (or “sodomites”, as the good book calls them). 15:12

    Jehoshaphat “did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord” and “took” the homosexuals (sodomites) “out of the land,” or as the RSV says, “he exterminated” them. 22:43, 46

    2 Kings

    Josiah, with God’s approval, broke down the houses of the sodomites. 23:7
    Isaiah

    “They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul!”
    The biblical god just doesn’t seem to care much for homosexuals. And he gets especially upset when “they hide it not.” 3:9
    Daniel

    “Neither shall he regard … the desire of women”
    The antichrist is gay!
    (Or so says Rev. Dwight McKissic of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Texas, citing this verse as proof.) 11:37
    Joel

    They “have given a boy for a harlot.” 3:3
    Romans

    With his usual intolerance, Paul condemns homosexuals (including lesbians). This is the only clear reference to lesbians in the Bible. 1:26-28

    Homosexuals (those “without natural affection”) and their supporters (those “that have pleasure in them”) are “worthy of death.” 1:31-32

    1 Corinthians

    Paul lists ten things that will keep you out of heaven, including homosexuality and being “effeminate.” 6:9-10
    1 Timothy

    Homosexuals (those “that defile themselves with mankind”) are included on the list of lawless, disobedient, unholy, and profane people. 1:10
    2 Timothy

    Iin the last days people will become evil, “without natural affection.” Fundamentalist say that this refers to homosexuals. 3:3
    Jude

    God sent “eternal fire” on the people of Sodom and Gomorrah for “going after strange flesh.” 7-8
    Revelation

    “The hundred and forty and four thousand … which were not defiled with women”
    Are the 144,000 men that are “not defiled by women” homosexuals? Are only gay men to be saved? 14:1-4

  19. 19

    Matthew, that’s the longest compilation of biblical verses allegedly dealing with what centures later came to be called homosexuality that I have ever seen in one place in my life.

  20. 20
    Matthew Cope Says:

    It’s from an atheist site called The Skeptics Annotated Bible:

    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

    There are links to the Koran and the Book of Mormon.

    Interesting reading — and useful when dealing with arguments that the Bible is the literal and infallible word ofGod, rather than a collection of texts written by men given to contradicting each other and presenting the prevailing morality of a few millennia past.

  21. 21

    I think what can really be condemmed is the act of homosexual sex – not the homosexual. Even as a lesbian I can appreciate the virtue of procreation and the perversion that is the homosexual act which is incapable of reproduction. It’s “a burden” as the Roman Catholic Catechism teaches, and a frustrating one for sure. What is the difference between a chaste homosexual and a chaste heterosexual that deserves condemnation?

  22. 22
    Chimera Says:

    So, Jenny, how do you reconcile your sexuality with your view of yourself as a pervert? I’m afraid I don’t understand how you can live happily with that kind of self-image.

    “I am countering the argument that because they are supposedly “born gay” they are entitled to act out their homosexuality.”

    Of course, they’re entitled, Suzanne! Why should homosexuals be restricted in their sexuality? Heterosexuals are not so restricted.

  23. 23

    jennyjumps –

    Is it likely that God created homosexuals with a “burden’ from the get-go?
    Thanks for your interesting comment.

  24. 24

    Chimera you crazy animal; (pun intended)
    I said perverted; it’s upside-down but not necessarily repugnant. That was a very quippy little argument that I feel was made with little consideration of the actual content of mine. Homosexual sex does not allow for reproduction. If it happens that the goal of copulation and other kinds of sex between similar species should be reproduction, then sex incapable of that goal naturally perverts (ie, prohibits) it.

    Neil:
    I think that the burden of homosexuality enlightens the grace of love.
    [LOL] I laugh because that is just the kind of religious fluff that I hate to read myself; but honestly, I find unrequited love just so much more meaningful to me than familial love which I generally take for granted.

  25. 25
    Chimera Says:

    Jenny, when you use the word “perverted” in any conversation that has to do with sexuality, ya gotta expect it to be taken as a fundamental (‘nother pun intended) truth that you must necessarily mean it in a biblically prohibited, sick, twisted, and evil way.

    I thought you might mean it in the broader sense, but I wanted you to clarify it. Otherwise you stood to be in danger of having one of the commenters insist that even lesbians think their sexuality should be banned on the basis that it is sick, twisted, and evil.

    But perverse in a different sense it is. As was the thinking of a friend of mine who, feeling lonely, went to the Dyke March in Vancouver last year as if he were on a shopping trip for companionship. When I asked him why he went to a festival for lesbians, he said, “But there’s all these women there!”

  26. 26
    Joe Agnost Says:

    “If you are ordained to be a priest in a given church, or a pastor in a given denomination, your job is to act according to that church’s teachings.”

    I find it odd that you would make this statement after you’ve made it clear that you think doctors should be able to refuse abortions, and pharmacists should be allowed to refuse to sell birth control.

    It’s the doctor’s job, and the pharmacist’s job – just like it’s the priest’s job – what’s the diff??

    “I am countering the argument that because they are supposedly “born gay” they are entitled to act out their homosexuality.”

    But what many of us find hard to understand is WHY they should have to suppress their nature/feelings! I don’t see why I should be allowed to have sex with my wife but bob can’t have sex with larry.
    Why do bob and larry have to forgo the fun??

    “Just because you’re born a certain way doesn’t mean your behaviour is automatically acceptable or good.”

    True… but just because some book (the bible in this case) says it’s bad doesn’t make it true!

    “Whatever the psychology of the issue, it’s wrong, plain and simple.”

    No – ~you~ think it’s wrong. I do not. Live and let live!!

  27. 27
    Peter LeBlanc Says:

    Sex with the same sex is abnormal for heterosexuals. Sex with the opposite sex is abnormal for homosexuals. On the other hand masterbation is sex with the same sex, therefore, whenever a hetersexual masterbates he or she is as queer as the queers. Does this make sense.


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